August 15, 2022 – ON Partners has placed Tosin Okojie as the new chief financial officer of Niche, a leading platform connecting students and families with colleges and schools. He was formerly vice president of finance for Andela, a unicorn global engineering network. Spearheading the assignment were partners Jake Espenlaub and Danny Bolger.
Mr. Okojie joins Pittsburgh, PA-based Niche during a period of rapid growth, having nearly doubled in size in less than two years. “We’re at a pivotal time for our organization, and our platform is offering real value for our users and our partner schools,” said Luke Skurman, the company’s CEO and founder. “As we continue to grow at this rapid pace, we’ll greatly benefit from Tosin’s experience in scaling a global marketplace at an incredible rate. That, combined with his deep passion for our mission, makes him an ideal addition to the Niche team. I look forward to working closely with him.”
Mr. Okojie is a seasoned finance and management executive with more than 20 years of global experience in designing business strategy, growing SaaS businesses, building marketplaces and raising capital. His experience spans diverse sectors including education, human capital, technology, retail, and consumer packaged goods. At Andela, Mr. Okojie led the finance team through growth restructurings, building a two-sided marketplace, raising $200 million in funding. and quadrupling the business within a three-year span.
Prior to his time at Andela, Mr. Okojie founded Total Ascent, an education-focused start-up that offered test preparation and assessment software to students and educational institutions.
A Critical Stage
“The key to building better organizations, better nations and, consequently, a better world, lies in empowering individuals with the skills and abilities that enable them to achieve their full potential. Education is a critical vehicle for that empowerment,” said Mr. Okojie. “I am thrilled to join Niche in this critical stage of its growth, and to help the organization succeed in building a foundation for students to flourish and succeed at their ‘best fit’ schools.”
Mr. Okojie’s experience throughout the U.S. and Nigeria spans finance, operations, and commercial roles at major multinational companies including Aveva, Sears Holdings, Merisant, Unilever, and Accenture. He received his bachelor’s degree in electronic and electrical engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University and earned his MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Founded in 2002, Niche works to make researching and enrolling in schools easy, transparent, and free. The platform offers in-depth profiles on every college and school in America, over 140 million reviews and ratings, and powerful search and data tools. For schools, school districts, and communities, Niche’s platform, data, and services help thousands of schools recruit and enroll more best-fit students.
With a primary focus on technology, consumer, industrial, and the life science sectors, ON Partners recruits C-level and board talent for public and private companies, as well as venture capital and private equity firms. Founded in 2006, the firm’s consultants work from offices in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Menlo Park, CA; Minneapolis. MN; San Francisco; and New York. ON Partners is one of the fastest growing search firms and this year is ranked as one of the Top 20 recruiting platforms in the nation by Hunt Scanlon Media.
Mr. Espenlaub serves the software, E-commerce, consumer, digital and retail industries. Organizations he serves include public, private equity, and growth equity organizations with a focus on digital transformation. The functions he serves include go-to-market, product, technology, digital and customer experience. Previously, he ran technology the practice at the Benefits Advisory Group.
Mr. Bolger partners with established organizations to modernize and transform their technology infrastructure and collaborates with growth companies across multiple functions to build executive leadership teams. For larger, established organizations, such as Fiserv, Allscripts and Digital Realty, he has proven success in placing CTO, CIO, and senior-level executives. With growth companies, Mr. Bolger has proven success in placing executive leaders across a range of functions including sales, marketing, technology, finance, and engineering. He previously served as talent acquisition manager at PepsiCo.
Earlier this year, Messrs. Espenlaub and Bolger helped Niche to recruit Kelly Lavin and Paul Moore as the company’s first people officer and vice president of engineering respectively. Ms. Lavin crafts the company’s future strategies and processes relating to talent acquisition and retention as well as leadership development and performance management, among other tasks. Mr. Moore leads feature and functionality developments. He also oversees the company’s development processes and ensures Niche’s engineering function is adhering to best practices relating to sustainability and scalability.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media