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The Story Of How Herbert Wigwe and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede Took Over Access Bank

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Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, co-founder of Access Bank Plc, has disclosed a rare insight into how himself and partner, Herbert Wigwe bought and transformed Access Bank Plc through the capital market.

The billionaire banker revealed this during the just concluded African Stock Exchanges Association (ASEA) conference held in Lagos.

Speaking in a chat with Oscar Onyema, the session moderator and CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Aig-Imhokuede said prior to the takeover of the old Access Bank, the financial institution was a very small bank and had been listed on the NSE.

“It was a small bank listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange but wasn’t being run well. They tried to raise capital, and the markets were not responding very positively to its attempt to raise capital,” the former bank CEO said.

He then narrates how they make the move to actualize the takeover of the bank from the old owners.

“That was the opportunity for myself and Herbert Wigwe, whom I had convinced crazily that we should leave Guaranty Trust Bank and buy Access Bank. It took $10 million to buy 51 per cent of Access Bank. Between Herbert and I, we had $2 million. We understood the markets, and we were able to fund a group that basically raised $10 million, and then we bought Access Bank.

“Without Access Bank being listed, this story would never have happened. It would have been much difficult,” he added.

Speaking further, Aig-Imoukhuede noted that after the acquisition, he set the audacious goal of making Access Bank being among the top ten banks in Nigeria.

“In 2002, we bought into Access Bank, and the first thing I learned was that the dollar balance sheet of Access Bank was a bit smaller than Aliko Dangote’s credit card limit. I thought to myself, after GTBank, what had I gotten myself into.”

He continued, “In the market then, Access Bank was 80 out of 90 banks. We came to the stock exchange and said that in five years’ time, Access Bank would be among the top 10 banks. The market didn’t laugh. The investors didn’t laugh. They looked at these highly driven young men and women and said, let’s give them a chance. Five years later, we were number 8.”

After meeting the top 10 target set, Aig-Imokhuede’s team set an even bigger goal of becoming one of the top 5 banks in Nigeria.

“We then said in five years’ time, we would be in the top five. Moving from 80 to 8, was a bit easier than from 8 to top 5, because the institutions around were very formidable. That in itself, also concretised the need for us to grow regional,” he confessed while claiming that Access Bank is currently in the third or fourth position in Nigeria, depending on what metric used.

Aig-Imoukhuede also hinted that there’s a major deal in the works and gave advice to entrepreneurs interested in rolling out across Africa.

The successful banker who in his post–Access Bank career founded Coronation Capital, stated that basic needs were yet to be met in Africa.

“If you look at the African opportunity, it’s about meeting basic needs, because basic needs are largely unprovided for, and provide solutions to those basic needs at scale. Think about Aliko and cement,” he said.

In his view, African financial providers had played a lot on the short end of financial solutions. Money transfer, credit cards, but the need around safety, security and wealth creation is completely unmet today, apart from in South Africa.

“Yes, we are beginning to open pensions; yes, we are beginning to grow an asset management field, but honestly speaking, we are on the ground floor. When I left Access Bank, I said I’m going to keep my investments in short money, but focus my mind on the long money game.”

He then gave a brief into why he founded the Coronation Capital after he left Access Bank.

“So Coronation Capital is essentially a private equity platform that has grown into a much larger diversified investment management platform. We want to, as we did with Access Bank, establish very firmly in Nigeria and then grow regional.”

The former President of Nigerian Stock Exchange hinted there is a deal in the works involving Coronation and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

“I’m giving you a sneak preview into a major announcement you are going to hear in January, but I think a lot of money is going to be made in that space. The stock exchange for the Coronation Investment platform is a tool that we are going to be providing to the market. So there’s a lot going to happen,” he added.

Aig-Imokhuede said the move would have taken place prior to this time, but for his serving as the President of the NSE.

His words; “My being President of the Exchange held me down, because I couldn’t do things that would put me in conflict in my role. So as I disengage, I would be able to unleash my creativity in the capital markets for wealth creation.”

“Whether the country is small or the country is big, the country will have a President, the country will have a Central Bank Governor, and other regulators, who must be given their sovereign respect.”

“You need a lot of energy and you need a lot of relational skills when you say you want to roll out. When you receive a phone call that this President wants to see you now, you need to get on a plane and make sure you see him. When you need an approval, or a policy context that can make or mar your dream, you need to interact.”

Aig-Imoukhuede also gave a glimpse into his interest in philanthropic efforts.

“The one thing I have found across African countries is that it was too often the exception, that the public service in Africa, was an enabler of dreams. In Africa, too often policymakers and policy implementers were disablers of dreams. And I said, why? Why should I almost have to die to make my business work? Why should I as a barber in Obalende, in addition to learning how to cut hair, why do I have to learn how to be a power generator to run a shop?”

“I then did a study, and I found that over several years from the mid-70s, Africa suffered a massive under-investment in capacity development of the public sector, while there was a shift of massive investments to the private sector.”

“We cannot afford to live in Africa, with this under-investment in capacity in the public sector; we will all suffer for it. So, AIG (Africa Institute of Governance) is all about building capacity in the public sector. So, the first thing we did was scholarships to Oxford University Blavantik School of Government, to study for a Masters in Public Policy (MPP), on the condition that you must come back and work for your home country. Next, was a fellowship programs for public servants who have excelled.”

Aig-Imoukhuede also disclosed that the organisation was working on a world-class finishing school that will be as good as JFK and BSG in Africa and for Africans.

In addition, AIG was working with the civil service in Nigeria around reform.

He listed two ways African Stock Exchanges can provide value.

“The first thing is this: clearly an exchange in Africa will have to walk the same path as exchanges across the world to make themselves fit for purpose. If you are mutual, you have to demutualise.”

According to him, this would enable the exchanges to be more entrepreneurial in thinking while adopting technology would also help exchanges be more useful.

“In addition, technology can also play a big role. I think that with the very many options around, from blockchain to distributed ledger technology, to simply digital systems for distributing retail products, the ability to leapfrog and serve retail markets is enormous.”

P.M Express

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GTBank Releases 2019 Half Year Audited Results, Reports Profit before Tax of N115.8Billion

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Guaranty Trust Bank plc has released its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2019 to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges. 

The half year result shows positive growth across key financial metrics and reflects GTBank’s leading position as one of the best managed financial institutions in Africa. The Bank reported a Profit before Tax of ?115.8billion, representing a growth of 5.6% over ?109.6billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. The Bank’s loan book grew by 1.0% from ?1.262trillion recorded as at December 2018 to ?1.274trillion in June 2019 and customer deposits increased by 6.3% to ?2.418trillion from ?2.274trillion in December 2018.

The Bank closed the half year ended June 2019 with Total Assets of ?3.598trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of ?603.0Billion. In terms of Asset quality, NPL ratio and Cost of Risk improved to 6.8% and 0.2% in June 2019 from 7.3% and 0.3% in December 2018 respectively. Overall, asset quality remains stable with adequate coverage of 84.7%, while Capital remains strong with CAR of 23.5%. On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) stood at 33.7% and 5.8% respectively. The Bank is proposing an interim dividend of 30kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each for period ended June 30, 2019.

Commenting on the financial results, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, said; “We have delivered a good result inspite of a challenging market, characterized by varying degrees of uncertainty and a rapidly changing competitive landscape. Our strong financial performance is underpinned by our unwavering focus on delivering value for our shareholders and reimagining the role we play in our customers’ lives.”

He further stated that “In a rapidly changing world and increasingly unpredictable environment, we are committed to building a long-term business that is both nimble and focused on flawless execution. The progress that we have made over the past six months demonstrates that we have the right strategy and the dedicated team to deliver for all our stakeholders, even in difficult conditions.”

The Bank has continued to report the best financial ratios for a Financial Institution in the industry with a return on equity (ROE) of 33.7% and a cost to income ratio of 37.6% evidencing the efficient management of the banks’ assets. These ratios are a testament to the competent and experienced management and work-force, efficient balance sheet structure and operational efficiency of the Bank. In recognition of the Bank’s bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service delivery and innovation, GTBank has been a recipient of numerous awards over the years. Some of these include Africa’s Best Bank and Best Bank in Nigeria from Euromoney Magazine, and Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank by World Finance Magazine.

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In commitment to transparency, NNPC announces new DSDP bid winners

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In line with its avowed commitment to transparency and accountability in all its activities as committed by the new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, the National Oil Company has announced winners of its 2019/2020 Direct Sale of Crude Oil and Direct Purchase of Petroleum Products (DSDP) arrangement.

A release on Sunday in Abuja by the Corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said following the completion of the 2019/2020 DSDP tender exercise, 15 consortia/companies made up of reputable and experienced international companies and Nigerian Downstream companies emerged successful to undertake the 2019/2020 DSDP arrangement.

The contract is for one year effective 1st October, 2019 to 30th September, 2020.

It listed the successful companies as follows:

1.  BP OIL INTERNATIONAL LTD./AYM SHAFA LTD.

2.  VITOL SA/CALSON-HYSON

3.  TOTSA TOTAL OIL TRADING SA/TOTAL NIG. PLC

4.  GUNVOR INTERNATIONAL B.V./AY MAIKIFI OIL & GAS CO. LTD.

5.  TRAFIGURA PTE LTD./A. A. RANO NIG. LTD

6.  CEPSA S.A.U./OANDO PLC

7.  MOCOH SA/MOCOH NIG. LTD.

8.  LITASCO SA/BRITTANIA-U NIG. LTD./FREEPOINT COMMODITIES

9.  MRS OIL & GAS COMPANY LTD

10. SAHARA ENERGY RESOURCE LTD

11. BONO ENERGY LTD./ETERNA PLC/ARKLEEN OIL & GAS LTD./AMAZON ENERGY

12. MATRIX ENERGY LTD./PETRATLANTIC ENERGY LTD./UTM OFFSHORE LTD./LEVENE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT LTD

13. MERCURIA ENERGY TRADING SA/ BARBEDOS OIL & GAS SERVICES LTD./RAINOIL LTD./PETROGAS ENERGY

14. ASIAN OIL & GAS PTE LTD./ EYRIE ENERGY LTD./ MASTERS ENERGY OIL & GAS LTD/CASIVA LTD

15. DUKE OIL COMPANY INCORPORATED.

The release stated that the tender process comprised technical and commercial bid submission respectively, evaluation and shortlisting, then commercial negotiations with prequalified companies and engagement of the successful consortia/companies by NNPC.

“Under the DSDP arrangement, the under listed fifteen (15) consortia/companies shall over the contract period, offtake crude oil and in return, deliver corresponding petroleum products of equivalent value to NNPC, subject to the terms of the agreement”, the release declared.

In his takeover note on 8 July, 2019, the newly appointed NNPC GMD, Mallam Kyari, had promised to open NNPC books to public scrutiny, saying as a publicly owned company Nigerians deserve to know about the operations of the Corporation. 

He reiterated his management’s team commitment to transparency and accountability when he had a maiden Town Hall engagement with the staff of the Corporation where he launched the team’s policy direction tagged: Transparency, Accountability, Performance and Excellence (TAPE).

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HY’ 19: GTBank posts N115.8bn pre-tax profit

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Guaranty Trust Bank plc has released its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2019 to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges.

The half year result shows positive growth across key financial metrics and reflects GTBank’s leading position as one of the best managed financial institutions in Africa. The Bank reported a Profit before Tax of ?115.8billion, representing a growth of 5.6% over?109.6billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. The Bank’s loan book grew by 1.0% from ?1.262trillion recorded as atDecember 2018 to ?1.274trillion in June 2019 and customer deposits increased by 6.3% to ?2.418trillion from ?2.274trillion in December 2018.

The Bank closed the half year ended June 2019 with Total Assets of ?3.598trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of ?603.0Billion. In terms of Asset quality, NPL ratio and Cost of Risk improved to 6.8% and 0.2% in June 2019 from 7.3% and 0.3% in December 2018respectively. Overall, asset quality remains stable with adequate coverage of 84.7%, while Capital remains strong with CAR of 23.5%. On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) stood at 33.7% and 5.8% respectively.The Bank is proposing an interim dividend of 30kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each for period ended June 30, 2019.

Commenting on the financial results, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, said; “We have delivered a good result inspite of a challenging market, characterized by varying degrees of uncertainty and a rapidly changing competitive landscape. Our strong financial performance is underpinned by our unwavering focus on delivering value for our shareholders and reimagining the role we play in our customers’ lives.”

He further stated that “In a rapidly changing world and increasingly unpredictable environment, we are committed to building a long-term business that is both nimble and focused on flawless execution. The progress that we have made over the past six months demonstrates that we have the right strategy and the dedicated team to deliver for all our stakeholders, even in difficult conditions.”

The Bank has continued to report the best financial ratios for a Financial Institution in the industry with a return on equity (ROE) of 33.7% and a cost to income ratio of 37.6% evidencing the efficient management of the banks’ assets. These ratios are a testament to the competent and experienced management and work-force, efficient balance sheet structure and operational efficiency of the Bank. In recognition of the Bank’s bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service delivery and innovation, GTBank has been a recipient of numerous awards over the years. Some of these include Africa’s Best Bank and Best Bank in Nigeria from Euromoney Magazine, and Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank by World Finance Magazine.

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