With a commitment to creating superior value by proffering end-to-end solutions borne out of an understanding of the key industry and client issues, Nova Merchant Bank Ltd. officially launched its operations today in Lagos, making it one of only five merchant banks currently operating in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch which held at the lender’s corporate headquarters situated at 23, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, the Chairman and founder of the bank, Phillips Oduoza who is the immediate past Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA), said that the bank epitomizes new ideas and new thinking that would be leveraged to assist its clients to tap into new growth opportunities.
Oduoza said, “Only new ideas coupled with breakthrough thinking can propel organisations forward. At Nova Merchant Bank, we will use new ideas to leverage the technology, skills and talent in our organisation to transform the way business is done in the financial services industry.”
“We want to be Africa’s preferred financial solutions provider because we have seen fintech offering substitute products and we intend to take advantage of that by offering a combination of traditional banking products and fintech solutions,” he added.
The top banker also outlined uniqueness, passion, leadership, integrity, fairness and teamwork as the core values that would guide the bank’s operations which he summed up in the acronym UPLIFT. He also stressed that the bank would be strong on corporate governance with a deep commitment to global best practices. He disclosed that the bank has three executive directors and six non-executive directors among whom are four independent directors whom the chairman described as being “capable of independent opinion” and who will “ensure governance at its peak.”
Meanwhile, Oduoza affirmed that Nova was set to re-establish merchant banking as a key economy driver by providing long-term funds and advisory services.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nova Merchant Bank, Mr Chinedu Ikwudinma, promised that the bank would handle client businesses with passion and intensity.
Ikwudinma assured, “We shall provide you with the competitive advantage. We shall seek partnership, trust, engagement and collaboration. We shall work with you and co-create with you. We shall innovate and make every effort to exceed your expectations.”
In his speech, special guest of honour, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, expressed his unreserved confidence in the bank stating that given the eminent personalities on its board, he has no doubt that the bank would not only survive but play a dominant role in the country’s evolving financial services landscape.
Regarding the bank’s chairman, Dangote said, “Phillip is a thoroughbred professional with an exceptional and unblemished banking career that has spanned over three decades.”
Expressing hope that Nova would morph into a top ten bank in the near future while also noting that the existing merchant banks in Nigeria were only serving less than 15% of the entire market, Dangote charged Mr Oduoza to lead his team to capture 3% of the market share.
Ikwudima later told pressmen that the bank was positioned to offer niche services targeted at top-notch clientele with the goal of seeking long-term funding and making same available to their clients while also offering advisory services that would help the bank’s clients achieve sustainable growth.
Among the dignitaries present at the launch were Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, CEO, Development Bank of Nigeria, Tony Okpanachi, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, the Executive Chairman of Phillips Consulting Limited, Foluso Phillips, MD/CEO of Sterling Bank, Yemi Adeola, MD/CEO of Citibank, Akin Dawodu, the Chairman of Citibank Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, among others.
Photo Credit: King Solomon Ekhaiyeme