What is your current professional title and how long have you been in this role?
Former Head of Research (Nigeria) and Lead Sub-Saharan Africa Banks Analyst (Renaissance Capital)
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
React to results releases and relevant news flow; updating financial valuation models; meeting/speaking with company management teams; speaking/meeting with investors, regulators and other players along the value chain of the industry; managing a team of analysts covering different sectors across regions etc.
What skills are needed to be successful in your current role?
Able to build a wide and diverse network; clarity in thinking and expression of thought both orally and written; understanding of how a business works; understanding of economics, accounting and corporate finance; healthy dose of inquisitiveness and cynicism
How good is your work-life balance?
I didn’t work on the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday). The job had its cycles, meaning during results season things get really busy. This could mean regular 7am-11pm work weeks (and some Sundays) but normalize to 7am-7pm when things are lighter.
What academic/professional qualifications do you have?
BSc Economics; MBA; Chartered stockbroker
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
Maybe pilot (lol) not sure. Ended up in business because this was my natural leaning. I saved a lot as a kid and often lent money to my siblings. Took a liking for business studies and economics in secondary school (disliked science) and studied economics in college. Figured out my love for finance during college internships and ended up in equity research because it allowed me do what I had come to enjoy – studying how businesses work, how to value and invest in them
If you could study a different degree or work in a different industry, what would it be?
Think I’ll still be in finance or financial services.
What’s the best thing about your work current working environment?
Met a lot of people. Travelled a lot, particularly the more senior you get. One of my bosses once described equity analysts as ‘rock stars’ because of the high quality of hotels the investment bank often lodged you in and business class flights you often get (more so when the markets were doing great).
What would you change about your daily work routine if you could?
What do you do for fun?
Read, meet people, dance, eat out, movies
What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?
Wherever and whatever you find yourself doing, even if its not your ideal/job situation, always give your best. Always.
Who is your role model and why?
Warren Buffett. He inspired my interest in finance and his value codes resonate strongly with me.
Do you feel you can be the same person at work and in private?
If its in terms of your values, certainly. But I also think you always need to know you’re at work to get a job done. It’s great to have an environment that allows you bring your best self to work but never lose sight of your professionalism.
Where do you see your industry heading in the next 5 years?
There’s probably a crisis around the corner somewhere and it’s likely to manifest itself within this time frame. When and how it manifests I don’t know but what’s for sure is that the current happy times in global markets won’t last forever. A number of things have come to the fore since the last crisis: rise of machines/passive investing; rise of entrepreneurship which has led to a boom in venture capital; low interests rates and cheap money, which has fueled a tremendous boom in leveraged buyouts and growth in private equity funds; and in nationalistic/populist government tendencies etc. I think the crisis may be the result of changes in one or more or a combination of these factors.
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