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[Business Interview] Wale Adebayo, MD/CEO, Nissi-Lloyds Capital Investments - "Africa is the most Investable Continent."

International banker, Managing Partner/CEO of Nissi-Lloyds Capital Investments, Wale Adebayo, speaks candidly on the Banking and Finance Industry in Africa and beyond. His interview:

Can you tell us about your company and where you operate from?

Nissi-Lloyds Capital and Investments, LLC is a leading independent multi-discipline financial services firm headquartered in  Nigeria - with offices in Dubai and Zimbabwe - to carry out bespoke business and financial advisory services, derivatives advisory, capital markets, offshore capital sourcing and private equity investments.

Who do you service as a company? The public, private or government sector?

All of the above, including foreign investors.

And who would you say is your direct competition?

Other major investment and advisory firms.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the banking and finance industry in Nigeria?

I’ll place it at a 6.

You have international banking and finance experience. In your opinion, what is needed to bring the industry up to a 10?

-    To be at par with international standards, Nigerian banks should focus more on good corporate governance and invest more in IT to be able to offer hitch free services like online banking, international credit card service, mobile money service, etc. They could also invest more in human capital development.
-    The Government and Central Bank should also endeavour to provide an enabling environment where inflation will be brought lower and cost of operations by banks reduced. That way, they’re able to lend to the real sector instead of channeling all the capital into government bonds and treasury bills.

If you could change something about the Nigerian economy, what would it be?

I would dial down the corruption Nigeria is so (in)famous for.

If you were interviewing someone for a job, what is the one quality you would look for in that person, regardless of the job in question?

Entrepreneurial skill impresses me immensely.

What is your advice for a graduate looking for a job?

My advice is simple: there aren’t that many jobs out there. Get creative by starting your own small business, while not giving up on the possibility of finding your dream job. You’ll be better off on your own, however small your outfit might be, than depending on the modest graduate salary that’s being handed out today.

What makes you most proud to be an African, specifically a Nigerian?

I’m an Africa and very proud to be one. Africa is the last investment destination blessed with the vast natural resources that are needed all over the world, from crude oil in Nigeria, Angola and others, to the world’s largest deposit of diamond in Zimbabwe.

What accomplishment of Nissi-Lloyds comes to mind that you are most proud of?

We are a small firm that is already striking deals globally. We have operating offices in Nigeria, Dubai and Zimbabwe, and still expanding.

And what personal achievement of yours are you most proud of?

-    I’m proud of what I’ve helped our company achieve in so little time. Nissi-Llyods has been able to do a lot in a little time. We have established relationships with foreign partners and already have a reputable office in Zimbabwe and coming up in Dubai.
-    I’m also proud to be an alumnus of the prestigious Columbia Business School in New York. The alumni network has been a tremendous support to our company.

What should we expect from Nissi-Lloyds in the near future?

-    Nissi-Lloyds is planning further expansion into the Middle East and other African countries, specifically Zimbabwe in the next few years. We are looking at the various investment opportunities in Zimbabwe and already have a registered office in Harare. Our private equity arm is already looking into raising capital to invest in mining opportunities in Zimbabwe in collaboration with some local partners.
-    We would also be opening our Dubai office very soon.
-    We are also working on providing some new services that are not yet common to the African market like trading in options, credit default swaps and other derivatives products. We have FX trading platform set up already for some of our clients.

Any last words?

Always have a goal, and pursue it.

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