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At the 9th prestigious Nigerian Investment Banking League Awards, Dunn Loren Merrifield (DLM) won the award for the Best Debt House 2011, in recognition of its significant contribution to the domestic financial markets. This achievement undoubtedly confirms the growing status of DLM as an investment bank to be reckoned with in Nigeria. Other well-established Nigerian investment banks such as FBN Capital, Stanbic IBTC, UBA Capital, FCMB and Chapel Hill Denham, were nominated but DLM was chosen as 'first amongst equals' in this category.
On being the recipient of such an honourable award, the chief executive officer of DLM, Mr Sonnie Ayere said “The well-earned laurel bestowed upon our young firm is a truly remarkable achievement. This further proves that the quality, the drive, the vision and most important, the dedication of the DLM team will never waver and the potentials that lie ahead of us will be achieved collectively.” In addition, Mr Ayere also noted that “When bright minds pursue lofty ideals underpinned by innovation, excellence, performance and results, the word 'impossible' does not exist. It is this morale boost that would enable DLM cross many more milestones and this worthy award can be used as a springboard to reaching greater heights in the years ahead.”
Since commencement of operations in 2009, DLM has been involved in some of the most innovative transactions in the Nigerian capital markets, particularly debt transactions. The firm has closed several notable deals such as, the Chellarams N5bn MTN program, The Tower Group N9bn MTN programme which included the first internationally guaranteed corporate bond, Food Concepts private share placement to IFC, Dana Group N18bn MTN program, Divestment of Legacy Insurance from Keystone Bank, Restructuring Bayelsa State N50bn Bond, AIICO Merger, AMCON N1.7 trillion debt issuance program, Federal Mortgage Bank N6bn pass through MBS program and Ebonyi State N20bn MTN program. The firm’s latest feat in the market was acting as lead arranger and structural adviser in connection with the issuance of FMBN SPV Issuer Limited Series 3 zero coupon notes under the residential Mortgage Back Securities Programme that raked in N24.56bn.
Dunn Loren Merrifield is a full-service investment house with a global focus and also a stand-alone institution that combines the attributes of origination, distribution, trading and research. Ayere concluded by saying, “In a field where competition is so tough, dogged determination is what separates the wheat from the chaff as there is no ‘magic formula’ that would escalate you to success. To achieve your goal, you just have to take the stairs and climb your way up”.