I have been an investment banker for over 25 years. I have worked in 5 banks and have been MD at two major asset management firms.
In the period, I have been involved in trillions of Naira worth of transactions and have built enough experience and reach.
Recently, working in theatre and media has opened me to a very huge network that spans from major High Networth Individuals to institutions and public sector.
I count at least two governors as personal friends and over 40% of current Bank MDs as my people.
Hamilton and George my Investment Advisory firm which I Co founded with my brother Lami was designed to take advantage of this my wide network and we have not done so badly in Oil and Gas and in Real Estate.
However, I get a lot of people who come to me for partnerships and all that seeking to leverage on my network to distribute.
But I have been wary. You see, these kinds of relationships are very sensitive. People at that level do not suffer fools
The currency of trade is value. Once you can’t push value, u are toast. I know that more than anything
Someone had once said, “Ohh Edgar, I’m bringing Floyd Maewether to the country. Could you help us
And I got one of the most flamboyant Bank Chairmen to accept to pay us N5m to host Floyd to a private lunch.
D-D no Floyd. Thankfully, we had agreed to be paid back end, but I don’t think I have been forgiven cos my calls no longer get returned.
So you see the reason why I turn down a lot of requests to ‘help’.
Then I met Steve. Steve is a neighbor. Dresses like a classic gentleman complete with bowties. Every morning as he drives to work, I watch him and say to myself- that guy reminds me of my BGL days.
Then, he reaches out and introduces himself. Edgar, I work for the Coronation Group.
I say aghhh that is AIG.” He is my Oga o. He says I am the Chief Distribution Officer, and it’s my job to distribute all financial products of the group across the board.
Interesting. I had this vision while at BGL when I was the Chief Marketing Officer. Sold the idea to Albert, but somehow, it didn’t see the light of day.
So I said talk. He says I want to partner with you. Give you capacity support and perceptive solutions, and you bring access to the table and we close transactions.
This was the first time anybody was saying this reasonable thing to me. He wasn’t asking for help? He was putting value on the table.
I liked this, and I liked him, and much more importantly, I could trade with my goodwill, knowing that his group and what they represent will not be at a disadvantage to me.
I also liked the fact that I would be working with a team that would startegise and throw up opportunities that I will now take as ready made and go lock in to target companies with no stress.
It won’t be a case if Gabriel abeg Steve want see you wetin he want see me for. He no tell me, when he come he go tell you.
This would be more professional and scientific- it wil be, ‘ Gabriel if you ramp up your downstream capacity, then we can give u a solution that will reduce your insurance system by 20% . Wait make Steve come explain. Simple.
I say Steve, my brother. I like what you are saying, but I also want to grow. We will be part of the meetings, train my staff on your products and provide product knowledge and targets and I open the doors.
He smiled and said piece of cake. We meet at their beautiful office and have a wonderful session, and Pronto, an agreement is signed, and we have a partnership.
See what excites me about this is simple. So, for example, Dere Otubu is my friend he is the chairman of EKEDC, amongst other things, but he sees me first and foremost as a writer and thespian.
So going to him directly to give me insurance business is something I will not do cos it will make me look like I’m taking the piss.
It gets worse. Gabriel Ogbechie is invested in Hamilton and George. He is one of the biggest players in oil and gas and finance in the country.
But he has never given us an advisory business cos as he says it – Edgar, you are a better writer than an investment banker. Not true, but do I blame him, no?
So pple come and say, pls I want to meet Gabriel. That is influence peddling, and that doesn’t give respect.
But with this agreement, I will approach Dere and Gabriel with the firepower power of the Coronation Group.
What they will be seeing will be that sturdy group with its capacity and an Edgar who just gave them support.
So Coronation goes in, and I follow up informally at the back to keep the trail warm.
This is exactly the way I had envisioned my post. Investment Banking years – a serious organisation’s, leveraging on my wide reach to deliver value to the system.
My staff will be going to Coronation this week for the training, and I will be having very serious briefings with them cos I must understand their culture and ways and means to be able to better sell them
I am very excited cos I will be doing what I love most to do, which is SELL.
Already Steve, send me a chat. oohh Edgar, do you know the MD of Lagis State w……. I will reply, he came for my Show the Chairman of LIRS who is my friend brought him
And Steve will say, I have a solution that wil bring them so much money and I wil send a chat to the man and he wil say, ‘ you guys can come and see me next week…
Hamilton and George will, with this partnership, now rise to its full potentials working with a serious group of professionals who will know how to harness my firepower appropriately.
Duke of Shomolu