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When Comercio Partners strengthens role of investment banking in modern economy

The role of financial advisors and asset managers is crucial to decision making in organisations. In this report, Daniel Obi looks at this role as Comercio Partners Limited, established in 2016, offers trading, financial advisory and asset management services for the growth and profitability of companies and subsequent growth of the economy.

Major issues that keep CEOs and CFOs awake are declining revenue, increasing operational cost and consequently, declining profit. This often happens in a difficult economic environment worsened by wrong investment decisions.

To turn things around, CEOs are therefore frequently searching for financial advisors that could help to access funds, restructure balance sheet and capital structure of the company, provide regular updates on the economic environment and advise how to navigate the terrain. Failure to engage competent advisor as and when necessary puts the company at great risk.

Many make the assertion that Nigerians have a lax propensity to saving. However, this is not necessarily true. What we mostly lack is the ability to make the right investment decisions. Many Nigerians are either not aware of the financial asset products available to them or lack the knowledge to build a diversified investment portfolio for the rainy day.

The challenges of both personal investment and corporate capital raising and structuring can be solved by a single financial institution that offers financial advisory and asset management. These financial institutions oil the wheels of commerce by bringing together those that need capital with those that have capital.

In the words of Stanley Fischer, First Deputy Managing Director International Monetary Fund, “Globalization is not only the internet and telecommunications, it is also the more traditional fare of economists: trade in goods; and trade in assets.” The world being a global village with funds moving across borders, the role of boutique investment firms with financial advisory and asset management capacity has become even more important. With about 200 million population, the largest market in Africa, Nigeria’s economy offers investors an array of opportunities from banking to manufacturing, real estate, agriculture, Oil and Gas, transportation, logistics, education, bonds and stock investments among others.

For instance, government risk-free securities such as Treasury Bills and Bonds offer investors as much as 10% to 14% in returns yearly. Investors with large capital outlay and risk appetite can invest in Corporate Bonds which offer a premium to the sovereign. Stock market also offers another opportunity for investment as it could deliver good returns. There are clearly untapped small-scale business opportunities in every industry both in Nigeria and across the world. Such investments in capital market or any other industry require experts’ advice that competent advisory and asset management companies like Comercio Partners offer.

As observed, both local and international investors are interested in investing in Nigeria but the lack of knowledge of high yielding investments, fear of ROI, ungrounded understanding of the political and capital market environment and distrust are some of the limiting factors.

To bridge the gaps of knowledge of where to invest for returns, fear, distrust and access to capital – which have restricted many firms from gaining advantage and increasing their revenue – the services of an investment firm such as Comercio Partners Limited that focuses on trading fixed income securities, derivatives, alternative assets and equities, and provides financial advisory and asset management are needed.

In Nigeria, such companies like Comercio Partners for instance helps organisations grow by offering them expert advice and insight into the Equity Capital Market (ECM) and Debt Capital Market (DCM). The firm also trades principal funds such as fixed income securities, equities, and derivatives, and executes mandates on behalf of its clients.

Seeking the help of an asset management expert helps to manage and grow wealth. Comercio Partners Asset Management builds portfolio based on clients’ appetite for risk with a keen understanding of the difference between willingness and ability to take risk in helping their clients earn superior return in challenging markets. Comercio also ensures that its clients’ portfolio is diversified into various asset class and currencies and leverages its link to the tech industry to build investment platforms that enable investors execute trades efficiently. It recently added Real Estate arm to its growing business.

The five year old company is leveraging over 40 years of combined experience in Fixed Income Trading and Investment Management by its Managing Partners and other competent and driven staff with vast experience in Investment Management.

The firm is led by Steve Osho – Co-Managing Partner, and MD/CEO at Comercio Partners Capital; Tosin Osunkoya – Co-Managing Partner and MD/CEO at Comercio Partners Asset Management; and Nnamdi Nwizu – Co-Managing Partner and Head of Trading.

Prior to setting up the company, Steve was an Assistant General Manager and head of Interest rates sales and FI Business at Stanbic IBTC Bank; Tosin worked at Rand Merchant Bank, UBA, Zenith Bank and Kakawa Discount House while Nnamdi worked at Citibank, Axa Mansard, Zenith Bank and GTBank. They work with other management staff who garnered relevant experiences from other reputable companies.

The company is chaired by Ibrahim Dikko who worked as Executive Director in Resourcery Plc and Vice President (Regulatory and corporate affairs with EMTS Limited (trading as Etisalat Nigeria) and former Chairman of FSDH Merchant Bank.

Speaking on behalf of the firm, Ibrahim Dikko said, “By leveraging on our wealth of experience, skills and knowledge of the market, we continually explore opportunities to create significant value for our clients. As portfolio managers, we design investment strategies based on our clients’ investment objectives, risk appetite and time horizon.”

Some of the principal advisory activities of the firm include:- N100 billion debt capital raising for Lagos State Government(Joint Issuing House), $50 million Debt Capital Raising for a Downstream Oil & Gas Company (ongoing); ₦1 billion Private Debt Capital Raising for a Real Estate Development Company; $35 million Equity Capital Raising for a UAE-based Manufacturer of Copper Products (on going) and $50 million Debt Capital Raising for a Digital Out-Of-Home Advertising Company.

Others are $10 million Debt Capital Raising for a Physical & Online-based Retail Shopping Company (ongoing) and $3 million Equity Capital Raising for a Poultry-based Agricultural Company (on going).

The entrance of Comercio Partners to complement other financial and asset managers in Nigeria is to assist in the growth of the Nigerian economy and drive employment opportunities through well-structured boutique investment firm that focuses on trading, advisory services and asset management.

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