Small businesses need financial advisory – Ex Skye Bank CEO
In a bid to support overall growth in the SME sector, Timothy Oguntayo, veteran financial advisor and CEO of DLK Advisory has urged Nigerian SME owners to embrace financial advisory at the take-off stages of their businesses.
“Most SME owners are technically sound and clear about the product or services they want to create. However, how many small business owners devote enough time to conducting feasibility and viability studies before committing resources and time to such undertakings?” Oguntayo, who was also the ex-Skye Bank CEO asked.
“Do they have enough knowledge and skills to communicate their business ideas to potential investors, bankers, and partners? Do they know when to seek long capital and not short term capital? These are some examples of salient questions entrepreneurs need to ask, before launching operations. Sadly, it is one often left unanswered. And this is a big problem,” Oguntayo said.
He hinted that while technical expertise is very important to start a business venture, it has to be complemented with appropriate business and financial skills.
While the business owner concentrates on his area of competence, he said he or she will benefit from availing him/herself of business and financial advisory services from the experts.
The former CEO of Skye Bank, who also doubles as a veteran award-winning humanitarian, explained that small businesses needed to access financial advisory, because “money-management is a skill that must be developed, continuously.”
He said, “When I reflect upon the SME sector in Nigeria, I see a lot of emerging start-ups, even down to the bakery on your street, lack vital information. Information is power, but it is not everything you can access on the internet.”
“What sort of investment plan should your business get, at the beginning and breakout stages? How do you save on taxes and expand business operations? How do you separate personal finances and ensure you do not affect your business account?
“When entrepreneurs seek me and ask me to help them, I mostly ask: do you think this N1 Million naira grant would be more helpful to you than professional financial advisory? And most times, they go with the former. So, Nigerian businesses, in my own professional opinion, need to understand the necessity of financial advisory and that would help them to seek help in the right way.”
With over 35 years of experience in the banking and finance sector, Oguntayo has cut his teeth in the professional financial advisory scene. Since he set up his DLK investment and financial advisory firm, in 2016, he has helped myriad businesses scale up and some are in the process of getting listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Drawing upon his decades of experience as a bank executive, Oguntayo is an expert in the African corporate sector.
Some of his key career highlights include the first close-ended Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (Skye Shelter Fund). This was his brain–child launched in the Nigerian capital market in 2007. He gives kudos to his former colleagues in SFS Capital, who currently manage the Fund and ensures that it continues to be an award-winning mutual fund.
He has continued to be awarded laurels of excellence for his role as a community ambassador in his native Ogun community, by his local government (Odeda Local Government Council) and the State Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives, as far back as 2010.