• Saturday, April 13, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Full disclosure, documentation key to success of our residency programmes – Kimemia-Nechi

Full disclosure, documentation key to success of our residency programmes – Kimemia-Nechi

Jane Kimemia-Nechi is the chief executive officer, Optiva Capital Partners, a firm providing a wide range of investment solutions across geographies and asset classes. In this interview with IFEOMA OKEKE-KORIEOCHA, she speaks on the activities of the investment immigration and wealth management company as well as what it takes for an average Nigerian family to relocate.

Could you explain solutions being provided by Optiva Capital Partners?

Optiva Capital Partners has evolved into who we are today, from the humble beginning as an insurance brokerage in 2008- actually, as a brokerage and partnering with several local insurance companies, and notably AIICO. Through the years, we have grown to a full-fledge work management institution and diversify our offerings to clients and that is where we are today as a holistic wealth management and investment advisory group, with three areas of specialisation.

First is the investment operation. We work with our clients to facilitate second citizenship and permanent residency options for them, depending on their needs. We are a bespoke company. We are that one stop that is ready to have a conversation with clients. The second area is wealth management and investment advisory, while the third is our foundational business which is insurance. Nexus

What does it take for a Nigerian family to relocate?

I have spoken about two options earlier; we have citizenship by investment and permanent residency. So, if you look at the USA, Canada, or countries basically across Europe, we will be talking about permanent residency because second-class citizenship doesn’t really matter, irrespective of how much the client invests.

Clients might not get outright citizenship but there would be a residency requirement for such clients and afterward citizenship after some years. So, we have different programmes, we have the Canadian programmes starting from the provincial levels, we have programmes from Ontario, etc.

We also have the USA programme, which is the EB-Five programme, which is the green card. This is the start of citizenship. And we have the golden visa opportunity in Portugal and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, on the other hand, we have the Islands in the Caribbean where a client will get outright citizenship; that citizenship is through investment programmes. Within three to four months of investment into a designated government programme, such clients will get full citizenship.

What have been the challenges so far to get all these done for the clients?

With investment immigration programmes is that one has to be specific and be able to diagnose correctly. Some families are looking into migration and relocation; other families are looking for global access. First of all, the most important part is to identify and make sure it is the right solution because this is a generational decision for families and that is a huge investment.

Secondly, I won’t call it a challenge but a key consideration, when it comes to challenges, investment immigration, and the primary residency programs are very detailed and very strict on documentation, full disclosure, family situation, background, employment, and education. You know that the whole process is very delicate. And one of the things we do very well at Optiva Capital Partners is the ability to handle that process, right from origination because work starts when agreed upon.

We have fully developed our process centre; a fully dedicated process centre, that has access to 50 to 60 people at once. And when it comes to the validation of documents and when it comes to conveyance, we make it easier, including when it has to do with medical. And sometimes the client’s certifications, when it comes to some of the English certifications that are required, and we have a team that can help us talk to clients in a very holistic way.

What is your staff strength, network, and branches that you have now?

Our current distributions consist of 13 branches and we are planning to open two more branches, making it fifteen across Nigeria. Why this is important is that these are conscious decisions that we have made at Optiva Capital Partners to be where our clients are, and to meet our clients at homes and where they do business, and their offices. Wherever you go across other key markets, you find Optiva Capital Partners.

We have a strong extensive distribution and we have invested in our branches and lounges because we do recognise that our clients are high-networth individuals and we take into consideration how we take care of our clients in all our branches. And we have got a staff strength of over one thousand. We have a workforce of over one thousand, which is a combination of marketing executives, others in the fields talking to clients, we have the client engagement manager, and the branch managers, with all different levels of hierarchy.

We have the support functions because processing is very important; the process as a function is also differentiated from document collection to audit and then to client engagement. So, we have got that expansive distribution. We currently have 15 branches and in the next one month, we will have opened our last two branches and a staff strength of over 1000.

How do you make sure you get the best out of your staff?

We play an important role in sourcing the right talents and our approach is very inclusive because we believe in training people. We are a lifelong training institution. By default, we attract a lot of women to do front-line roles, in terms of speaking to the clients and the fact that we are a growth institution for when people come in, they know they are going to grow in profile and knowledge, and by understanding, because the space we are in is to talk about high-level clients; and we are very careful with the level of training we give our staff, just for them to be able to engage.

So, we don’t only train for the technical, we train for life, and I am sure that if we invite people to some of our thanksgiving events and they say that there is a lot of training, not only the technical but life’s skill. So, we are an institution that is pivoted on women; and 72 percent of our workforce are women. When you look at our contributions to the UN-SDGs, there is always an opportunity for women.

What are your Thanksgiving events about?

There is nothing we want that we have not received. We are an institution that is heavily pivoted and that is the foundation of our business. And that is who we are. Thanksgiving is a gathering with our chairman. We came about this in February last year and everything we do is a thanks-giving.

It is in recognition of our source. And at every opportunity to give thanks because who are we at Optiva Capital Partners without having the Lord’s doing? And once in a month, we gather to give thanks, and every first Saturday; we give thanks and acknowledge what we have achieved, and continue to commit our hands to the Lord. That is who we are as an institution

How many families have Optiva Capital Partners helped in securing their immigration investment?

We are talking about a thousand. We have helped thousands of families with their relocation, and their global access needs, and every day, we are having discussions with thousands of families, maybe in our branches or in the fields. So, we have helped thousands of families with their relocation, with their global access needs, with advisory, and obviously with better opportunities. And for this, we are really proud and eternally grateful. What we do is that we provide solutions that our clients do need and we are that plugin. Whether the families need it right now, some families are ready.

I think if we look at Nigerians, we are very global as people. Whether their children are going to school abroad right now, is every family goal- whether it is medium-term, right now, or long-term. That is what we do. We provide solutions. We are that bridge and the link with people’s aspirations as families and the actualisation of who they want to be and better opportunities for them. We are that bridge they need and that is why every day we come into the offices with excitement because we love what we do.

How do you unwind as the CEO of Optiva Capital Partners?

I must say in my many years of working and what I do has become a passion. And I don’t see this as work, not necessarily because all of us, right from the chairman to the other members of the staff, love what we do. So, sometimes, we stay too long in the office if there are families that want to come and see us at 8pm or 9pm. And if there are families that want to come on Saturday, we are going to be here. Honestly, we take time in terms of taking rest. There is a good balance so that we can function effectively. But to say we close at 5 pm is a no, but we are so integrated into who we are. Our work and personal life are just intertwined.

What is going to be your advice to some of your employees who see you as a role model?

First of all, it would be that they should be passionate about commitment. Whatever you find yourself doing, do it with excellence. Do your very best wherever you are. More importantly, also, my advice to young people is that, learn the curve and be committed to their personal development and professional development because you will find people that already keep moving. I would also say always identify what is important to you and be passionate about it and also be a person of excellence because the dividends are amazing because you will grow in profile.

If you have one minute with Mr. President, what would you advise him considering what is going on in the country?

I am very passionate about Nigeria and its opportunities and what this country should be like. If you look at the diversity of talents and expertise but it disconnects because of what the country is supposed to be and what it is currently. I think my advice would be recognition, a truthful recognition of where we are versus what we are keeping off from. The population of Nigeria is 220 million people, and I just came back from the USA.

Their population is around 330 million, and there is not too much of a difference. In another 10 years with the population growth, where are the opportunities for our people; where is the industry? We are such a huge market that is supposed to be manufacturing for us to consume. We are a powerhouse. So, how can we recognise and realise that potential in our lifetime when doing the right thing for this generation and the generation to come?

Recognising what we have done and the gain so far; importantly, being truthful at where we are and looking forward to better possibilities. Then, we look at our benchmark of who we are as a nation internationally; and what we need to do. So, we get to work with the talents we have. Nigerians are the most eloquent and most educated. We got everything. We got the consumer and the market, so what have we been doing with everything? We got the natural resources. We got the human capital. And what are we going to do next to make this country for the next generation?

What are your words for your clients?

We are here simply because of our clients and our key philosophy is aligned with the needs of our clients. We exist basically to work with our clients and protect and help them grow and enhance. And basically, to help them diversify their wealth. We are the one-stop solution. Solutions that are bespoke and we are very specific to the family needs. This is what we have perfected because we are supported by a team of elite partners internationally; for them to invest or manage their wealth, we are the right plug-in. We are here to serve.

Your office is occupied with slogans from women. Is this deliberate and is there any reason for the focus on women?

Our office is occupied with slogans from women because we believe in women’s empowerment. Women are such a critical part of society, and when you empower a woman, you empower a generation. Empowerment for me is the ability for people to do their best. What they are passionate about. Nevertheless, equal opportunity for women is important as the contribution and value that women bring to the workplace, family, and generation. That is why the chairman calls his office, the women’s office.