• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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We launched diaspora investor direct investment to bridge trust gap and grow Nigeria’s economy – Kimemia, Optiva CEO

We launched diaspora investor direct investment to bridge trust gap and grow Nigeria’s economy – Kimemia, Optiva CEO

Jane Kimemia is the managing director/chief executive officer of Optiva Capital Partners Limited, a leading Investment Immigration Wealth Management Company. In an interactive session with some editors, she spoke about the launch of the firm’s wealth advisory services, its partnership with Polaris Bank, and a major initiative which targets $5bn diaspora investments through its new product tagged DIDI. Zebulon Agomuo, Editor was at the session. Excerpts:

Your firm launched its bouquet of wealth advisory services to close off last year. Kindly shed more light on it?

On the 18th of December, 2023 we launched our investment services and advisory proposition, which is a culmination of efforts throughout last year, working with our partners to put together a suite of products, of services, of solutions, in investment services and advisory. Investment services is simply a vehicle, a bridge to global investment opportunities, solutions and services. So what we have under our investment services is a comprehensive range of products addressing the needs of our clients for investment purposes for preservation of their wealth across generations, and across different interests and risk profiles of clients, of what is their risk appetite, what are their expectations in terms of returns. We have a full range of products so whatever is their risk profile, what we have are opportunities and products for them to access the global market. On the advisory, clients’ needs are different so we take into consideration what they want on returns and expectations, time horizon, their liquidity, so, it’s really a comprehensive range of investment products to address the needs of our clients and return on investments for preservation of their wealth across generations, for access to the financial markets globally and being the bridge to that opportunity they would not have been able to access on their own.

With our asset management partners, they look at the global space. Take for instance the Nigeria Stock Exchange, there will be a number of securities listed there. Extrapolate that to the global space, the New York Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the multiplicity of securities and investment options that are listed, how do I as a client navigate the complexity of this space? So when we work with our asset management partners, it is to bridge that gap, that complexity and distil that into investible opportunities for our clients to say this is what you need in terms of return on investment and these are the products we have for you.

How does this new offering deepen Optiva’s philosophy to protect wealth; grow wealth; enhance wealth; and optimise wealth?

The protection agenda in our philosophy is simply to help our clients safeguard the value of their wealth across different seasons. If you look at the currency depreciation and devaluation for example, protect is to ensure that a significant proportion of the wealth is in the currency that will safeguard the value over time. The growth agenda will only happen if you are not putting all your wealth in a basket that is subject to the vagaries of depreciation. So once your wealth is protected we can then talk of allocating to different asset classes. So we have a range of opportunities across different asset classes. The enhancement agenda is about diversification, which is very important because no matter how strong the basket is, you should not put all your eggs into it. So it’s about diversification across currencies, geographies, and across different asset classes, to take advantage of growth opportunities and if anything happens they are hedged against concentration risk.

Does this innovative bouquet of wealth advisory services tie into your partnership with Polaris Bank, or is Polaris Bank a platform to extend your services?

The objective of this mutually beneficial partnership is to tap into the over seven million customers of Polaris. What they are looking for is a differentiation, solutions that will empower them to provide solutions that their clients have need for. With this partnership we will be offering Polaris bank investment immigration options, full range of investment immigration solutions that Optiva capital Partners have because we are market leaders in investment immigration not only in Nigeria but across Africa. So beyond transactional banking and opening accounts in Polaris Bank, what more can you offer me that addresses my needs for investment, for immigration, for global access. So our partnership empowers them to provide customer-value proposition that is comprehensive, addressing the needs of their customers across different segments. For us at Optiva Capital it is a platform for us to serve, distribute our products, to continue to offer solutions

In this year what will be the compelling proposition of Optiva Capital and how you will be differentiated in this crowded and competitive financial services market?

So, in effect, what else are we giving in addition to what we are currently doing? Our first goal is service, our second goal is service, our third goal is service. So service ultimately defines whatever direction that we choose to go because we have come to associate service as a winning edge, because the better the quality of your service delivery the greater your upsurge in terms of growth.

We have been able to initiate and execute end to end service delivery for our clients and we are able to achieve that by taking ownership of every relationship.

Also, in line with our philosophy to protect, grow, enhance, and optimize wealth for discerning investors, we have introduced a new product called Diaspora Investor Direct Investment (DIDI). The Diaspora Investor Direct Investment (DIDI) is our unique product to attract diaspora funds and investments into the country. The objective is to stand in the gap for Nigerians in the diaspora who seek to remit funds home for investment purposes because most of them are afraid of losing their funds to unscrupulous persons or agents, so we bridge that gap.

Nigeria diaspora funds is ranked amongst the top five globally, estimated at about $100b per annum, and our target is to use the Optiva Capital structure, infrastructure, and wealth management skills to get 5% channelled into productive investments that will yield good returns at home for Nigerians in the diaspora.

On the modalities for implementation, first, we get Nigerians who seek to build homes to send their money so that we help them bridge the gap of trust and dishonest third parties. We help the diasporans to create an enabling environment that will ensure that they track the progress of their sundry investments. With DIDI we shall help investors manage the risks associated with repatriation of funds back to the country for sundry investments ranging from property development, farms, to cottage factories.

We have already created structures that will help Nigerians in the diaspora to manage businesses back home end to end, including setting of farms, and that for each project or investment that every diasporan wishes to make, Optiva Capital Partners shall help in the land acquisition, proper registration of titles, and eventual setting up of the business.

Optiva Capital offers an opportunity for safety of funds and investments, and as such the Diaspora Investor Direct Investment (DIDI) is intended to bring into the country about $5 billion in investments.

You spoke about transition from “profit to purpose.” So, how do you lead at Optiva; what wakes you up every morning. More so, as we count down to the International Women’s Day in March, what are you doing to ensure more women of purpose emerging from the ranks of Optiva?

A number of years back I read this book, it’s called “Half Time” by Bob Buford. Earlier in my career I worked for two international banks across different capacities for a combined twenty years, and Half Time talks about moving from success to significance and I think a lot of professionals identify with that. That Half Time story happens to different people at different times, you know you have been successful in one space but you seek significance which is about impact, it’s really about purpose, so sometimes people find that they are aligned to their purpose. So though I am still in the financial services industry, it’s a larger platform to serve, to continue to be aligned, to continue to use my personality to make impact for service.

In terms of mentorship, Optiva Capital Partners actually mentors more women to be successful. At Optiva Capital Partners, over seventy percent of our workforce is women. So for us it is not just a one-off thing to celebrate the upcoming International Day for Women, because we are daily committed to empowering our workforce, seventy percent of whom are women, creating opportunities for them to serve, to get better, to grow a career. You know when you raise one woman you raise a generation, because one woman impacts at least five people. So you can then imagine the multiplier effect of that in a workforce of over 1000 people and seventy percent are women.

We also have community service programs and I would like to mention our initiative with the Lagos State government in maternal health. Basically it is to address maternal health care and reduce maternal mortality rate in Nigeria because different World Health organization reports state that Nigeria contributes up to ten percent of the global maternal death. So Optiva Capital Partners is playing a pivotal role with the Lagos State government as we have identified primary health care in the Ketu area, so we are rehabilitating an entire primary health care focusing on maternal health care. The rehabilitation is the facilities, structures, the equipment, and totally upgrading the healthcare facility, and also the referral hospital so it’s about the entire chain to ensure that women from that particular area are taken care of.

There is also an initiative for women in the markets, women at the very end of the pyramid, so it’s about empowering them in terms of how do they get better at their trade, how do they get investments. So, in partnership with a Microfinance Bank we are helping them to formalize their businesses, structure their businesses so that they can get financing and scale up their businesses.