By Babajide Komolafe
NOVA Merchant Bank Limited, a newly licensed merchant bank with a focus on wholesale banking, investment banking and asset management, formally commenced operations yesterday, unveiling its objective to re-establish merchant banking as a key economic driver by providing long-term funds and advisory services.
Speaking at the media launch of the bank in Lagos yesterday, the promoter of the bank and its chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, says “Banking is changing globally with the emergence of new entrants and the infusion of non-traditional business models leveraging advances in technology. We believe Nigeria should not be left behind. Therefore, NOVA is here to bring a new experience in the banking industry. That was why we selected the name, NOVA, which means new. We want to do new things.”
Dwelling on the strength of the new bank, Mr. Oduoza, who until recently was the Group/Chief Executive Officer of a leading pan-African bank, noted that NOVA is equipped with talented people and cutting-edge technology, necessary to deliver its mandate as a merchant bank. “We have structured our products and designed our business model around merchant banking. We have carved a niche for ourselves and we believe strongly we will deliver in this area,” he promised the customers.
The launch was attended by dignitaries including the President, Dangote Industries, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr. Oscar Onyema, the Managing Director/CEO, FMDQ Mr. Bola Onadele and Chairman of UBA, Mr. Tony Elumelu amongst others.
Declaring the bank open, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Special Guest of Honour, commended the promoter of the bank who he considered to be a thorough bred professional with a strong track record of achievements in the banking industry. He expressed his confidence in the quality of the board of directors of the bank and the senior management team.
The Managing Director of the Bank, Chinedu Ikwudinma further explained the strategic direction of the bank stating NOVA will focus on wholesale banking by offering trade services, project financing, cash management, corporate solutions, advisory services etc. In investment banking, the bank would be looking at mergers and acquisition, advisory services, securities and trading, wealth and asset management as well as debt and equity capital management.