April 27, 2019

I don’t know how banking innovations got into my head — Balogun, founder, FCMB

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By Akoma Chinweoke

Otunba  Michael Olasubomi Balogun,  founder of FCMB Group and Olori Omo-oba of Ijebuland, has  attributed his outstanding success story in life and the country’s banking sector in particular to divine intervention, insisting that he just could not explain how great banking innovations got into his head.

The business icon, who disclosed this in Lagos in an interview, said he was still amazed at his achievements and would remain grateful to God for making him strong  and articulate even  age 85 plus,  adding that, day-after-day, there was a strong conviction that he had a duty to devote the rest of his life to service of  God, and always do things that add significant value to humanity.

Speaking on how he became successful , the Olori Omo-oba of Ijebuland, who has reached an altitude in life that is  continuously shaping his attitude of gratitude to God, had this to say:

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“This is what made me, in addition to divine intervention. At a point in time, the government of this country decided to set up indigenization whereby all foreigners would sell their shares to Nigerians, 40 percent, 60 percent or the whole and we required an issuing house to  do it at the Stock Exchange. I had gained some fame in selling UAC. “

I had also sell Cocoa cola, Mobile Oil, Now at the time they set up indigenization, there were only three companies. There was Nigerian Acceptance. Also, there was ICON, my former employer. So, I came out with what they call City Securities and people were calling me a one man show but luckily I recruited some bright boys. Some geniuses you know now around.

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One of them Ladi Balogun is even the group chairman of FCMB. I recruited so many of the young men who later on became chief executives. So, we started, then I introduced different cultures. In those days, bankers only wore shirts and tie but I said my staff must come in dark suits . Then, we introduced having lunches in the Penthouse. I don’t know how all these innovations got into my head and that is why I had ascribed everything to God”.

Full interview next week.