This appears to be part of a deliberate strategy to grow the Group’s investment management portfolio and build on the inherent synergies between this and banking. It will be recalled that FCMB Group increased its stake in Legacy Pensions (now FCMB Pensions) to 91.6 pecent in 2019 and now has full control of the business.
FCMB Pensions has since grown its assets under management (AUM) to N325 billion with 350,000 customers as at March 2020, while that of AIICO Pensions is estimated at N126 billion with over 240,000. A combined AUM of N451 billion and almost 600,000 customers will take the entire Groups customer base to 8,000,000 and its total AUM (inclusive of all investment management activities) to over N560 billion. In addition, the enlarged pension business will benefit from FCMBs extensive distribution platform, comprising of 200 branches, a strong web and mobile presence; and the recent launch of its Pensions’ online enrolment platform.
READ ALSO: FCMB profit up 9.2% surges to N20 billion
Analysts have already seized on the announcement expressing broadly positive views of its impact for both FCMB Pensions and FCMB Group. One investment banking analyst described it as “a positive move and a statement of intent from FCMBs management to leverage its non-banking businesses to drive profitability”. Another analyst described this as a “Landmark transaction giving a mid-tier player a great opportunity to bulk up”, further remarking that “We believe the combined entity will be better positioned for stronger organic AUM growth and fee income contribution to the Group’s performance”
This acquisition is one of several proactive steps, along with digitisation that the company has embarked upon to enhance its market position and competitiveness as the industry braces itself for the commencement of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) portability.
Investment funds’ performance is also receiving greater attention, especially in the low-interest rate environment. In this regard, FCMB Pensions has strengthened its investment committee with the addition of Mrs. Titi Odunfa Adeoye to its Board of Directors. Mrs. Adeoye is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Sankore. The new Director holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, a BBA in Accounting (summa cum laude) from Howard University and is a Certified Public Accountant (Gold Award). Mrs. Adeoye’s skills in investment strategy were honed at firms like Goldman Sachs in New York. Her area of expertise is strategies for the creation, growth and preservation of individual or family wealth with a focus on “alternative” asset classes.
Speaking about Friday’s announcement, Mr Ladi Balogun, Chairman of the Board of Directors – FCMB Pensions, remarked that “the business intends to use its scale to positive effect towards investing in the growth of the Nigerian economy while ensuring safety and the most competitive returns for its customers”.
First Bank’s FMAP graduates inuagural set of management associates
FMAP is a comprehensive developmental programme targeted at young, dynamic, highly driven individuals.
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider, has graduated 28 successful candidates in its inaugural FirstBank Management Associates Programme (FMAP), virtually held on Tuesday, 30 June 2020 via the Zoom video-conferencing application. The programme which commenced in 2018 had a total of 48 candidates selected from thousands of entries and applications received nationwide.
FMAP is a 24-month fast-track comprehensive developmental programme targeted at young, dynamic, self-motivated and highly driven individuals that possess the right skill set and excellent leadership potential among Junior and entry-level cadre staff. Entries and applications for the programme enrolment was also extended to the public
Speaking about the programme, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said “It is an intensive skill development programme structured to enhance acute thinking, financial, methodical skills of staff. The bank would continue to reinvest in its human capital to create a kind of leadership needed for future growth and development.”
“This is part of the Bank’s strategic objectives of infusing and developing leadership at requisite levels across its staff hierarchy, aimed at building the next generation of leaders who will be groomed to drive the Bank’s vision of being Africa’s Bank of first choice,” he concluded.
At the end of the programme, successful candidates are moved to middle management, becoming Management Associates irrespective of their grades at the point of entry.
Cross country postings and secondment opportunities are also offered to such staff to provide them with global exposure and network.
First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 125 years.
With over 750 business locations and over 57,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 15 million customers. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.
The Bank has been nimble at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 9million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 3 million people on FirstMobile platform.
Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.
FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.
Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications
Raising finance to acquire a marginal field? Key issues to consider – FBNQuest
The energy sector, and in particular, upstream oil and gas, remains a critical sector for Nigeria.
On the 1st of June 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria (“FGN”) via the Department of Petroleum Resources (“DPR”) formally announced the commencement of the long-awaited marginal field bid round. According to the guidelines published by the DPR, a marginal field is defined as a field that has been discovered and left unattended for a period of not less than 10 years from the date of first discovery or such field as the President may from time to time, identify as a marginal field. The first marginal field bid process occurred in 2001 and resulted in the award of 24 marginal fields to 32 companies. Another bid round was scheduled to take place in 2013 but was subsequently suspended. In this latest bid round, a total of 57 fields located on a combination of land, swamp and shallow terrains are on offer and there has been significant interest from investors in the process thus far.
Innovative financing will be critical particularly in the context of the current low oil price environment and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is therefore important that preferred bidders understand the need to structure optimal and bankable financings for the development of the asset post-acquisition.
Robust Financing Structures
This encompasses the source of financing, framework and the various contracts that underpin how the financing will be availed. Reserve based lending structures, contractor financing and forward sale/prepayment structures are some forms that are likely to be utilized by prospective financiers. A critical element in all possible financing structures and indeed most project financing type transactions is the offtake agreement. In the oil and gas industry, an off-take agreement establishes the contractual framework for the purchase and sale of oil and or gas between the seller and the off-taker. The terms of the agreements are typically negotiated before field development and will become effective upon completion of the project and production from the field commences. This project document is quite key in ensuring the financing is secured for the project as it provides evidence that validates the financial model and cash flow projections that will underpin the asset cash flows. Offtake agreements have also become increasingly important for financing structures that involve some form of forward sale or prepayment. Lenders will seek to review the terms of the agreements as well as the creditworthiness of potential off-taker(s) and will often require that these parties either be of a specified credit rating and if not, be able to provide additional credit support (letter of credit/guarantees) to assure performance of their obligations under the agreement. Given that this document (amongst others) contributes towards the bankability of the transaction, it is generally and in most cases made a condition precedent to the financing and will be expected to be in place prior to the disbursement of funds. Other aspects of the financing structure which needs to be considered by prospective bidders include validation of reserves and escrow accounts, hedging requirements, defined cash waterfalls, credit enhancements from the sponsors and the inclusion of parties such as security trustee, facility agent and a technical consultant to validate the technical and operating assumptions in the financial models.
Independent Due Diligence
In the oil and gas industry, due diligence is critical in view of the significant quantum of investment, as well as the technical, commercial and environmental complexities which can expose parties to significant risks. Due diligence is sure to be undertaken by prospective financiers however, the level of due diligence will largely be dependent on the type of financing that the bidder is seeking to raise, with project finance structures requiring extensive levels of due diligence. Bidders should note that although internal due diligence may have been undertaken on the intended assets, financiers will still seek to independently validate the due diligence results provided by the client. Typically, financiers will require the services of specialists in various fields such as Technical (Surface and Subsurface), Legal, Environmental, Insurance and a Financial Model, Accounting and Tax Auditor. Due diligence in the aforementioned areas are key for project finance transactions and even more so in an upstream oil and gas deal where cash flows and repayments are based on oil and or gas reserves.
Based on the independent due diligence results, prospective financiers will seek to ensure that transaction risks have been allocated to the parties’ best placed to handle such risks. As a bidder, it is advisable to have thought through all possible risks of the proposed transaction and work towards ensuring that risks such as geological, operational, environmental, price, regulatory risks and others are suitably mitigated. Extensive due diligence is therefore required particularly in Technical (Reserves and Associated Infrastructure) and Environmental areas. In addition, other critical requirements set out in the existing guidelines such as, evidence of technical capabilities of the management and operational teams, proposed field development plans, evacuation infrastructure etc are essential aspects of the deal which need to be taken into consideration and will be critically reviewed by prospective lenders. In spite of the current macro-economic environment, significant interest from numerous prospective investors shows that industry participants believe the process is long overdue irrespective of timing. The energy sector, and in particular, upstream oil and gas, remains a critical sector for Nigeria. It is therefore in the interest of all industry participants that the marginal field bid round process is transparent and that bids are carefully evaluated against stringent criteria to ensure that these marginal fields are ultimately awarded to firms and or consortiums with the technical capacity and financial backing required to develop and operate these assets. Finance will be a critical aspect of this process and to ensure that industry players are able to successfully attract the funding required, the above items should be carefully considered as the bid round progresses.
Head Oil, Gas & Infrastructure, Debt Solutions, FBNQuest.
Zenith Bank ranks Nigeria’s Number One Bank according to Tier-1 Capital
Zenith Bank extended its lead over the second-placed bank in Nigeria.
Zenith Bank Plc has ranked in the position of the Number One Bank in Nigeria.
The ranking was done by Tier-1 Capital in the 2020 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine.
The ranking which was published in the July 2020 edition of The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group, United Kingdom, was based on the 2019 year-end Tier-1 capital of banks globally. Climbing a whopping 29 spots from 415 in 2019 to 386 in the 2020 global ranking of banks, Zenith Bank retained its position as the number one Tier-1 bank in Nigeria with Tier-1 Capital of $2.79 billion, an increase of 16.1% on the $2.40 billion recorded in the 2019 rankings.
According to the Ranking Report, Zenith Bank extended its lead over the second-placed bank in Nigeria. Zenith’s financial performance for the year was underpinned by a 29% increase in non-interest income, with an improved market share in both retail and corporate sectors.
Speaking on the latest rankings, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu said: “this ranking, which further attests to our market leadership, is the outcome of a well-thought-out strategy of always delighting and creating value for our teeming customers through a broad range of superior product offerings, best-in-class service and top-of-the-range technology.”
Recent awards received by the bank include; The Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co. It was voted as Bank of the Year and Best Bank in Retail Banking at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.
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Most recently, the bank was recognized as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the third consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2020”, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance “World’s Best Banks Awards 2020” and the Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020.