HomeEMAGES ARCHIVES COLLECTIONSEMAGESLIFE › A FACE TO FACE WITH OLUWASEYI ABE, CEO/Managing Director, Magnartis Finance & Investment Ltd. Board Member, Central Securities Clearing Systems Plc Immediate Past President, CIC at Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers.
EMAGESLIFE › A FACE TO FACE WITH OLUWASEYI ABE, CEO/Managing Director, Magnartis Finance & Investment Ltd. Board Member, Central Securities Clearing Systems Plc Immediate Past President, CIC at Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers.
CEO OLUWASEYI ABE TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF, SUCCESS STORY, PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS AND HOW IT FEELS TO MANAGE ONE OF THE BIGGEST STOCK BROKER IN NIGERIA.
Edited By: Omotayo ELAWURE
A portfolio gives you a general idea of how your investments are doing without having to look at each investment separately. A healthy portfolio would mean that you are booking profits and you have invested your money in the right places. Managing your portfolio consistently ensures that it remains healthy and helps you avoid losses. Regular monitoring of your portfolio will also tell you which investments are earning your profits and which investments you need to sell to cut losses.
As detailed in this face-to-face interview with Oluwaseyi Abe, CEO/Managing Director, Magnartis Finance and Investment Ltd, and learn how he is taking the stock market business world by storm, with his extraordinary accomplishment at a time. You may be inspired to also step into his portfolio by creating your own professional success story!
EMAGES: CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF?
ABE: My name is Oluwaseyi Abe. I am from Osun state, I come from a town called Ijebu-Ijesha where I have my elementary school and higher education and then attended Ilesha grammar school. I attended the University of Ife. Afterward, I came to Lagos and started working in a bank, I added to my qualification by obtaining two Master’s Degrees, I later wrote a professional exam as a security dealer, and it has a stopover. Subsequently, it has been an investment-banking job; I have been in the capital market space and seek for a period of twenty-five years. My experience has taken me to two sides of financial strategy – the money and the capital market. I can discuss the two types of the market without talking about the in-depth expert of it.
EMAGES: WHAT WAS YOUR DREAM JOB BEFORE BECOMING THE CEO/MANAGING DIRECTOR OF MAGNARTIS FINANCE AND INVESTMENT LTD?
ABE: Well I remember very well, when I wanted to be a banker not because they earn a huge salary, but I have an uncle who is still alive (Mr. Ranti Orioke). When I was a young boy, anytime he comes around, he gives us new notes as a gift, and so as a determined young boy, I wanted to do the job he is doing to get new notes. So I decided to become a banker because of that new note, but as I progressed in my career, I came to realize that being a banker is not about a new note; you have to be a professional, and banking is wide. As such, I need to specialize in one area. After I graduated, I was lucky; the late Olasore employed me to his bank called Lead Merchant bank. In my first year in the bank, I was sent for training as a stockbroker, I resisted as I wanted to be in the bank and pursue my dream but my immediate boss called me, Mr. John, and told me stockbroking is one of the most paying jobs in United State or anywhere in the world and gradually I accepted and went for the training in Nal Merchant bank, and Nigeria stockbrokers limited before returning back to Lead Merchant bank to start work known today as Lead Capital. The excess of the training for me was to mingle with professionals, learn the rudiment, and replicate or form the same structure within the bank.
EMAGES: CAN YOU TELL US EVERYTHING ABOUT MAGNARTIS FINANCE AND INVESTMENT LTD?
ABE: Magnartis Finance and Investment Ltd is a Nigerian Stock Exchange company. We deal with in all parts of security finance, stock exchange, the FMDQ, MASD, and of course, we are licensed Stock Broker. We give you commodity as well but we all know the commodity market in Nigeria is a roll-in. We participate in all forms of stock exchange transactions and when people ask me what I do, I tell them I make money for people because we invest all our assets for people and we do some work for the government under the statutory regulatory, but majorly we are dealers, so it’s all about making money for people.
EMAGES: IN ONE WORD, CAN YOU PLEASE DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
ABE: I like challenges; I do not look for easy-going ways I want to pass through even if I am burnt, I do not mind because that is who I am.
EMAGES: WHAT WAS THE JOURNEY LIKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
ABE: It was tough because I lost my father when I was very young, I was crossing from primary to secondary school then I thought the end of the world had come. My mother had a slogan “that I will rather not wear cloth than you people not going to school”, it was a very challenging period especially when she took me on, all through the higher school period and then the university days, up to graduation and service and she then told Mr. Olasore to look for a job for me. When I started working in the bank, I realized I have to do more than my friends, at a point, I was put to the marketing department so I went for a marketing program at a Masters Level afterwards, I realize I have to build a saving culture that was why I enrolled again for an MBA. Thereafter, settling down with work, which has learned and has paid off. I work in the pension industry, almost all areas of the bank except financial control since am not an accountant, but as far as marketing is concerned, I know my way around.
EMAGES: CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US THE TOUGHEST DECISION YOU HAVE MADE AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT?
ABE: I had two fraud encounters. You have one of your colleagues involved in fraud and were caught in the act, some institutions would fire those colleagues but I was not trained like that. I think everything about abomination should be dealt with and not to stand on the situation. If somebody is a first-timer and is involved in fraud, sacking is not a solution. What is obtainable is resolving the root cause or allegation. It can be a successful fraud if you do not know what you are doing and when you are not smart. It has happened twice in the course of my career and I guided them on the right path. When you have such a situation, you become firmer in your work approach. Like a story, I read, about a person who withdrew money without a card. I do not deal with people on an error basis. I do not expect anything from the human relationship. EMAGES: WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS?
ABE: What I have achieved in my long years of working experience is to form multiple streams of income for myself in the construction of a portfolio that would sustain me in life. Such that if I work or not I will be fine. The other part has been able to put smiles on some people’s faces through my profession.
EMAGES: WHAT DRIVE PERFORMANCE RESULT IN YOU?
ABE: As an individual, you have to be proactive there is no room for you to react in any situation, you have to assume the situation as it is.
EMAGES: WHAT ARE THE COMPANY HIGHEST PRIORITY GOALS THAT YOUR ROLES AS A CEO/MANAGING DIRECTOR HAVE CONTRIBUTED POSITIVELY?
ABE: 2019 was a challenging year in Nigeria, as we speak, people are discussing the economy cause; the economy is dying and sleeping away. The country is going through what I call a trap in a political career. The thing about politicians here in Nigeria is that, as a nation when you are going through a political situation your asset is not attractive whatever happens now determine what happens tomorrow. We expect the country to have some new set of ministers. There is a very wide gap between politicians and professionals. If you can fix major institutions, that can build on what we have achieved in the company, I think many things would happen in the future. In the country when a budget is approved, it is for the year, but these days we do not even have a direction, all this has their impact on the situation of the economy.
EMAGES: HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR SANITY?
ABE: There is nothing certain; everyday of our life is a risk. The professional achievement is to build something that can sustain you because of experience.
EMAGES: WHAT WILL HELP YOUNG BUSINESS EXECUTIVE TO MAKE A SMARTER DECISION IN LIFE?
ABE: Depending on any business you are doing, it requires patience because you cannot build a room in a day; if you plant a seed of corn today, you will not eat it before the day. My candid advice to young business executive is they should take decisions that have a positive and non-harmful effect and not decision base on a short time.
EMAGES: HOW MANY SYSTEMS DO YOU USE TO TRACK HOW EMPLOYEES ARE DOING THEIR WORK EFFICIENTLY?
ABE: It depends on how the institution is divided, for our industry we have something called a minimum of rating standard it is about how you are rating business and the functionality of that arrangement. If you put people there to mount the division, the number of errors you get will determine their efficiency, if things are working, the error complain will be minimized and when there is a problem, when you look at it you will know where the problem is coming from. As an executive, you concentrate majorly on empowering your colleague to let them work as if you are not coming to work and give them the opportunities to perform higher roles.
EMAGES: What is your ideal business goals and designs?
ABE: The goal of any business is to make money. My ideal goal is that we have a system that is functioning, structured and run seamlessly. The business is so specific that their certain names I will give to a colleague that does not have to explain and know what to do.
EMAGES: WHAT IS LEADERSHIP TO YOU?
ABE: Is about managing people and getting the precise results. To manage people, you need to manage yourself first and give people opportunities. Leadership is not about ruling; it is about organizing people to make a system work. Once one part of the system is not working, it will surely affect the whole system. Therefore, you must be involved to create that structure.
EMAGES: WHO IS THE BEST CEO?
ABE: The best CEO is the one who is left to his table, a CEO that does not push work to the next day, and that runs efficiently.
EMAGES: CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US AN ACCOMPLISHMENT THAT SHOOK YOUR CAREER?
ABE: My mentor Olasore; I learned from him that while working for people you have to plan to be independent on your own. You have to have an identity in what you are doing.
EMAGES: WHAT DO YOU VALUE MOST ABOUT CULTURE ADMISSION IN A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION?
ABE: I value professionalism and trust.
EMAGES: WHAT TRUST DOES A MANAGER NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN AN ORGANIZATION?
ABE: He has to know his work very well and do it professionally. The word professionalism is a very wide word in my course of career I do not forget people that dealt with me professionally. In my job, I encounter people every day, and when you find out that people do not do anything for nothing, that is what I call professionalism. I do not have to give you a tip of money before you do your job because if I do that, you will not focus on the job.
EMAGES: What have your employees learnt from you?
ABE: I do not know unless I call them and ask, maybe some of them dress neatly cause am neat and some dress anyhow they like.
EMAGES: Can you successfully deal with underperforming employees?
ABE: Have you set goals that are achievable for him? Have you allowed him to run in those posts? Have you involved an efficient SMS process? Have you found out that he or she cannot perform those goals or execute those tasks? Have you attempted to train him? I do not have to fire him if he is not working, try not to move him to another function or department, am sure before we execute that process the performance will be up.
EMAGES: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STOCK AND A SHARE?
ABE: They are almost the same thing.
EMAGES: WHAT IS A BOND?
ABE: A bond is an IOU to debt instrument. It is a first-time charge of any institution. Why they call it bond is just IOU no simpler meaning.
EMAGES: WHAT DOES A RISK MEAN?
ABE: Risk means evaluating the success of the action and weighing the success factors and the factors that will not make it successful. In investment the higher the risk, the higher the return that is the rule.
EMAGES: WHAT IS A MUTUAL FUND?
ABE: A mutual fund is a collection of funds that you do not want to invest in a bank. You probably look for a fund and invest in it so you have broken down your rule if you invest in that fund.
EMAGES: WHAT AN ELECTRONIC TRADED FUND (ETF)?
ABE: Electronic Traded Fund, we have a whole lot of product in the market some are listed and some are not listed, depending on the character of those funds, the market is coming up with delegacy and trying to list all those products in the market, to bring transparency, you list them to make them tradeable.
EMAGES: AS AN INVESTOR, DO I NEED A BROKER TO BUY A STOCK?
ABE: You need a broker to guide you because to invest, a broker will weigh your risk appetite, the normal thing is that we work at your age bracket, there are three stages in asset management class, we have the accumulation stage, and we call it life circle stage, it is between the age of 20 and 45. After that stage, we have the consolidation stage it is between the age 45 and 60. The last stage is what we call the gifting that time you are minimum a grandpa, a stage you have a decent stream of income. If you go to a stockbroker he will profile in those three lines and marry your risk appetite with the investment he wants to do for you, he will design a portfolio for you before anything can be done.
EMAGES: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUY A STOCK?
ABE: Depending on the outcome of demand and supply of the individual.
EMAGES: DO I HAVE TO PAY TAXES FROM THE MONEY YOU EARN FROM STOCK?
ABE: No. you pay your tax on the dividend that you have on the stock.
EMAGES: WHAT HAPPEN IF I BUY A STOCK AND WANT MY MONEY BACK?
ABE: It depends if the money has not been reputed, the transaction has not been reputed, or if you have bought the stock, you have to sell for you to get your money.
EMAGES: HOW DOES INVESTING IN SHARES WORK?
ABE: It depends on how the company you are investing into. Investing in shares means buying and keeping them for a while in order to make money. There are two ways of getting money from shares of a company: If the company grows and becomes more valuable, the share is worth more – so your investment is worth more too. Some shares pay you part of the company’s profits each year, called a dividend. If you buy shares in larger, long-established companies you will probably get dividends, but you might not get rapid growth. Shares that pay regular dividends are good for getting an income or the dividends can be re-invested to grow your capital but smaller companies often do not pay dividends. They might have more chance to grow rapidly, but can be more risky.
EMAGES: WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF INVESTMENT?
ABE: It depends on the outside crash. If you are investing, Treasury bill is almost zero risks because you are investing against the asset of the nation and federal, repute is risky to follow the law of demand and supply, in which income is a function of how well the company is functioning. Therefore, your risk is tied to the institution you are investing into.
EMAGES: What are the cost of buying and selling the stock investment?
ABE: The cost ranges from 2 to 3.5% but I know some investors complain that is too high but these charges are mandatory as stipulated by various authorities.