Rotimi has over 33 years’ experience in Financial Services, private equity investing, M&A advisory, and senior management with leading institutions in Africa.
Prior to joining Apis, he was Chairman of RenMoney until 2016, Group Head, Ecobank Capital Nigeria until 2013, CEO of Renaissance Group West Africa and MD of Renaissance Partners (Private Equity arm of Renaissance Group).
Rotimi was with African Capital Alliance (ACA) for 18 years, where he served as Chief Investment Officer. He was also responsible for establishing the SME Fund for ACA in 2001 and was CEO of the Fund from inception, as well as being a Principal in Capital Alliance Private Equity Fund (Nigeria’s first structured fund).
Rotimi lives in Lagos, Nigeria and enjoys providing business advice to financial institutions and other businesses.
My favourite fiction author is John Grisham. While not a lawyer, his books give insights into what happens in real life that we most times cannot comprehend. I have read all his books and they usually are based on real life situations which shows how complex the world is and can be. Problem is that with Apis, one doesn’t have much time to read anything that’s not Apis related however I try to get some reading while traveling (either on the plane or while waiting in airport lounges).
What are your favourite hobbies?
My favourite hobby is travelling with my daughters. In the past 15 years we have travelled to different cities across the world for one week in December and we spend the next week in Lagos, Nigeria. The first week allows us to bond with each other. We have been to Jo’burg, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Paris, Nairobi (on Safari), Mombasa, Desert Springs, Malta, London (obviously), Miami, Rolando, St Louis, Missouri. Nothing like bonding with the family.
What’s your passion in Growth Markets?
My real passion over the last 3 years has been how to understand what is stopping the deepening of financial inclusion in Nigeria. In a bid to understand this, I have attracted a few friends into an informal grouping to drive our understanding of the challenges. This group include CEO National Switch in Nigeria, CEO Nigeria’s 3rd largest mobile operator, CEO Nigeria’s Bank of Industry, CEO Nigeria’s largest online retail business, CEO, Nigeria’s largest insurance Company and 2 Professors from the Lagos Business School. Our work is based on empirical evidence supported by data from the businesses involved. Very open discussions and we should be publishing our findings and our intention is to present this to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Vice President of Nigeria.
Why work with Growth Markets?
Investment in Growth Markets has very many facets to it. First there is the investment returns aspect but there is the social impact aspect which in my view is just as important to the development of Growth Markets. During my previous professional life, I was fortunate to have been involved in a National program established by the Central Bank of Nigeria which was to provide equity funding for SMEs. What became clear was the need to provide support to the management of the SMEs because their primary problem was not funding as they claimed. My involvement with SMEs which I invested in demonstrated that SMEs and businesses in Growth Markets can make better returns if they have adequate information about their industry, knowledge about where to find the skills which can be transferred to locals as well understanding the key drivers of their businesses.