Dr. Olaolu Mudasiru M.B; B.S, MSc: "Starting a business requires a lot of courage"


Dr. Olaolu Mudasiru has had a career of two parts. After training in medicine and working for a few years as a resident doctor in Lagos, Nigeria he realised his real passion was for investment banking. What motivated him to go into such a different career path? "I developed an interest in finance whilst I was in medical school and was exposed to investment banking through friends and I realised that my skills and interests were most suited to investment banking."

After becoming a Trainee Stockbroker, Olaolu read for an MSc in International Securities, Investments and Banking at the ICMA Centre, now part of Henley Business School. Following a few years in Business Development roles, he co- founded Vetiva, a Pan-African Financial Services Company, in 2003.

Like many entrepreneurs, he has found that "starting a business requires a lot of courage because of the obvious uncertainties." The company recently had cause to celebrate on concluding an enormous M&A deal, "one of the biggest on the African Continent in 2014, and one of the largest in Nigerian history." Olaolu attributes Vetiva’s success to "believing a good job is more than just a pay cheque. We strive to deliver an unflinching commitment to our core values of perseverance, tenacity, ethical & professional practices and innovation."

In the past decade Olaolu has seen significant changes in the field. "The investment banking industry in Nigeria was dominated by a few traditional investment banks and investment banking activities were limited to Plain Vanilla Capital raising projects. Things have changed dramatically since then with the entrance of a few bulge bracket investment firms such as JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank."

The past ten years has been a time of great change not just in the banking sector but across Nigerian society. "I think the gradual re-emergence of the middle class has been the most visible change in the country from an economic perspective.  We have also seen significant increases in FDI into the country. This has been supported by a relatively stable exchange rate and political climate."

Olaolu  sees this trend continuing: "Nigeria is a middle-income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding financial, service, telecommunications and entertainment sectors. The Nigerian economy has been growing robustly over the years at above 6.5% to 7% annually. So making the list of 'MINT Countries' speaks volume and acknowledges that Nigeria is indeed going in the right direction."

After leaving Reading, Mudasiru set up the Vetiva prize, one of the longest running and most successful ICMA Centre student prizes. "It was set up to promote our vision for professional excellence.  It has been especially fulfilling to see young professionals from the African continent being rewarded for hard work."

Olaolu credits his time at the ICMA Centre with teaching him to "always push the frontiers of my professional practice." And most importantly, that "exposure makes ALL the difference!"

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