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Thursday, April 22, 2021

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Choosing the Right Digital Strategy

The Focus of BusinessDay / NetPlusDotComs’ April Edition of Monthly Digital Webinar Series for SMEs April marks the 4th month in the year-long digital transformation webinar series by BusinessDay and NetPlusDotCom. Themed “Choosing the right strategy for your business’, the webinar promises to guide attendees through redefining their business goals, creating a balance between satisfying their customers, ensuring profitability, and dealing with the competition. Speaking at this event are, Eyitayo Ogunmola, the founder of Utiva; Chibuike Goodnews, CEO of Dochase Adx Limited; Olusegun Adeniyi, Chief Digital Officer of Wema Bank and Nike Agbakosi, Consulting Lead at Jobberman. An elite group with years of real time experience to ensure the audience leaves the e-event confidently equipped with a direction to accomplishing their goals. Read Also: Linkage Assurance Plc Unveils New Brand Identity to Strengthen its Objective “The success of a business is largely dependent on clearly defining the direction of the company’s goals and mission, choosing the right strategy provides every individual involved with a guide and a vision path to accomplishing great strides in their respective industries. This April, we have selecting these experts to help enlighten and equip our audience with this knowledge breakdown” Wole Faroun, CEO of NetPlusDotCom. This month’s edition will hold on Thursday April 29, 2021 from 10:00am – 11:30am. To register for this event, please visit https://bit.ly/32woms0 Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now. Subscribe

Retro Africa exhibition to focus on figurative art

Retro Africa has announced that its upcoming exhibition presents “Changing Faces: New Frontiers in Figurative Art”, which is a solo contemporary art exhibition by Alimi Adewale. The exhibition, it said, is curated by Dolly Kola-balogun and Ugonna Ibe-ejiogu. The exhibition scheduled from April 31 to June 25, 2021 at the Retro Africa Gallery, Abuja, incorporates the mastery of materiality and process as a response to recent global upheavals which include the world-wide pandemic and protests against state’s sanctioned police violence in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, United States, and worldwide. The organisers explained in a statement that the exhibition which spread across the two floors of the gallery, changing faces will present newly commissioned sitespecific works consisting of more than 15 large impasto paintings and medium to extra-large minimalist and abstract sculptures coated in acrylics, vividly diversified by the inclusion of the rich racial varieties that make up our human constitution. Read Also: Olukorede Adenowo, Executive Director, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, speaks on his career and goals It noted that the installation of works suspended from the ceiling beams adds on ethreal dimension, adding that,”alimi repurposes long-held tenets of European, modern and indigenous art into new visions of African figuration.” The exhibition also lays emphasis on our commonwealth as keepers of the human race tasked with unifying a deeply divided world, further fractured by religious differences, income and gender equities, rather than emphasising on what separates us as individuals. The statement explained that Alimi’s latest solo exhibition at Retro Africa is a timely intervention for our troubled contemporary times, as well as bold new progression in his commanding oeuvre The exhibition would be held at Retro Africa Gallery, No 12 Ukpabiasika Street, Asokoro, Abuja.

CrossPoint Innovate to Conduct Training for Business Growth

As has been proven, Growth is essential for the long-term survival of any business. It makes it easier for businesses to acquire assets, attract good talent and fund investments as it drives performance and profits. It also allows for businesses to capitalise on growing their brand, responding to market demand, increasing their marketing share and staving off competition by leveraging innovative marketing strategies that create a distinct and differentiated proposition. If this all sounds interesting to you then, join CrossPoint Innovate (a youth empowerment programme by Crosspoint Lagos) as they discuss ‘Leveraging Innovative Strategies for Business Growth’. Read Also: How to create business SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) This discussion which will be facilitated by industry experts; Otega Ogra (Group Head, Corporate Communications at BUA Group) and Ose Osundeko (Group Head, Digital Marketing at Fidelity Bank Plc) is aimed at empowering businesses to boost their credibility, broaden their supply base and increase their stability and profits. It holds online at 10AM this Saturday, 24th of April, 2021 and registration is completely free. All you have to do is visit https://cpinnovate.webflow.io/ to register and be there! Successful and sustainable growth is possible regardless of your size of business. Let them work you through taking the right actions to grow your business.

Linkage Assurance Plc Unveils New Brand Identity to Strengthen its Objective

Linkage Assurance Plc one of Nigeria’s leading insurance company has unveiled its new brand identity. Since its inception in 1991, the company has constantly evolved to meet the ever-changing demand of the industry. The change in the company’s logo embodies a new blue, red, and orange. The inspiration behind the transformation is to reflect the new core values of the company, and to restate the qualities of trust, innovation, excellence, sincerity, and reliability that the company is recognized for. Commenting on the new brand identity, Mr. Daniel Braie, CEO of Linkage Assurance Plc stated that the new logo and recapitalization efforts of the company present our aspiration as “Bigger, Bolder and Better” to offer exceptional insurance protection to individuals and businesses in Nigeria. Read Also: Unity Bank’s profit dip 38% in 2020 amid credit, revaluation loss He said; “Even though our logo is changing, what is not changing is our purpose and dedication to delivering on our promises to our stakeholders”. “To us here at Linkage Assurance Plc, this goes beyond a logo change. Our new identity is one of many parts of our transformation process and it helps to strengthen our purpose. It is a reflection of where we are heading, through our commitment to protect our policyholders, reinforce our legacy of trust while also capturing the spirit of the dynamic future we see ahead of us. Speaking further, Mr. Braie said that the new logo with its crisp, clean feel, captures Linkage’s dynamism and excellence whilst bringing a sense of rejuvenation and growth in the company. Linkage Assurance Plc is an insurance company which offers insurance protection for automobiles, homes, retail, commercial businesses in oil and gas, marine, aviation, and agriculture in Nigeria.

Shareholders Applaud FCMB, Approve Dividend of N2.97bn at AGM

Shareholders of FCMB Group Plc (www.fcmbgroup.com) have restated their confidence in the financial institution to sustain its impressive performance and deliver more value. The shareholders gave the commendation at the 8th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Group held on April 21, 2021 at its corporate head office in Lagos. They also unanimously approved the payment of a dividend of N2.97 billion, translating to 15 kobo per ordinary share for the year ended December 31, 2020, as against 14 kobo per share the previous year. The AGM was held virtually due the prevailing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and streamed live via www.fcmb.com/AGM to shareholders of the financial institution. This is in conformity with government’s directives on physical distancing and the restriction on maximum number of people at every gathering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual meeting is also in accordance with Section 254 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 and as approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission. FCMB Group is a holding company divided along three business groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Corporate & Investment Banking (The Corporate Banking Division of the Bank, FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited) and Investment Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited). The Chairman of FCMB Group, Mr. Oladipupo Jadesimi, along with the Group Chief Executive, Mr. Ladi Balogun; Company Secretary/General Counsel, Mrs. Funmi Adedibu; a Director of the Group, Mrs. Olapeju Sofowora; Executive Director, Corporate Banking & Investment Banking of the Group, Mr. Olufemi Badeji, representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission as well as leaders of shareholder Associations, were present at the meeting. Speaking at the AGM, the Co-ordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, praised the institution for efficiently running its affairs and the appreciable growth recorded in key operating areas. According to him, “FCMB is a great institution and we are glad that its value is growing. The fact that it has been able to meet all its financial obligations to its creditors is a very good sign of strength. It also shows the seriousness of the management to remain worthy of doing business with. From the results, it is clear that the management has done its best to grow all the subsidiaries, thereby contributing significantly to profit and the overall performance of the Group. We appreciate the results and dividends declared by FCMB, while looking forward to many more years of prosperity”. Also commenting, the National Co-ordinator of Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria Mrs. Bisi Bakare, stated that, “we are impressed by the digital transformation drive of FCMB which has impacted positively on customer service and financial inclusion. We commend FCMB for the introduction of paperless and cardless transactions at branches and other touch points. We are also happy that the Bank intervened to support the government and Nigerians to ease the problems caused by COVID-19 through various support. It is also a thing of joy to see the Bank carrying out several activities to grow businesses and empower Nigerians, especially youths. The 2020 results are a welcome development”. The National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie, said, “FCMB as a Group has done so well over the years in every aspect of business. The institution is growing rapidly with branches all over the country. It is also performing well in terms of innovation, technology and customer service. Profit and dividend are rapidly increasing going by the 2020 financial results. The dividend payment of 15k to shareholders is a very good one in the midst of the difficult situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, FCMB Group has done excellently well and we are optimistic of a brighter future”. Presenting the report for the year ended December 31, 2020, the Chairman, Mr. Jadesimi, assured that FCMB Group is well positioned to continue to succeed in the years to come, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. He attributed the optimism to the decisions that the financial institution has made over the past few years, especially those around leveraging new digital technology, to expand access to financial transactions. According to him, ‘’the Board of Directors has adopted a policy that seeks to provide investors with a stable and sustainable form of capital distribution, with consideration given to the growth and capital requirements of the business, thereby maximising long-term share value for shareholders’’. On his part, the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun, reported that inspite of the challenging macroeconomic environment, the Group grew profit after tax by 13.4% to N19.7billion. He added that this increase had a direct correlation with earnings per share, which grew from 87 kobo in 2019 to 98 kobo in 2020, while return on average equity also rose to 9.2% from 9%. He stated that, “our businesses continue to improve with growth in other key indicators, such as loans and advances 14.9% and total assets 23.4%. Customer deposits grew by 33.3% to over N1.2 trillion with a large portion of the growth coming from current and savings accounts. Our customer base in the Group also increased from 6.8 million to 8.3 million. Our investment management businesses increased their assets by 23% to almost N500 billion at the end of the year’’. Mr. Balogun further reported that, “across the Group, our digital transformation gathered momentum, with the total number of internet banking growing by 43% to 6.6 million. Transaction volumes from mobile banking (App and USSD) grew by 74% in 2020. Our digital loans grew from N14.5 billion in 2019 to N54.6 billion at the end of 2020. Innovation and efficiency gains will be the key pillars on which we seek to raise our game in the near future. We expect that in 2021, we will continue with the strides we have made with our digital initiatives, as our technology platforms and products continue to contribute to our performance and competitiveness. We will remain resilient and innovative in charting new avenues for growth. We will also remain committed to elevating the quality of life of all our stakeholders’’.Speaking on the response of FCMB Group to the challenges of COVID-19, he disclosed that the financial institution contributed immensely to the efforts at combating the spread of the pandemic  and alleviating the pains of the most vulnerable members of the society by donating N250 million to the CACOVID initiative. The Group Chief Executive added that, “we also supported state governments across the country to provide testing, palliatives, various medical items, including Personal Protective Equipment and ambulances to assist them effectively equip and secure health workers. We also provided catalytic support for givefood.ng. Through this initiative, one million vulnerable Nigerians had access to meals during the height of the government lockdown’’. FCMB Group and its subsidiaries have consistently proved their mettle as resilient institutions with significant improvement on all financial fundamentals over the years. Among other results for the year 2020, the Group’s gross revenue increased to N199.4 billion, a 10% increase from N181.3 billion achieved in 2019. The results also showed enhanced customers confidence in FCMB, as deposits grew by 33% to N1.3trillion from N943.1billion in the previous year. Loans and advances surged by 15% to N822.8 billion as at December 2020. Total assets of the Group increased by 23% to N2.06 trillion last year. Moreover, FCMB Group’s net interest income was up by 20% to N90.8 billion for the full year 2020 from N76.0 billion in 2019. Non-interest income equally increased to N37.8 billion, representing a 9% growth, as against N34.8 billion prior year. The Group’s Assets Under Management (AUM) also sustained its growth trajectory by rising to N495.2 billion for the year ended December 2020, up by 23%. Similarly, capital adequacy ratio remained stable at 17.7% for the retail and commercial banking subsidiary of the Group (that is, First City Monument Bank). The capital adequacy ratio of 17.7% is above the benchmark set by the Central Bank of Nigeria for deposit money Banks in the country. Liquidity ratio of the Bank stood at 34.2% as at the end of the financial year 2020, indicating that the financial institution is in a very healthy position. Non-performing loans to total loans ratio stood at a modest 3.3%. Analysts have already expressed broadly positive views on FCMB’s 2020 financial results. An analyst described it as, “very encouraging”. A financial expert stated that, “the 2020 results of the Group is a clear indication that the business is on a stronger pedestal with capacity to deliver more value to shareholders, the market and other stakeholders”. FCMB Group is a frontline financial services institution in Nigeria with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments. Having successfully transformed to a retail banking and wealth management led group, FCMB has continued to distinguish itself through innovation and the delivery of exceptional services.

What is the European Super League?

This idea of an independent league called the super league had been stirred in the football industry as far back as the 1980s. The European Super League can be described as a league that provides an atmosphere for competition exclusive to elite teams across Europe. The purpose of this competition is to pool monetary resources for these big clubs, as all teams are to share 3.5 billion euros for participating. By the time the competition commences, it is proposed that the winner for the competition would be gifted with a token of 400 million euros which is over 3 times the price money given to the European Champions League winner (120 million euros). According to a football leaked document reported by Der Spiegel, a German publication, the Super League structure would consist of 16 teams: 11 founding fathers and 5 other teams. These founding fathers would include big teams across Europe which are Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Juventus, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, and Paris-Saint Germain. These 11 teams, according to the leaked document reported by Der Spiegel, are privileged to be immune from relegation while the other 5 are to compete to survive relegation. Who are the current members of the Super League? Currently, 12 football teams have united to form the Super League. With Bayern Munich and Paris-Saint Germain wanting no parts of this formation, 3 clubs have chosen to fill the spot. Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid, and Inter Milan have been announced as 3 of the twelve members of the European Super League. Who is Funding this Competition? JP Morgan & Co., powerful financial service and investment bank in the United States has openly announced that it would be funding the start-up of the European Super League with a sum of 3.5 billion euros. JP Morgan & Co. was founded by an American banker and financier, JP Morgan in 1871. In 1954, it merged with Chase Manhattan Bank. As of 2020, the Bank’s revenue was $119.54 million, with a total equity value reported to be $279.35 million, and total assets at 3.386 $trillion. How has FIFA & UEFA reacted to this? The UEFA committee has described the sudden intention of these Super League enablers as a rebellious move against the football industry. The idea that the Super League does not give opportunity for all football teams the opportunity to compete for a spot in the champions’ league. “This idea is a spit in the face of all football lovers and our society as well. We must not let them take (football) away from us. I have seen many things in my life, I was a criminal lawyer for 24 years. I’ve seen many people. I’ve never seen anyone like that. …we didn’t know we had snakes working close to us, but now we know,” UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin stated. The UEFA body also announced their intention to disqualify 3 of the four football clubs who qualified for the Champions League semi-finals. It has been publicly acknowledged that these 3 teams (Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Manchester City) have signed up for the super league. This could mean that Paris-Saint Germain would be automatic winners of the competition. The same could be done to teams in the European Europa League who have signed up for the super league.Aleksander also stated that players who play for teams in the Super League would not be allowed to participate in international team competitions (World Cup and Euros). Why Bayern and the German teams shunned the Super League signing Giants of Germany, Bayern Munich, refused to join the Super League on the account that the fans did not like the idea. Herbert Hainer, the president of the Bayern Munich football club, stated, “Our members and fans reject a Super League, like Bayern, it is our wish and our aim that European clubs live the wonderful and emotional competition that is the Champions League, and develop it together with UEFA. Bayern says no to the Super League.” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO, of Bayern Munich, revealed that the champions league is the best competition. For Bayern Munich and Dortmund, as well as a large proportion of the German league, they adhere to a ‘50+1’ rule. The idea is to set down a majority fan ownership in order to control or hinder private investors from taking full control of the club. Hence, the decision of fans to reject the super league contract played a powerful role in influencing the clubs’ actions. Why did the premier league big teams withdraw from the Super League It was announced yesterday, April 20, 2020, that 6 of the premier league big teams (Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Tottenham) have taken the step to leave the super league. After days of conflict between fans, UEFA, and the Super League football club managements; it can be said that the fans have taken the victory to win for themselves football. Although football is a business sport, where owners of the clubs tend to make a profit at certain costs, the fans have a major part to play in contributing to the club’s revenue and profits. The majority of the fans have taken it to Twitter to vent their dislikes for the idea of a super league. Hashtags on Twitter stating #superleagueout was promoted yesterday after hearing the news of the withdrawal of the premier league big teams. With these premier league teams out of the super league, the idea of the super league would be quite impossible to continue. There would be a huge stake in the viewership of this league which would negatively affect the profit of the league. The 6 premier league teams have released press statements to address their actions of withdrawing from the super league. Manchester United addressed that they “listened carefully to the reaction from our fans, the UK government and other key stakeholders” in making their decision to not take part.” Chelsea stated that they had “begun the formal procedures for withdrawal from the group” that they only joined “late last week”. Arsenal has apologised openly to their fans, admitting that they “made a mistake and (we) apologise for it” on their Twitter account. Liverpool made it known that their participation in the super league “has been discontinued”. Daniel Levy, the Chairman of Tottenham, addressed the remorse for the “anxiety and upset”n caused. Manchester city declared that they had “formally enacted the procedures to withdraw” from the Super League.”

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