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Uche Ugorji Joins Chain Reactions As VP Strategy & Business Development

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Chain Reactions Nigeria Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading Public Relations and Integrated Communications Consulting firms and Nigerian affiliate to Edelman, the world’s largest Public Relations firm, has named Uche Ugorji as Vice President, Strategy and Business Development.

Israel Jaiye Opayemi, Managing Director and Chief Strategist, Chain Reactions Nigeria, in a statement announced that Ugorji’s appointment, which became effective Friday, November 1, was part of a holistic and aggressive business development drive the company is embarking upon.

According to Opayemi, “Uche Ugorji’s appointment is aimed at turbo-charging our bold client acquisition drive towards 2020 and beyond. He will effectively function as a Vice President and Chief Operating Officer with the mandate to give our 5-year business growth plan the leadership kick it requires. We see in Uche a man with an incredible understanding of the art of selling, hence our decision to put him in charge of our growth train.”

He stated further that Ugorji’s choice was deliberate considering his robust cross-functional marketing communications background.

“We have deliberately primed our business for the age of convergence and this is evident in the kind of work we do for clients and the kind of talents we retain to do them. We do not engage in run-off-the-mill PR works for our clients. We have fully embraced Edelman’s concept of Communications Marketing for our clients and so Uche is yet another bright example of the kind of talents we parade in Chain Reactions to deliver amazing results to our clients.”

In his reaction to his appointment, Ugorji said, “I am super delighted at the opportunities ahead. I love the shared vision of Chain Reactions and the intentionality of its founder. It is bold and daring. I love the trajectory of the company, its international flavour in creed and in action. I love the company’s audacity to play big in not just Nigeria but in Africa. That is why I am in.”

Ugorji has about 16 years of practical experience in the Marketing Communications industry within and outside the shores of Nigeria.

He began his career in Public Relations with the then CMC Connect, now CMC Burson Cohn and Wolf before making a switch to core advertising as a strategic planner with Bluebird Communications.

He later joined SO&U Saatchi & Saatchi where he was once described by one of the living legends of the industry, Udeme Ufot as “more than a Star but a genius!” upon his impressive performance on the Guinness account.

This commendation came off the back of a character and dedication testimonial Uche had received from the Guinness Brand team in which he was described as a “rock” and a man who could deliver against incredibly impossible timelines”.

The Guinness Marketing Manager at the time had cause to describe Uche as a man who exudes “nothing else but a can-do attitude even at the craziest deadlines” within the Guinness brand team.

Uche displayed similar impressive performance at Etuodi Communications and DDB Lagos respectively before joining Ogilvy as Business Director and Agency Council Lead for West Africa Region where he had oversight for all Ogilvy Integrated Marketing Communications
interest accounts.

Chain Reactions Nigeria’s current clientele include Facebook, 9mobile, HP, Motorola Solutions, Dubai Tourism, First Bank, Lagos State Governor’s Office, The Jack Ma Foundation, Propertymart amongst others.

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James Hope College Honored At The Fourth Edition Of British Council Recognition And Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards

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This year, to recognize scholarly excellence, James Hope College received multiple prizes including,

  • Best in the World Category for English as a Second Language – Two awards
  • Best Across Eight Subjects in Nigeria – One award
  • Best in Nigeria Category – Eight awards
  • High Achievement Category – Two awards

These awards acknowledge exceptional Nigerian-based learners’ achievements in Cambridge examinations taken by students around the world. The primary purpose of these awards is to celebrate and recognize the success of high-performing Cambridge learners and the partner schools that have exemplified Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Child Protection policies.

Elated at this laudable feat, the Founder/Chairman of James Hope College, Mr. Jim Ovia congratulated the awardees and commended the management of the College. According to Mr. Ovia, the College would continually offer “world-class education that would enable our students to compete favourably on a global scale.”

James Hope College is an educational initiative of the Jim Ovia Foundation. Since its inception, the College has consistently maintained an outstanding academic pace within and beyond Nigeria. Some of its accolades include (but not limited to):

  1. 100% A* – C in all 13 subjects registered for the 2019 November IGCSE Examinations
  2. The 2019 Cambridge Summer School Scholarship awarded to a James Hope College student
  3. British Council Awards for Best In Nigeria in Biology, Chemistry and Geography for the 2018 November IGCSE Examinations
  4. British Council Award for High Achievement in Nigeria in Design and Technology for the 2018 November IGCSE Examinations
  5. 100% perfect score in the 2018 Cambridge Checkpoint Examination
  6. Best 2016/2017 BECE result in Delta State
  7. Overall Best Student for the 2016/2017 BECE in Delta State

The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards recognizes the exceptional performance of learners around the world in Cambridge examinations. The awards reflect the talent and hard work of learners and acknowledge the dedication and commitment of both teachers and parents.

Indeed, James Hope College is making its mark in the academic landscape within and outside Nigeria.

See photo excerpt below:

 

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Adeboye, AJ Boxer, Ajanaku, Tonto Dikeh Others Hailed As ‘COVID-19 Celebrity Champions’ In July Issue of Apple’s Bite International Magazine

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The midsummer issue of Apple’s Bite International Magazine identifies certain distinguished Nigerians across multiple sectors, who have lent various support in the fight against the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
These individuals are Pastor E. A. Adeboye, David Adeleke (Davido), Asiwaju Rotimi Ajanaku, Tonto Dikeh, Archbishop Designate Isaac Idahosa, Anthony Joshua.
Others are Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome (Ali Baba), Bankole Wellington, Otunba Femi Davies, Prophet Emmanuel Omale, and Williams Uchemba.
These individuals are hailed as Covid-19 Celebrity Champions on the merit of their various contributions from donating health facilities to the government as isolation centers, making monetary donations to support the fight, championing awareness campaigns, sponsoring researches to find a cure for the virus and supporting thousands of indigent Nigerians who have suffered economic hardship as a result of the lockdown.
Get a copy of the July Issue of Apple’s Bite International Magazine to scoop all the details and visit www.applesbite.com for commentaries and news.
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Zimvest Economy Conversations: Financial Experts Call for Reorganization of Nigeria’s Market Architecture

Peter Okunoren

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Stakeholders in the Nigerian Capital market, Asset Management, and Banking Industries have called for a rethink of the nation’s economic philosophy and a reset of the financial market architecture. This was part of the major takeaways from the “Zimvest Economy Conversations”, a thought-leadership series of Digital Private Wealth and Investment Management Firm, Zimvest (Zedcrest Investment Managers) held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.

Giving the opening remark during the virtual event, Business Head of Zimvest, Gbenga Adigun, noted that investors are gravely concerned with investment returns in light of the current low yield environment while financial institutions are thinking of how their product development and service delivery should evolve with the changing needs of investors.

Bola Onadele Koko, CEO of FMDQ Group while delivering the keynote speech on the event theme “The Economic Landscape and Investor Preferences in Post-pandemic Africa”, talked about the toll the growing pandemic has had on African markets. He laid emphasis on the slow down in key segments of the economy including the financial markets, tourism, remittances, and foreign direct investments. He called for a rethink of Nigeria’s economic philosophy with clarity from the fiscal policymakers which will be critical for gaining investors’ confidence.

According to him, “Now is the time to develop new and ingenious ways to develop and drive the Nigerian financial market and in the continent at large. Private capital will especially be more essential as recent shocks have shown the limits of Governments’ abilities particularly in developing countries”, he said.

The capital market leader also stated that FX reforms will be critical for the Nigerian economy at this point; noting that trading activity in the Nigerian Fixed-Income and Interbank Currencies market is down by 55% due to economic slowdown linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

All panelists in this first episode of the thought-leadership series pointed out that most investors were affected by the pandemic and are looking for further ways to diversify their portfolios that may end the year on a negative real return.

Speaking during the panel session, Abiola Adekoya, Wealth Expert and Ex-CEO at RMB Securities, stated that one of the key things that investors are concerned about in this era is the need for diversification, more liquidity, and higher investment returns.

In her words: “A lot of investors have been focused on one product and this pandemic has shown that that is not enough. The nascent interest in alternative assets has shown that there is strong liquidity in the overlooked retail space and Investment managers should pay keen attention and develop alternative assets products, and reduce the reliance on the traditional Fixed income, Money markets, and Equity offerings.

Buttressing Abiola’s position on alternative assets, Esiri Agbeyi, Partner and Head Private Wealth Services, PwC Nigeria, emphasized the need for investors to take keen interest in private equity and other alternative assets investments. She shared a PWC survey on Family Offices. The survey revealed that 63% of family businesses leaned towards private equity as an investment portfolio. Local pools of private capital are important to drive economic development

Onome Komolafe, Divisional Head of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), stated the need for improved product development and differentiation, clear market segmentation, and smart communication as tools that financial services firms can deploy in evolving with the changing consumer behavior. She also pointed to premium service delivery and technological innovation as crucial to the democratization of investment opportunities in Africa.

The Group Executive, Treasury & Financial Institutions at First Bank, Ini Ebong, pointed out the present opportunity available for investors, regulators, institutions, market practitioners to reset Nigerian financial market architecture. He noted that this opportunity presents itself mostly around periods of crisis.

According to him, as markets develop, the investing public becomes more able to embrace risk and go for higher return instruments outside traditional bank-based deposits.

“If you want high returns on investment, you must be willing to take on more risky investment products”, said Adetoun Dosunmu, Treasurer at FBN Merchant Bank. “Giving the highly specialized nature of investing, working with a regulated fund manager will be most beneficial to the investor in the long run and would protect against fraud and sharp practices from the teeming number of platforms offering untested investment opportunities”.

During his closing remark, the Founder of the Zedcrest Group and the Chief Host of the event, Saheed Adedayo Amzat, CFA, called on the Nigerian capital market stakeholders to unite to further capital formation in the country. He sounded a note of warning to Nigerians on suspicious wealth generation platforms.

“Many unsuspecting investors over the last three decades have lost their funds to unregulated institutions that promised unbelievable returns. All stakeholders in the sector need to speak up and inform the unsuspecting public about investment platforms. Our regulators need to do more with the support of all players in the Investment management space”, he opined.

The much-anticipated event lived up to its billings as over 1,150 participants engaged the speakers on investment challenges and opportunities they can tap into post-COVID.

Zimvest, the newly launched Investment Management subsidiary of Zedcrest, plans to be at the nexus of a continuing conversation series around Investment management and economic policy landscapes. The second edition of the series is to be announced soon.

A poll conducted during the event also shows that over 60% of participants prioritized “Capital Preservation” when choosing an investment option. Over 72% were concerned about inflation and exchange rate fluctuations and over 81% were concerned about Proven Track Record, Regulatory Compliance, and Transparency when choosing an investment management partner. The session ended at exactly 1 pm on the day.

For more information, please email [email protected]

A replay of this session can be watched via:

https://zoom.us/rec/play/upcscbr–z83GtOSuQSDBqcvW9W0e6KsgCVI__dYy0yyWiNQNlShYbAaMLScQgqeV7fIjyl2RsrXPBOZ

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