By Peter Uzoho
The management and staff of BGL Group yesterday in Lagos held a special night of tributes in honour of their late Group Managing Director and notable Nigerian investment banker, Mr. Albert Okumagba.
Also, friends and business associates of the late investment banker and stockbroker at the occasion, took turns to pour encomiums on him for leaving eternal legacies behind.
Okumagba passed on on November 19, 2020 at the age of 56.
The Deputy Managing Director of BGL, Mr. Chibundu Edozie, who read Okumagba’s profile, said under the watch of their late boss, the firm midwifed the merger of STB and United Bank for Africa (UBA) in 2005 even ahead of the banking consolidation era.
He described the merger as one of the audacious and unparalleled deals in the Nigerian financial sector which was made possible by Okumagba.
According to Edozie, “This was only made possible by Albert’s chutzpah and his ability to drive his investment banking team into new and uncharted waters.
“His ideal of increased banking activities through the creation of bigger and stronger banks drove him to firmly legend status as a motivator and an audacious dealmaker in the M&A era where BGL emerged as the M&A leader in the banking consolidation exercise.”
The GMD said Okumagba’s motivational skills were quite uncharacteristic of the average Nigerian manager, adding that his avuncular attitude towards his staff and his incentive schemes brought out the best in his teams.
He said the late stockbroker’s “endearing qualities would include his audacious optimism, his great sense of humour, his well cultivated networking ability, his expansive memory on people’s names and his knack for spelling these names correctly, his motivational skills, and his empathy which reflected in his pursuit of several humanitarian causes.”
One of Okumagba’s friends and Principal Partner of Chuma Anosike & Co, Mr. Chuma Anosike, described the late investment banker as a good man and probably one of the best people he had met.
Narrating the the experiences of their over 40 years friendship, Anosike said he enjoyed every moment he had with Okumagba, saying he loved believing in people and touching lives.
“We met about 40 years ago. I didn’t think that I would be called up to make this kind of speech here in our mid-50s. He was committed to anything he set out to do. He always believed in the big picture, he believed in people.
“He gave people the opportunity to go higher. He bared no grudges against anybody. He was a great guy and probably one of the best people I have ever met. He believed in humanity,” Anosike said.
He added that the deceased was not someone who was after primitive acquisition of wealth.
Earlier in his homily, Pastor Wale Olusola, who read from the book of Acts 13: 36, admonished participants on the need to emulate Okumagba in living a good life while on earth irrespective of the duration of one’s life.
He said the late investment banker touched the lives of many people positively, saying he was a direct beneficiary of his kind gestures.
He said just like the biblical David who spent 70 years and recorded great achievements, Okumagba in his 50s had left remarkable legacies before his demise.