VFD Woos Investors, Says Capital Market Must Restructure to Accommodate Young Investors
The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the VDF Group, Mr. Nonso Okpala, has wooed Nigerian investors, especially the younger generation, to acquire a stake in the emerging financial ecosystem the group is creating.
Okpala urged a gathering of strategic stakeholders in the Nigerian economy during a business breakfast meeting last week to invest in the dream the VFD Group is creating that has grown from a balance sheet of N2 million in 2009 to N109 billion in 2022.
He said: “Every one of the businesses I have mentioned has not been valued to its true strength. The idea is that what we see today as VFD Group is a sleeping giant and in the next three to five years, even without much effort, that giant will rise. So, we are saying be part of that dream. Get your shareholders to invest in it. Support us because ultimately what we are trying to do is to make the environment right for the very crazy ideas the young people are brimming with.”
He stated that the group, which started in 2009 with informal lending has grown to own its microfinance bank, mortgage bank, and virtual banking licence while aspiring for a commercial banking licence in the nearest future.
Okpala said: “Most people do not know us because of the way we started this company in 2009 as a group of friends that are committed to governance who came together knowing full well that they have a strong ambition and the requisite know-how to run a world-class company.
“That is how the VDF Group was born in 2009. And 13 years down the line we have moved our total assets from N2 million to N109 billion. We are currently listed on the NESG. We are an active player on that platform. But I think a great deal of the value that we have created has eluded the market due to the way we have gone around setting up the business.”
He disclosed that the ecosystem the VFD Group is creating cut across banking, infrastructure and energy, real estate and hospitality, technology and capital market while its footprints have crossed the shores of Nigeria to Ghana and the United Kingdom with the intent to extend them further to South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, The Netherlands and United States of America.
The company, according to him, thrived by creating values that appealed to young investors and acquiring ailing entities, like Abbey Mortgage, and turning them around.