In this interview, Olusola Dada, the Managing Director of Sovereign Finance Company Limited, sheds light on the potential impact of the government’s exchange rate unification policy, the firm’s expanding profile, and the pressing need for financial inclusion, among other topics. Nosa Alekhuogie presents excerpts:
How does Sovereign Finance Company Limited distinguish itself from other financial service providers in Nigeria?
Sovereign Finance Company Limited was conceived as a premier financial services conglomerate, equipped to not only meet but exceed our clients’ financial needs, fostering sustainable wealth creation. Our distinction lies in delivering innovative financial and investment solutions tailored to various sectors of the Nigerian economy, grounded in industry expertise and operational excellence. Our commitment to expanding financial inclusion drives us to offer customised solutions and products targeting diverse markets and customer expectations. We firmly believe that broadening financial access is a crucial step in reducing poverty in our nation. Our financial services cater to individuals, SMEs, and High Net Worth individuals, with a focus on building enduring wealth for present and future generations.
How does the firm plan to navigate the unique challenges and opportunities within the diverse sectors of the Nigerian economy?
At Sovereign Finance Company Limited, our strategy centres on a deep understanding of each sector’s intricacies, allowing us to tailor financial solutions that add value. We embrace innovation and harness data-driven insights to adapt swiftly to evolving business landscapes. We take pride in being a catalyst for growth by offering inventive investment products and services empowering individuals and businesses to contribute productively to our nation’s economic stability. Nigeria’s financial services sector is evolving rapidly, and we evolve with it.
Nigeria’s financial services sector is evolving. How does your company stay ahead regarding technological advancements and customer expectations?
We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of financial innovation driven by technological prowess. We actively integrate technological advancements into our financial solutions, ensuring streamlined and seamless processes, elevated customer experiences, and industry leadership. Embracing technology is fundamental to our business model, with investments in cutting-edge solutions that enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and provide real-time insights. This proactive approach allows us to anticipate and meet evolving customer expectations.
What steps has the company taken to ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines while providing innovative financial solutions?
Sovereign Finance adheres to a rigorous risk management framework and complies with all regulatory guidelines. Our operations prioritise professionalism and customer-centricity, ensuring our innovative financial solutions meet regulatory standards while addressing diverse customer needs.
How does Sovereign Finance plan to sustain its ‘pre-eminence’ in the industry?
Our aim is to sustain our pre-eminence by maintaining a focus on operational excellence, delivering innovative financial solutions, and upholding our core values of Character, Innovation, Trust, and Customer Service. We continuously adapt to the evolving financial landscape, remaining at the forefront of financial innovation in Nigeria. Our vision is fortified by the assembly of top investment experts with outstanding experience, bringing creative solutions to our customers’ financial needs.
Our approach centres on harmonising the convenience of technology with the personalised guidance of experts. While digital platforms empower clients to access services seamlessly, our advisors remain readily available to provide human insights, expert advice, and reassurance. In an era of cyber threats, ensuring data security is crucial.
How does Sovereign Finance Limited maintain robust cybersecurity measures while offering online financial services?
Cybersecurity is a non-negotiable priority. We have made extensive investments in state-of-the-art encryption, multi-factor authentication, and continuous monitoring systems. Our dedicated cybersecurity team ensures that client data remains impervious to breaches. Our technology roadmap is designed for agility, enabling us to adapt swiftly to disruptions. Regular stress testing and scenario simulations prepare us to safeguard our clients’ financial stability.
The World Bank has hailed the government’s exchange rate unification policy. Despite the promising outlook, what advice do you have for the government?
Three crucial steps come to mind immediately. Firstly, addressing system leakages is essential to ensure the success of exchange rate unification. Implementing stringent measures to curb illicit financial flows is crucial to maintaining stability in the unified exchange rate. Additionally, combating the theft of crude oil and improving security are vital, as they pose significant risks to economic activities, particularly in the farming, tourism, and logistics sectors. The government must prioritize security enhancement and create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. With increased liquidity in the system, there is a risk of inflationary pressures. To counter this, the government should subsidise food production and agricultural activities, stabilising food prices and controlling inflation while consistently implementing appropriate monetary policy measures.
What specific benefits do you see for SMEs with a unified exchange rate?
The exchange rate unification policy will bring enhanced transparency, predictability, and risk management to the market, simplifying transactions and enhancing planning capabilities. This will increase SME competitiveness and attract more foreign direct investments. At Sovereign Finance Company Limited, we believe that exchange rate unification will instil confidence in investors, eliminating market distortions and creating a level playing field for SMEs.
How will the company support SMEs through exchange rate unification?
Recognising the vital role that SMEs play in nation-building, Sovereign Finance Company Limited remains committed to supporting them during this period of uncertainty. We are prepared to assist SMEs in accessing funding facilities that may become available due to improved liquidity and government intervention measures, ensuring they have the necessary funds for business sustainability and growth.
Could you share how Sovereign Finance Limited’s technology infrastructure ensured seamless operations and client service during such unprecedented times?
The pandemic underscored the resilience of our digital framework. Cloud-based systems enabled remote work, while robust online platforms ensured clients could access services uninterrupted. This experience reaffirmed the importance of our tech-driven approach. Looking ahead, we envision embracing the evolution of technology. We are exploring AI-driven predictive analytics and blockchain-based solutions to elevate our risk management capabilities. By staying at the forefront of innovation, we aim to set new benchmarks for risk mitigation in Nigeria’s financial landscape.