Equator Capital takes the lead in non-bank financial services delivery

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As the country moves to brace up with the global challenges occasioned by the increasing sophistication of financial intermediation and asset securitization, there was the need for emergence of a company that could deliver high quality services to keep pace with these challenges. It is against this background that Equator Capital Limited (www.equatorcapitang.com) arose from the logical outcome of these increasing challenges in the nation's financial services sector. The company is wholly owned and managed by experienced Nigerians of rich professional and academic background.

Management team:
Equator Capital is blessed with sound management team who has over the years demonstrated unwavering and uncompromising commitment to excellence and high ethical standards. Emmanuel Osa Agwoje, an astute and outstanding scholar (studied Economics at the University of Port Harcourt between 1979 and 1983 and latter bagged M.SC in Economics in 1986 at the University of Benin) and seasoned banker, has for over 18 years held positions that cut across the gamut of banking operations- international operations, treasury and financial services, corporate finance and investment. Agwoje, who rose to the position of an executive director of a large bank during his 18 years sojourn in the banking sector, is today the managing director of Equator Capital Limited.

Alfa Sulaiman Wali, a London University graduate of Economics and political science as well as a former minister for Agriculture is a widely acclaimed technocrat and industrialist of international repute. Having served both the Kaduna state Government and Federal Government in over 35 years of meritorious services, Wali also represented the country in various international assignments, including leading the country's delegation to the International Maritime organization in London and International Aviation Authority in Montreal, Canada.

The chairman and chief executive officer of Rurum Farms Limited, one of the largest privately owned farms in Northern Nigeria also won a medal in Oratory at the University College Ibadan as a student. Today, Alfa Sulaiman Wali is the chairman of the board of directors of Equator Capital Limited.

Vision, mission and core values:
The vision of Equator Capital Limited is to run a highly professional financial services institution with focus and technology and people as media for service delivery. The goal is to deploy a highly skilled and motivated workforce in services delivery to enable it occupy leadership position within the shortest possible time in this emerging but interesting sub-sector of the financial services industry. The mission of the company is to be an industry leader in the market through consistent exceptional service delivery and the practice of professionalism.

Range of services:
With multiple licenses from the regulatory authorities, the company plays effectively in money and capital market segment of the financial services industry. Specifically, the company's range of services includes: Fixed deposit, Target savings, investment in commercial papers, investment in Bankers Acceptance, foreign exchange operations, credit products and wealth management. Others include brokerage services, Bureau de change, money market credit products, Real Estate financing and financial advisory services.

The company pays investors competitive interest rate on fixed interest bearing deposit. The interest is based on the amount and tenure of the deposit. The company also designed target savings for customers with special needs such as asset acquisition, marriage or simply a monetary target. The services are meant for all income brackets that do not have the lump sum to execute the desired projects.

Equator Capital also offers services in commercial papers. Commercial papers are borrowing instruments issued by companies for the investing public. Equator always aims at maximizing the wealth of its clients as well as seeking avenue for higher returns. Investment in commercial papers also gives the investor some level of liquidity as he can easily discount a good commercial paper before maturity.

The fourth service provided by the company under its money market operations is in the area of bankers' acceptance. A banker's acceptance is a variant of commercial papers with less risk. A bank accepts to bear the risk should the issuer of the paper defaults. It has the advantage of higher interest rate than a normal fixed deposit.

In the area of foreign exchange operations, the company provides foreign currency for BTA/ PTA monthly mortgage remittance, school fees abroad, medical fees abroad and credit card payments. Others include utility bills and life insurance premium payment. However, such payments are to the maximum of USD5, 000.00 per transaction

Being a full fledged finance house, Equator Capital Limited has various credit products to meet the needs of its diverse clientele base. Such products include commercial and consumer loans, loan syndication, LPO financing, invoice discounting, trade finance and lease (corporate).

Equator also offers a range of services in wealth management. These include equity and bond investment, foreign exchange advice and trading pension arrangement and lending.

Experience has revealed the transient nature of money, and the company's management program helps its customers to do away with this transient nature by making their wealth more permanent. Equator achieves this by building customers' wealth around income bearing assets that suit their permanent tastes, risk profile and investment goals.

The company also offers brokerage services to corporate clients, as well as individuals. These are investment in bonds or equities which also involve deferring present consumption for future gains. The funds realized from deferring consumption can either be invested in money market (savings account, fixed deposits and other money market instruments) or in capital market (equities and bonds). For long term investors, investing in stocks is a sure way of rapidly growing their investment. The company also operates Bureau de Change to carry out the activities of dealing in foreign currency in strict compliance with the guidelines provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria. (CBN)

ECL Bureau de Change Limited is a licensed Bureau de Change that offers services in foreign currency operations as indicated earlier.

In money market operations, Equator Capital Limited operates a range of account, including Equator High Yield account (EHA) targeted at high net worth individuals. The minimum investment is one million naira.

There is also Equator Capital Account (ECA) which appeals to the medium income earner with a minimum balance of #100,000.00.

The company also has the Equator General Account designed for the lower end of the market with a minimum opening balance of #50,000.00.

Subsidiary company
Equator Capital Limited carries out its security trading services through its wholly owned subsidiary ECL Asset Management Limited, a company licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission as broker/ dealer.

In a little over a year of operation, the company has endeared itself to the market as a key player with large volume trades in billions of naira. The company's portfolio size within this short period has grown astronomically with clientele base cutting across high net worth individuals, corporate institutions and public sector.

Future Commitments:
In response to the growing demand by retail customers who are desirous of benefiting from the quality service currently being enjoyed by the very high end clientele base, the company has articulated a robust unit trust program me that will depart from the crowd of funds presently in the market in line with its commitment to redefining service standards in non-bank financial services industry.

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