By Dominick Andoh

The brain-child of two young Ghanaians with a wealth of experience in the investment banking, finance and the real-estate sectors, McOttley Holdings Limited, after just eight months of operations has created wealth for many investors and is empowering dozens.

The company, with three subsidiaries, has emerged as one of the country?s auspicious entities with the potential to go international. It has already started attracting attention from international finance institutions.

McOttley is gradually shaping up to what was envisaged by Kwesi Livingstone and Richard Dugan — the founding partners.

Kwesi Livingstone, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company said: ?We want to be a global brand, starting from Ghana, and to be seen in years to come as a big giant coming from Africa.

?We want to benchmark against the global players. We cannot match them shoulder to shoulder now, but we want to set the systems and mind-set in place so that we can build on those to get to that level,? he said.

McOttley Holdings Limited was incorporated as a limited liability company under the laws of Ghana in April, this year. The company is authorised to provide financial and managerial services to its subsidiaries operating in the areas of investment banking, real-estate development, and providing loans to small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).

?We started this year with two subsidiaries all starting the same day; one under the supervision of the Bank of Ghana and one under SEC. The plan was to get at two sides of the economy that need financing. Under SEC we realised that the licence would not permit us to give personal loans or do personal financing, but under the BoG we could do that. But the kind of licence we could go in for under BoG could not give us the opportunity to do the quantum that we wanted to do on the other side of it, which the investment banking side can give us the opportunity to do.

?We applied to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and was granted full licence after going through the process, and also received a provisional licence — and subsequently a full licence — from the BoG to operate as a tier-three money lender.

The Holding company now has three subsidiaries: McOttley Capital, McOttley Money Lending — licenced and regulated by The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bank of Ghana respectively — and McOttley Properties. All the subsidiaries are 100 percent owned by the Holding company.

McOttley Capital

McOttley Capital is an Investment Bank licenced and regulated by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide financial asset management, venture

capital, investment advisory services, private equity financing, investment research, and undertake due diligence.

The company?s focus is on investible funds from both individual investors and group-based investors or organisations.

Based on its strict policies and regulatory requirements, McOttley Capital?s Board of Directors, chaired by Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere, ensures compliance at all stages of the company?s operations.

This subsidiary has deployed a robust asset management software and Information Systems that allow it to exercise absolute control over essential data and portfolios.

A crop of highly skilled and motivated fund managers and advisors working together with investment researchers provide intelligent risk assessments and reports to minimise risk to investments and maximise returns. The company uses its information portals to offer free investment advice and also deliver educational material to the general public to improve financial literacy in the country.

?We give you free advice; you bring your funds, we look for where you can invest and give you the best returns,? he said.

?If the funds mature, in most institutions the client has to follow up. With McOttley Capital, if his funds are maturing today we will send him the cheque yesterday. Which means that you can cash the money first thing when the bank opens. If it delays, the client would be losing money as a result. We make sure that we don?t promise what we can?t deliver.?

McOttley Money Lending

McOttley Lending provides crucial financial intermediation to especially SMEs under guidelines and regulations from the Bank of Ghana. The company is licenced to undertake market borrowing, as well as lending in line with the central bank?s aim of deepening financial intermediation and improving access to funds for the informal sector of the economy.

Starting with a small number of clients and fund size, the company has grown its loanable funds to a respectable portfolio.

?We are trying to empower people as that is what we want to stand for. We seek to do business in a different way. We want to make sure that customers that come to us should never ever go home not satisfied.

?We have assembled the best team with the right expertise to help address the problem of funds to the informal sector,? said Mr. Livingstone.

McOttley Properties

McOttley Properties is the latest subsidiary of McOttley Holdings. It seeks to develop a modern township on its newly acquired large tract of land situated within 30 minutes? drive from the Accra city centre.The proposed township is located along the planned railway linking Akosombo and Tema.

The proposed township, to be situated on an 1,100 acre land, will have residential areas –Standard and Elite along Life style and/or life cycle; Industrial areas ? Warehouses, Offices; Social areas ? Parks, recreational centres: Hospitals, schools, police station, Fire Service; State-of-the-art shopping centre expected to be the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa; and will establish a strategic alliance with a transport company to provide special shuttle buses to run from Accra, Atimpoku and Koforidua.

The SEC is currently reviewing the unit and mutual trust fund regulations of the securities industries law to allow fund managers to invest more than 10 percent of their funds in the real-estate sector.

?We do more projects and assets financing since we can only invest just 10 percent of their funds in the real-estate sector under the SEC?s unit and mutual trust fund regulations.

?The reviewing of the law is crucial, as the real-estate sector is one of the key areas where a lot of opportunities exist for investment in order to bridge the growing housing deficit,? Mr. Livingstone said.

The steady growth of the company is not without challenges, Mr. Livingstone said: ?The biggest challenge, at first, was to get institutional clients, because most of them have a longer decision-making process. Some also wanted to see if we could survive. Some signed up after the first three months, and some are also in line to sign up with us in January next year?.

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