Olutoyin is the Founding Partner/CEO at InVcap-an African-focused Investment firm in Nigeria and Canada. InVcap recently completed the 1st phase of SplashWorld.com, a WaterPark located at Ikogosi Ekiti, Southwest Nigeria. InVcap is Lead Investor at EntrepreneursPoint.com.
Her experience in the Investment sector spans over 23 years. She managed Intercontinental Group’s fund portfolio of over $8bn as Group Treasurer till 2010 and now supervises InVcap’s Investment strategy.
In the non-profit sector, Olutoyin serves with the African Expert Network, a Washington DC group of Investment Experts, drawn from the global Financial sector to advise Investors on Africa. She serves on many boards across Africa and North America.
She has Founded many non-profit initiatives and social enterprises including, Casa Foundation, AfroInvestors, Friends of Africa, and EP Academy. She is the recipient of many Awards including the Diasporan Achiever Award-Nigeria; Women of Courage Award-Canada; African Impact Leadership Award at African Women Forum, NewYork. Olutoyin has authored several publications, including the NewYork Times Top Picks Advancing Beyond the Ceiling.
She has a Doctorate in Management (Leadership) from University of Maryland, and graduated from Wharton School’s Advanced management program and IMD Lausanne’s Business Marketing.
Her journey has been an interesting one moving from Nigeria to the Canada. Before 2010, she was the Group Treasurer of one of the largest African Banks with 11 subsidiaries and Branches in Ghana and the UK. However, the Bank was affected by the global Financial crisis and she moved to join her family in Canada where one of her first objectives was to put into use her 17 years experience in the investment banking sector in Africa.
Discovering Canada’s investment banking system was far slower than what she originally had in mind, she decided it was time to start her own venture and the end result of that reflection was InVcap which started it’s operation in 2013. We caught up with her to discover more about her journey and this is what she had to say in the following interview;
Tell us about InVcap.
InVcap is an Investment Manager that provides accredited Investors access to investment opportunities in the frontier markets of Africa, with special focus to Nigeria and other countries in the West African sub-region. Our investment focus is driven by the high growth opportunities in the Frontier Markets, representing a total of 17 of the 20 fastest growing economies in the world.
After conducting thorough market research, InVcap has identified two key demographics as having tremendous potential for growth: the young population of Africa (currently comprising 37% of the continent’s total population) and the middle class segment (currently comprising 15% of the continent’s total population). Along with these target market segments, InVcap identified industry sectors within West Africa with the greatest potential for vast economic returns.
These sectors are power, telecoms, education, housing development, tourism, and infrastructure. As such, InVcap will focus its investment strategy to take advantage of these growth sectors and demographics to maximize our funds for risk adjusted returns. InVcap’s first Fund will focus on the Commercial real estate sector that includes deals in hospitality and entertainment (hotels, amusement parks and cinemas), and housing infrastructure (office blocks, shopping malls, and university apartments.
In addition to these, last–mile infrastructure that includes solar energy, road networks, and mini-transportation services will be provided to support the facilities we invest in. Subsequent funds will target other high growth sectors of telecoms and IT data services. Our team currently has over 24 commercial real estate projects that we have successfully delivered in the last 10 years including the only warm spring/ game resort in SW Nigeria and Civic Center
Why is there a need for infrastructure investment in West Africa?
Lets start with the statistics: The 2010 World Bank report on African Development highlights the poor rate of development:
· Only 5% of Africa’s hydro power has been tapped
· Only 1 in 3 Africans has access to all season roads
· Only 5% of African farmland is irrigated
· Only 1 in 4 Africans has access to electricity
· More than 30 out of the 53 African Nations experience chronic Power shortages.
The implication of all these presents a direct cut of 2% on GDP growth annually.
African infrastructure services are twice as expensive as elsewhere -including other ancillary services, most of which actually require rehabilitation. Although new hotel groups are springing up in most urban cities of Africa, the rates are near cutthroat. There is a huge opportunity to develop mid-low end hotels, residential structures, and affordable offices for small business owners too.
What is your strategy to best capitalize on these opportunities?
Invcap will initially concert efforts on the high growth sectors of real estate development and tourism in West Africa and support these projects with energy and IT infrastructure for all round efficiency. It will also provide capital to underserved, high growth sectors in financial services.
Our strategy is to spread development across the region and investment will be targeted at high traffic cities, most of which constitute more than 10% of their respective economies and also target geographies that make up another 25% of their economies and population. These locations are in need of Infrastructure such as transport, energy and other services in the tourism sector. By adopting the public/private partnerships and JV structures in these countries, InVcap will target infrastructure investment opportunities in these regions.
InVcap plans to set sectorial limits and diversify its investment portfolio by industry using the expertise of industry practitioners on its advisory team. Investors may need to consider diversifying the concentration of investments in specific locations and their potential for consistent income in the near future, given other identified risks.
In Ghana and Nigeria, the huge opportunities in residential housing, tourism development and its capacity for good returns, coupled with minimal government intervention, certainly makes it a sector worth considering for investment.
How relevant is it that investors travel to the regions where their money finally will be invested?
African economies are looking to restructure and a veritable private sector is developing in many of these economies. Family-run companies are increasingly looking at inviting institutional investors, venture capitalists and private equity funds to become shareholders given the challenges that many of these businesses have in raising capital through debts.
Similarly, governments across the continent are beginning to realize the potential of the private sector in increasing the country’s tax (revenue) base.
These governments now view institutional investors as long-term investors who bring professionalism and accountability coupled with the ability to expand market opportunities using their marketing networks. They are therefore more appealing than large multi-national corporations.
Investment opportunities are often not considered because they are not visible to the right investors. Investors have to be made aware of these opportunities and also understand them to be convinced about their potential. Investors need to ‘see’ and assess these markets and interact with its people to understand what it takes to invest in them.
What are your favorite Investment destinations
East Africa: Tech Hubs in Kenya, Uganda etc
West Africa: Nigeria and Ghana still remain hot on the list despite economic standstill.
Tell us about your investments
SplashWorld-The WaterParks (www.splashworldpark.com)
SplashWorld at Ikogosi-Ekiti, South West, Nigeria is the new WaterParks in the country. It opens to be public by December 2014 and offers a unique value proposition and alternative to the beaches around Nigeria. Currently Ekiti boasts of 2.6m residents of which 46% are students and working adults. Within 100km radius of the state are other towns with a population of over 6m people. SplashWorld is a JV led by InVcap and its SPV partners-CrownField Developments, with an initial $1.2m in its 1st phase development.
Entrepreneurs Point- The Business Hub (www.entrepreneurspoint.com)
Entrepreneurs Point is a Corporate Business Office concept that provides working space for Entrepreneurs in form of furnished office spaces, co-working offices, meetings rooms, hot desks (Lounge), and virtual offices. Entrepreneurs Point (EP) is designed to meet the corporate needs of entrepreneurs and budding businesses in the GTA axis and residents within the Toronto Downtown catchment area.
Moreover, EP caters for partners of our business clients and professionals looking for a comfortable corporate environment to carry out their business by utilizing the meeting rooms, lounges, or day offices. The idea of EP encourages start ups and emerging/ small businesses access to the comfort of a well furnished, a trim employee structure that allows the use of EPs office assistants, just like Large Corporates, while maximizing the opportunity to network and engage with clients in a corporate location that facilitates small to large scale business deals in the largest business hub of Canada—Downtown Toronto.
Describe your perfect investor:
Type: Our Investors will be Family offices, Pension Funds, Fund of Funds, Development Finance Institutions
Fund Term 10 years
Risk P: less than 5%