Kelechi Okereke and the World Bank Group
The World Bank is a group that Kelechi Okereke studies and advocates for regularly. An institution that is committed to the end of poverty through the development of prosperity, the institution has been promoting positive changes since its inception in 1944. The World Bank Group is divided among the following five individual organizations.
- The International Development Association (IDA) is a financial arm of the World Bank that offers interest free loans, or credits, to the most impoverished countries. The moneys that are lent may also be given in the form of grants to the governments of those nations.
- The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is the other financial lender within the World Bank. This branch lends money to countries that are considered to be at a middle-income level, as well as those at a lower income level with worthy credit histories.
- The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) was added to the World Bank in 1988 to advocate for international trade with foreign countries that are new or emerging markets. Understanding that trade is the quickest way to promote prosperity in a region, the MIGA offers insurance to those investing within the poorer countries.
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) works similarly to the MIGA, only it focuses on businesses in the private sector in developing countries. They help to mobilize capital, investing both debt and equity, and offer advisory services.
- The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, or ICSID to professionals like Kelechi Okereke, is the platform used to settle arbitration from investment disputes.
Kelechi Okereke and Nigerian Politics
Nigeria is the homeland of Kelechi Okereke's family, and therefore a country that he watches closely. As an adult who has entered the professional arena as an investment and financial specialist, he has taken trips back to his country of origin to gain a better perspective on the nation's political atmosphere. Since winning its independence, Nigeria has developed a political structure that has allowed it to grow economically over the last five decades.
- Nigeria is set up as a Federal Republic which has taken much of its political semblance from its former ruling country of Great Britain. The country's Federal Republic system is closely modeled after the legal and political doings of the United States, including the electing of a President who has the ability to exercise executive power.
- Unlike the political system of the United States, Nigeria's President also has power over the state, government, and the multi-party system. The Nigerian legislative government is divided into that of a House of Representatives and a Senate. This dual system creates the National Assembly, which is the political machine responsible for the creation of laws.
- A checks and balances style of governing is achieved through the use of Baron de Montesquieu's separation of powers and the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Nigeria's Supreme Court is a member of the country's Judicial Branch of government.
- Nigeria has many political parties, with the two most prominent being the People’s Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress. Kelechi Okereke has found that Nigeria has a total of twenty-eightofficial political parties.
Kelechi Okereke on the Impact of Technology on Business
In the last decade, Kelechi Okereke has had the privilege of watching the vital interaction between global business and technological growth. With each new year comes a fresh technological innovation that has the ability to shape the business world. Many businesses, especially those that are smaller in structure or reach, are able to keep up with larger competitors thanks to their technological additions. Small business owners, including those in emerging markets, may use technology in the following ways to enhance their business standings and profit.
When a small business imparts technological advances into their daily operations, their total overhead costs are often lowered. This is crucial to nearly all smaller companies that do not have a large funding base. As the types of technology used by businesses continues to grow, the accessibility of those software and hardware systems becomes far more user friendly. This means that a small business owner does not need a degree in information technology to successfully work with those programs.
The most recent technological advancements have also allowed small businesses to reach a broader client base. This is especially helpful for international companies and those in emerging markets who may not have the marketing assets in place to advertise on the global level. The invention of the smart phone and applications has given small businesses a way to interact with and conduct business with consumers all over the world. Kelechi Okereke understands that small businesses that deliver or sell a product find that growing technology has enhanced their sales capabilities
Kelechi Okereke on the Most Powerful Emerging Markets
Witnessing the changes to the global market and following the evolution of the emerging markets in the world is an area where Kelechi Okereke takes great interest. As a business person who specializes in financial and investment priorities, he finds value in understanding which of the current emerging markets are the most powerful and poised for growth. These markets will influence the overall trade arena more than any others in the years to come.
- Mexico is an emerging market that stands to make great strides in the near future. Already, past exploits have changed the face of import and export to the nearby United States. The signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993, set the stage for considerable trade changes. Since that time, Mexico has suffered from its own financial crisis, but has come out the other side even stronger.
- Brazil is leading the emerging market sector from South America. This country is not only the largest in land-mass, but also in total population for the continent. Previous issues with hyperinflation and high tariffs caused trade issues for the region, but have since settled. Now, more than twenty-five percent of all trade imports and exports into South America are connected in some way to the nation of Brazil.
- Nigeria is the booming powerhouse in its region, with the largest total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa. This, combined with Nigeria's population of more than 170 million souls, makes the country one of the most powerful emerging markets in the world, and one Kelechi Okereke follows closely.
Kelechi Okereke - Three African Businesses Alleviating Poverty
Kelechi Okereke is a believer in businesses and their ability to alleviate poverty in some instances. He has long been a proponent of further investment and development of emerging economies in places in West Africa and beyond. Okereke’s parents hail from Nigeria. His father was an orthopedic surgeon who died from a heart attack while on a special medical assignment in his home country. Okereke is an investment banker and advisor working on his MBA degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Okereke is passionate about what further business development for the already rising economy of Nigeria and many other African countries struggling with poverty. Here are three African businesses working to alleviate poverty throughout the continent.
- Skynotch Energy Africa. Kelechi Okereke is watching this company because the energy provider has given some of the more than 60 percent of Kenyans who depend on fossil fuels for their electricity the means to invest in solar power for their homes.
- Yield Uganda Ltd. This company that Kelechi Okereke has identified helps small farmers in East Africa improve the reliability of their yields so they can get better access to international food markets.
- iNuka Pap. A new Human Resources app that allows employees to access instant micro-credit on their mobile wallet, iNuka Pap allows employers to insure or provide insurance access to workers and their families for low costs.
Kelechi Okereke hopes that continued investments in emerging economies in Africa will lead to new and better startups like the ones above.
Kelechi Okereke - Working with Private Equity
Kelechi Okereke has worked as an investment banker for several years. He is currently attending the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in pursuit of his MBA, which he hopes will boost his career to the next level in investment banking and private equity. Okereke already has an excellent understanding of how investments are made and what risks to look for. With his added education, Okereke plans on working in private equity more closely and believes it is a career he can thrive in for years to come. Okereke is primarily interested in foreign investments and emerging economies and markets, but private equity has been attracting the best and brightest from corporate America for decades.
Private equity is usually a source of investment capital for private companies and the investment firms that manage private equity raise this capital from large institutions and high-worth individuals. The returns of these investments depend on the relative value of the company they invest in or become an owner of. Those who work at private equity firms are usually very well compensated, making private equity one of the hottest investment careers in the financial industry. These firms generally recruit from major investment banks like Citigroup, where Kelechi Okereke worked for six years. Firms incentivize their fee structures very differently, but usually they involve a management fee and a cut of the gross profits from the sale of a company. Kelechi Okereke hopes to improve his management and investment experience by earning his MBA and going to work for a private equity firm.
Kelechi Okereke was born in the Washington, DC area and raised in South Jersey. He currently lives in Philadelphia.
Kelechi Okereke - Three Common Risks to Investing in Emerging Markets
Kelechi Okereke developed an interest in emerging markets when he learned about the rising power of Nigeria as the largest and most populous country in Africa. Okereke was born in the Washington, DC area and raised primarily in South Jersey, but both of his parents immigrated to the United States from Nigeria. He wanted to learn more about the economy of his parents’ country and developed an interest in investment banking and finance, as well as international business. During his time working for the international banking firm Citigroup, he learned these three common risks to investing in emerging markets such as Nigeria:
- Liquidity Risk. Markets in developing countries like Nigeria usually have light trading volumes, as Kelechi Okereke knows from working in the Nigerian Stock Exchange for a year. This creates a risk for investors who want to sell their shares in an investment that they may not find a buyer for their desired price.
- Political Risk. Sometimes political changes in potentially unstable governments can have a negative effect on foreign investments. Government instability can cause all kinds of infrastructural problems and worse for investors.
- Currency Risk. Kelechi Okereke learned early in his career to keep a careful eye on the value of foreign currencies in relation to the US dollar. If a currency suddenly loses value, the investments for dollar denominated investors lose value.
Kelechi Okereke has helped investors navigate many of these common risks in foreign investing and more during his time working for Citigroup. He is currently working on his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kelechi Okereke - Working for Citigroup During the Nigerian Power Privatization Process
Kelechi Okereke worked for Citigroup’s Africa M&A division in London when the Nigerian power sector went from state control to majority private control. He helped two major bidders get involved in the deal, which has been widely recognized as the largest development of Nigerian power interests in the country’s history. Okereke is currently an MBA candidate attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He already has years of experience in business management and investment banking at the highest levels. Okereke learned much during the Nigerian privatization process and he continues to apply what he has learned to his everyday work.
Kelechi Okereke was working in London with Citigroup in February 2013, when the Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises and 14 preferred bidders for most of the new private power companies formed out of the massive Power Holding Company executed Share Sale Agreements and Concession Agreements that allowed the previously national power sector to become privatized. Kelechi Okereke advised two separate Citigroup clients who were involved in the sale during the bidding process, an experience that continues to have a profound effect on his professional career, according to Okereke. Some of the agreements that started the process of privatization in Nigeria included concession agreements, gas supply and aggregation agreements, power purchase agreements, and more.
Kelechi Okereke was born in the Washington, DC area and raised in South Jersey. His parents are from Nigeria, and from a young age, Okereke developed an interest in his parents’ country. He was very proud of Nigeria when it privatized its power sector, recognizing that it is a critical first step to transforming the country’s economy.