Augustine B. Edet studied Law & Politics and has served in various capacities in the past twenty five years, such as Entrepreneur/Business Executive, Financial & Business Consultant, Investment Banker, Credit Risk Manager, Barrister/Solicitor & Company Secretary. He brings experience from such diverse areas as serving as Chief Operating Officer of one of the fastest growing management consulting cum enterprise development companies in West Africa, General Counsel/Group Company Secretary to a group with assets under management then valued at approximately $1 Billion, working as senior risk manager in one of the biggest commercial banks in Nigeria as well as a stint as Group Head in Corporate Finance in an investment banking firm owned by the said bank. He started his career in 1990 at the law firm of Guobadia & Guobadia (now The Law Union), at one time the largest partner-led law firm in Nigeria, where he rose to the level of Senior Associate Counsel. During this period, he served as Solicitor/corporate lawyer to both local and international clients and also represented corporate clients in litigation matters all the way to the Courts of Appeal.
He joined United Bank for Africa Plc (formerly Standard Trust Bank) in 1997 as a pioneer staff where he was head hunted to set-up and run the Credit Control and Loan Admin Groups respectively. He was also Secretary to the Management & Board Credit Committees during this period. In this role, it was his responsibility to implement the Bank’s Credit Risk Policy by appraising credit facilities and performing risk management/audit roles from origination to recovery. In this role, he also provided advice to the CEO, the Management and the Board on all matters pertaining to credit risk management while also performing periodic audits on the banks risk assets portfolio. As the Group Head, Credit Control and Loan Administration Groups (at different times), it was his responsibility to advise the bank on security or collateral most suitable for securing loans and it was also his responsibility (in conjunction with the legal department of the bank) to see to the creation, perfection and enforcement of collateral, including legal mortgages securing credit facilities. It is instructive that during this period, he gained a reputation for tough mindedness and independence in credit risk management and audit issues. It is noteworthy that he was also the operator of the bank end of the Central Bank of Nigeria Credit Risk Management Bureau System during his career in the bank.
He later joined STB Capital Markets Limited, an investment-banking associate of United Bank for Africa Plc (formerly Standard Trust Bank Plc), in October 2001 as Group Head, Corporate Finance and Vice President, Financial Services & Telecoms. During this period, he played leadership roles in initial public offerings, private placements as well as mergers and acquisitions in banking and finance, real estate and other industries.
From here, he was drafted by the Management of UBA Plc (formerly STB Plc at the time) to join the group’s holding company (Heirs Alliance Limited; now Heirs Holdings) as General Counsel/Group Company Secretary to a group with assets under management then valued at approximately $1 Billion. In this capacity, he served as Group Legal Advisor/Company Secretary to several companies within the Group and was also responsible for setting up UBA Ghana Limited (along with other professional colleagues) where he later served on the board as Solicitor/Company Secretary.
Being a conglomerate with a large bank as its flagship, it was his responsibility to articulate, put in place and implement a Group Corporate Governance structure as well as corporate governance codes for the holding company as well as subsidiaries of the Group in Nigeria and Ghana.
From the Heirs Group, Edet co-founded a management consulting company called NEXTZON Business Services in Victoria Island, Lagos in August 2004 with a few colleagues from Accenture, KPMG, UBA, HSBC etc. As a Co-Founder and former Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer of NEXTZON (a management consulting/venture development company), Edet managed the company on a day to day basis and was a key member of the Board, Member of its audit committee and Chairman of the Management Investment Committee of the company. While in Nextzon, he also led the international trade consulting group of the business which saw him developing transaction experience and networks in at least fourteen (14) African countries in West, East, Central and Southern Africa.
It is also noteworthy thatwhile in the executive management of Nextzon, Edet led the largest ever study on Corporate Governance practices in the entire banking industry in Nigeria. This study was conducted on behalf of the International Finance Corporation and entailed an audit of the corporate governance practices of all banks in Nigeria (excluding multinationals). He also led the largest study in respect of audit disclosures standards amongst 75 companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, also on behalf of the IFC.
Mr. Edet was also responsible for the SME/Institutional Advisory Services Group in Nextzon. Under this segment of the business, the company works with SMEs including start-ups or, semi-formal or informally managed businesses to create institutions that are ‘Built To Last’. This covers enterprise transformation, leadership development, succession planning and formalization of business management. In this capacity, Mr. Edet has advised, facilitated access to funding and provided capacity building services to hundreds of SMEs in the last 10 years. He was also a led a team of consultants to work with the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the design of value added services required to enable SMEs access long term funding by listing on the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM) of the NSE.
In view of the fact that Nextzon is also a venture development company, Mr. Edet also played the role of Chairman of the Management Investment Committee which was responsible for undertaking an assessment of new ventures and investments proposed for incubation and acceleration.
In the course of his career, he has been privileged to work with and advise several reputable clients and his transaction experience in the past two decades covers the following countries:
- The Gambia
- Sierra Leone
- Benin Republic
- Centrafique Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Congo Brazzaville
- Congo DRC