It was a gathering of top personalities at this year’s edition of the fourth annual ‘Super Return’ event which held in Ghana featuring Courteville Business Solutions. Among the top dignitaries at the event was Nigerian Minister for Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Daniel Duku of Venture Capital Trust Fund, Jacob Kholi of The Abraaj Group, Paul Kayuma of Catalyst Principal Partners, David Cowan of CITI, Hans Ouwendijk of Vlisco, to mention a few
Synergy Capital, one of Nigeria’s top financial and advisory service providers and one of this year’s major sponsors of the annually organized Super Return event nominated Courteville Business Solutions PLC to be showcased to the whole investing and private equity community as a success story of the advisory activities.
The 4th annual Super Return is one of the premier private equity gatherings in the world and the African version serves as a gathering point for private equity fund managers and their investors (mostly US and European) to meet, network and highlight opportunities, sectors of interest and companies they have successfully worked with or plan to work with.
This year’s event was hosted in Mövenpick Hotel Accra, Ghana between 3rd -5th of December, 2013, with theme “Digging deeper into private Equity & Venture Capital in North, South East, West& Southern Africa”
The “Courteville showcase” was a question and answer session where the value that Synergy as a private equity manager has added to Courteville’s operations and how it has helped Courteville’s growth to date were discussed.
Mr. Segun Onakomaiya who interviewed the representative of Courteville Business Solutions Plc, Bola Akindele, Group Managing Director (GMD) gave a brief introduction of Courteville along with its several achievements.
When asked how he has been able to manage a good relationship with the state governments since the launch of AutoReg in Lagos state, he said “For us it depends on how confident you are about the services being provided. We start out by letting them(government) know we are so confident about what we are proposing, we patented most of our services, we put our money where our services are, we do not collect any money upfront, and after rendering our services, we expect you to pay us for whatever we have provided. The reason why we patent is because we usually innovate with original ideas, new in this part of the world. On the average, our contract with different state governments is for a period of four years and on patents is rolled over every two years in order for us to update and upgrade our processes.”
When asked to tell the audience about his relationship with Synergy Capital and how they have affected Courteville. He said, “It would be interesting to know that Courteville did not start out as a business solutions provider. We started out as a SEC registered corporate business advisory company, and as at that time we were competing with companies like PWC, Accenture and the likes, and we did not feel comfortable in this sector. When I met with the promoters of Synergy in 2010, it was on a basis of finding a means to achieving our goals and through various meetings and training sessions conducted for our staff, it was obvious that we were not in our comfort zone. After several meetings, they(Synergy) made us realize that we would do better in the mass market area of service provision and that was when we started looking elsewhere to the potential we have.
“As a small advisory company, Synergy decided to contribute some capital; we had almost exhausted our personal funds and in the process of making sure we sustained our proposed activities, Synergy came in with their experience in corporate financing. When we launched in Lagos State, we were confident that we had no competition, but our first session with Synergy showed us that threats were very real, opportunities were a lot more than we saw and gaps were a lot more obvious than we imagined. With this, we were able to prepare our long and short time goals.
The Super Return event was graced by over 350 global attendees, 150 GPs with 30 countries represented by outstanding speakers and Africa’s most respected Private Equity Fund Managers. Indeed it was a gathering of enlightened minds.