VENTURES AFRICA – The Federal Government of Nigeria announced last week that Mr. Uche Orji is to be appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of the newly created Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). With the SWF aiming to secure funding for infrastructure and to protect the economy from price-shocks; and also hoping to attract foreign investors to the Nigerian market, Orji’s international investment experience is a big asset to the Fund’s management team. Globally acknowledged to be one of the best brokerage analysts around, Uche Orji has a long list of investment-related achievements and experience to bring to the building process of the SWF.
Uche Orji Experience
Having graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Orji also went on to obtain an MBA degree from renowned Harvard University. However, at only 36 years old, it is the profound professional expertise and his multiplicity of business and managerial talents that qualify Orji for this challenging role.
With a background working for numerous prestigious institutions, such as J.P. Morgan Securities, and Goldman Sachs Asset Management (both based in London, United Kingdom), Uche Orji is currently Managing Director in the technology group of well-known investment bank UBS, and Global Head of Semi-Conductors Equity Research. In this capacity, he has headed up a semi-conductor research team spanning 11 countries, including associates in Korea, Taiwan, Japan, London and the US. Alongside this significant task, he also manages the US branch of the UBS technology research team overseeing the work of associates but also the work of management colleagues. He will be able to make good use of both his managerial and research-oriented skill sets, and provide experienced direction as he heads up the Fund in its opening stages. His background in research and team coordination makes him ideal to provide guidance in terms of identifying opportunities and development prospects, and in conjunction with his technology know-how, he will foreseeably play a vital role in the infrastructure investment branch of the Fund.
Nor is Orji new to the inner workings and strategies of Sovereign Wealth Funds. In his capacity at UBS, Orji was called upon to provide investment advice to a variety of priority accounts including sovereign investment funds. He also managed recommendations for countless hedge funds, equity funds, and pension funds. His experience of this range of investment and financing options will place him in excellent stead to remain one step ahead in his leadership at the Nigerian SWF. His experience will no doubt allow him to foresee and circumvent some of the challenges to be faced in the Fund’s initial and on-going work. His work with various fund models will be of particular assistance in formulating innovative strategies to secure and protect funds for the future generations.
Orji received particular acclaim for his development of a ten-point investment framework for semi-conductor investment, causing him to shoot to number five in the world rankings of best brokerage analysts (Forbes). As such, he will have an intrinsic role in developing the investment strategies and fund management policies of the SWF, during his five-year term as Managing Director and CEO.