Affordable Housing, Entrepreneurship, Nigerian Economy as Targets: Sonnie Ayere Has the Experience to Make It Happen

Founding Chairman and Group MD: Sonnie Ayere

Founding Chairman and Group MD: Sonnie Ayere

Founding chairman and group MD of investment firm DLM Capital Group, Sonnie Ayere, has a passion for empowering young Nigerian entrepreneurs – and the goal of boosting the country’s economy.

He has the right sort of experience in corporate and structured finance, corporate banking and asset management. Ayere has worked at the International Finance Corporation, a World Bank subsidiary, on the development of the Nigerian bond market – a market that is now worth over NGN N6.5tn ($41.7bn).

He launched and directed the investment banking arm of UBA Group as managing director and CEO of UBA Global Markets before establishing his own full service financial investment house, Dunn Loren Merrifield, in 2009.

He has also worked with HSBC Bank, NatWest, The Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, Bank of Montreal (BMO) – Nesbitt Burns (the investment banking arm of the Bank of Montreal) where he was part of the senior team responsible for setting up a $20bn Fixed Income Structured Investment Vehicle (SIV).

Fascinated by the alchemy of securitisation, Sonnie Ayere developed a keen interest in developing ways of financing large corporate projects, private companies and government institutions. He says he feels “instantly at ease devising innovative models of structured finance”.

At the IFC, Ayere held the role of structured finance business specialist for sub-Saharan Africa. He developed finance and securitisation transactions and created instruments that support value in debt-capital markets.

Ayere was task manager for the setting up of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) as a private firm charged with the public purpose of developing the primary and secondary domestic mortgage markets.

The NMRC raises long-term funds at home and abroad, and encourages the development of affordable housing in a country of 170 million people. The initiative was championed by senior Nigerian government figures, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria. It won support from the World Bank, the IFC, the UK’s Department for International Development and private sector partners, commercial and mortgage banks.

Sonnie Ayere is registered with the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Credit Administration in Nigeria, and the Association of Investment Advisors & Portfolio Managers. He is a technical committee member for the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Vision 2020, a member of the Presidential Committee on Foreclosure and Securitisation Law for Nigeria, and a member of the SEC Committee on Market Practice and Reform. He is also a member of the Bond Steering Committee of Nigeria and the Technical Sub-Committee on Aviation Financing for Nigeria. He was the inaugural CEO of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company.

Ayere has advanced mentoring programmes facilitated by the Mara Mentor Scheme and Dunn Loren Merrifield Foundation. He holds an MA (Hons.) in financial economics from the University of Dundee, Scotland. He has an MBA from the Cass Business School, London, he concluded the Executive Corporate Finance Programme at the London Business School. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree conferred on him by the European American University in 2009.


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