First Registrars & Investor Services Limited: Thriving in a Challenging World


Business all over the world is no longer “business as usual”. With some of the recent challenges, it’s become a matter of survival of the fittest.

The rules of the game are also changing and the conditions of engagement are increasingly dynamic. Government agencies are increasingly receptive to change as private organizations redefine their business models to accommodate new business trends.

Some may simply react and adapt; more dynamic organizations will drive these changes to bring about transformation. First Registrars and Investor Services Ltd chose the latter route.

Beyond Covid-19, there are economic and political developments that have impacted trades, policies and the functioning of the workplace.

Since the sale of First Bank of Nigeria to the company, First Registrars has continued to evolve in the Nigerian capital market. Once a unit within the First Bank Group, it started out as a major cost center. Eventually, it became a prominent subsidiary of the bank under the leadership of its pioneer Managing Director and CEO, Dr. Bayo Olugbemi, FCIB.

Olugbemi turned the bank’s fortunes around and a cost center was transformed into a key revenue generating entity through the creation of value for its customers.

First Registrars and Investor Services offers a range of services in stock and bondholder data management, as well as investor-related services such as proxy solicitation, probate management and company secretarial services . The company is registered as a capital market operator (CMO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

First Registrars is committed to protecting investor records. In 2021, it had nearly 2 million shareholder/bondholder records that cut across various industries, and 75 stock and bond accounts.

Innovative solutions

First Registrars has remained at the forefront of registrar innovation and introduced a range of value-added digital capabilities. Shareholders and corporate clients can access and manage their share accounts and membership register 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online access from First Registrars.

The company was a pioneer member of the Electronic Dividend Mandate Management System (EDMMS) for the direct crediting of payments to shareholder/bondholder bank accounts. It supports financial inclusion through the introduction of the FirstDividend Plus prepaid card for unbanked shareholders – the first and only dividend prepaid card in the registrar industry in Nigeria. It has helped reduce the volume of unclaimed dividends.

“First Registrars and Investor Services offers a range of stock and bondholder data management services, as well as investor-related services such as proxy solicitation, probate management and corporate secretarial services. society.”

First Registrars encourages the active participation of shareholders at general meetings with the electronic voting initiative, electronic voting devices that are much more precise than the traditional raising of hands. The voting system was recently updated to include a USSD (*5075#) mobile voting option that allows shareholders who are not physically present to participate. It also keeps investors informed of transactions on their securities accounts through the introduction of real-time SMS alerts and other solutions.

Diversification campaign

In recent years, First Registrars has diversified. It created a strategic business unit with a cooperative administration and management solution. It has distinct features to take cooperative societies to the next digital level. Under the CLE brand, it is designed to facilitate accounting, administration and management.

With CLE, members can apply for loans and track their savings; it makes paperwork almost obsolete. Co-op administrators can approve or deny loans on the go. It has MarketHub features that bring the market to cooperatives. They can buy discounted goods and services from trusted sources on MarketHub. Other areas of diversification include the introduction of corporate secretarial services, probate administration services and proxy solicitation.

Stakeholder values

First Registrars understands the diverse needs of stakeholders, from customers to customers, from suppliers to vendors – and most importantly its “internal customers”: staff and management. Their interests are served to ensure a happy community. The company anticipates their needs and offers tailor-made solutions to meet and even exceed them.

Increasing value for investors and stakeholders is a rule of thumb for early registrars. He works with key capital market stakeholders to redefine investor onboarding processes and increase participation to develop tailored solutions.

Corporate social responsibility

First Registrars’ corporate social responsibility philosophy has been leveraged to ensure its impact is felt — and positively — within and beyond its immediate operating space. He manages impactful programs and initiatives and has maintained a well-defined CSR strategy that has a measurable impact on the lives of many people. The company supports programs across the country that improve children’s health, education, arts, sports, community development and environmental sustainability.

“Over the years, we have maintained our support and partnership with the Youth Rescue and Care Initiative (YORCI), an NGO, to reduce poverty levels and promote responsible behavior among young people,” says CEO and MD Bayo Williams Olugbemi, “helping them discover, nurture and energize their individual potential through exercise, life/leadership skills training, academic endeavours, and mentorship programs.

Results are measured using personalized goal-setting worksheets, presentations and video clips that expose young people to the benefits of planning and conduct performance-based assessments that help them prepare for the future and to be self-sufficient.

The future

Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” It’s a major driver of the company’s passion, the things it believes in, the values ​​it commits to. First Registrars is creating its own future by redefining the share registration industry in Nigeria.

She created a whole new internal structure in preparation for the future she envisions for the company. “This structure positions us to cope and thrive,” says Olugbemi. “Not only amidst the current challenges we face, it also prepares us for the challenges that may arise in the future. Internal restructuring is accompanied by an investment in our people, who will ultimately drive our business forward.

“The people are the executors of the long-term strategic plan. We attract and retain the best talent in the industry while integrating them when necessary. »

First Registrars continued to invest in technology infrastructure. One of the main lessons of the pandemic has been the recognition of the power of technology in a digital world. The pandemic has provided a learning curve for the company, which is able to identify what works, what doesn’t, and gather insights into what will work in the future. The main takeaway is that First Registrars is creating a shift in its business model amid current realities.

The long-term goal is to work collaboratively with other industry stakeholders to create an ecosystem that will make capital market transactions transparent for all participants, from the onboarding process throughout the lifecycle. until the exit of the participants. “This we cannot do alone,” says the CEO, “but through collaborative efforts.”

This consistent approach ensures that the First Registrars brand remains strong and recognizable. Its identity is that of an essential place for all shareholders looking for a first-class service experience.

“We believe that what lies ahead as an organization is much bigger and better than what is gone. We are building a brand that will stand the test of time, the First Registrars brand.


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