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‘Individuals cannot grow their wealth without paying attention to their health’

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Damilola Hassan


Damilola Hassan is the head of Wealth Management at Meristem. In this interview, she talks about the upcoming maiden Meristem Green Fest, the brand’s commitment to its clients’ wellbeing, the inspiration behind starting it and what attendees can expect at the fest.

Meristem securities has taken a keen interest in promoting healthy lifestyle choices for its clients and general public, what inspired this line of interest?
We realise it is not practical for individuals to grow their wealth without paying attention to their health. What is the essence of growing wealth if one does not live long enough and in good health to enjoy such wealth? That is why we decided to exhibit our ultimate commitment to our clients, by going the extra mile to ensure they learn, embrace and enjoy healthy living most importantly.

The firm recently announced its inaugural health and organic festival titled Green Fest, can you tell us more about it?
It is a platform to bring together healthy living enthusiasts, to learn better ways of staying healthy by regulating what they eat, drink and apply on their hair and skin. Its emphasis is on organic and natural products and how we can help our clients and the public to adopt healthy living options. The running theme of the event is “Unjunk”, what is the creative idea behind the theme and how can the average individual “Unjunk”? Unjunk is a mindset. We learn new habits and also have the capacity to unlearn the not-so-good habits. A good understanding of what junk is, is the starting point to unlearning the habit of stuffing our bodies with junk. By bringing together a community of people who have achieved much success with “unjunking”, the average individual who is still struggling with certain “junk” habits can find encouragement and motivation knowing that they are not alone in the struggle.

The event is slated to be the largest gathering of health, wellness, and fitness enthusiasts in Nigeria, can you give us some insight into the activities lined up?
It’s a festival of everything healthy. There will be exercise, aerobics and yoga, cooking classes and masterclasses. We are also creating a platform for vendors in the health and fitness space to participate and exhibit their goods. As it is a festival, lovers of entertainment will be hosted to great music and fun activities all day. Also happening live is an organic cooking masterclass where attendees can learn in real time how to cook healthy Nigerian meals on a decent budget.

What are the key focus areas of the masterclasses scheduled to hold that day?
Master classes will feature speakers focused on financial literacy for financial growth, healthy living and diet, natural skin and haircare, a live cooking masterclass of a Nigerian dish and in the early hours of the day, there will be celebrity-led aerobics, exercise and yoga classes.

Who are the ideal audiences for this event and why should they attend?
It promises to be fun, entertaining and interactive. Lovers of healthy nutrition, fitness enthusiasts and everyone who is desirous of picking up new and healthy habits just need to attend. There will be so much to learn and so many vendors to interact with. It is also family-friendly, too. We have created interactive play areas for children.

In a digital world where there’s an influx of health and fitness apps and so many other related events taking place in the country, how will this fest impact the lives of the attendees differently?
The fest is ultimately an organic and healthy living community for everyone who’s desirous of living healthy and growing wealth at the same time. It’s about wholesome living, not just an event. We are building a supportive and sustainable community of individuals who will be accountable for their health and wealth growth. For instance, an earlier adoption of healthy living eventually helps you save on health-related costs at retirement. We basically want to reinforce that to grow health is wealth in itself.

As an investment firm known for growing wealth, what do the vendors at this event stand to gain in terms of revenue?
Apart from the large turnout of attendees expected at the event, vendors and business owners will have the opportunity to sit with our team of financial advisers to discuss basic money management issues they face in their businesses. Passion and enthusiasm alone are not enough to run a business. Structures need to be put in place for the sustainability of any business and our team would love to assist in this regard.

How would you measure the success of this event?
Our guests and vendors will largely be the judge of that because the event is going to be all about them. Did they have fun? Learn new things? Network? Pick up new habits or even resolve to unjunk? If the answers to all these are in the affirmative then we would say that we’ve had a successful event.

With this being the maiden edition, are there any plans to make this a recurring event?
Absolutely. We plan to make it an annual event and hope to cover other aspects of Green living as we progress. The festival will feature healthy food and drink vendors; natural skin and hair care exhibitors, master classes and musical performances.
Meristem recently reached a milestone of 15 years in the Nigerian financial sector, how has the company been able to thrive in such a competitive market?

From inception we set out to be different and meaningful and that is exactly what we have done. Regardless of competition, we were determined to create a different queue by providing solutions that speak directly to the investors’ pain points. We have done this consistently over the years by using technology and a high level of client-focused approaches to simplify investment for our clients. So, it is simply natural that we have earned their trust through the years.

What would you say is your unique selling point in terms of financial offerings?
It is our determination to grow clients’ wealth in good time and in an atmosphere of transparency. At the core of our service rendition is understanding the investment goals of our clients and consequently deploying the right investment tools to help them achieve their objectives regardless of their life-stage.


In this article:
Damilola Hassan
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