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‘My sojourn into banking was divine’  – Ex Skye Bank MD, Timothy Oguntayo

By Guardian Nigeria
22 June 2022   |   12:29 am
Following a divine call in respect to delving into a particular career path might seem far-fetched to a lot of Nigerians, but not Mr. Timothy Oguntayo. The veteran financial expert and former Managing Director, Skye Bank, believes that his sojourn into the banking industry was actually a response to a divine call. “I will say…

Following a divine call in respect to delving into a particular career path might seem far-fetched to a lot of Nigerians, but not Mr. Timothy Oguntayo.

The veteran financial expert and former Managing Director, Skye Bank, believes that his sojourn into the banking industry was actually a response to a divine call.

“I will say that it was a divine call. I had no idea of what a banking career looked like at the time that it started,” he sits upright, with his brow lines reflecting the seriousness in his tone. “I was a fresh school leaver, in 1976,  and secured my first employment in August of that year as a factory operative in the then newly built Pfizer Factory at Oregun, Lagos. About October of the same year, I started hearing a voice, which was telling me that I did not belong there, after all, I was not a science student. Initially, I ignored the voice because I was enjoying the very serene ambiance of the new factory and the company of equally young fellows like myself. However, the voice did not go away.

“Then one day, during the break period, the voice came again, very strongly, and directed my attention to a diary that was always on my Uncle’s centre table in the living room. I was living with my Uncle, as at then, in Agege. It instructed me to look for bank head office addresses therein and to write job applications to some of them. I wrote job applications to about four banks. Surprisingly, about two weeks later, United Bank for Africa (UBA) replied to acknowledge my application and within a month, I was invited for a test and interview. That is how it all started, to the glory of God.”

Oguntayo, also averred that Nigerian students who might be perplexed about their prospective career paths, especially with the dynamic and interdisciplinary nature of the present-day labour market, should always follow their heart in such situations.

“It is more important to do what you find fulfilling, irrespective of whether it is in vogue or not. It might not be among the most popular of options. People might discredit it as not lucrative. You might be tempted to do what is bringing quick cash, but if you are convinced about a profession or craft that you cannot stop thinking about, then pitch your tent there. You can be innovative about it, but in matters like this always follow your heart,” he said.

He also advised his counterparts to always take on young people as mentees, citing that they should always lead lives worthy of emulation.

“The best way to mentor anyone is to do whatever you are advising the mentee to do. I always like to tell my mentees about my very humble beginning. I make it clear that I have enjoyed the grace of God. Therefore, they must hold on to God, whatever faith they profess. However, there is a place for God’s grace and there are things that they need to do. Like my Pastor often says, ‘Any faith that holds God responsible for our fate in life, is an irresponsible faith.’ Therefore, everyone must be diligent and committed to his duties and must always thirst for knowledge to be the best in whatever they do. No employer toys with a highly-skilled, knowledgeable and productive worker.”

With over 35 years of experience in the banking and finance sector, Oguntayo has cut his teeth in the professional financial advisory scene.

Since he set up his DLK investment and financial advisory firm, in 2016, he has helped myriad businesses scale and some are on their way to getting listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Drawing upon his decades of experience as a bank executive, Oguntayo is a well-respected expert in the African corporate sector. Some of his key career highlights include the first-ever close-ended Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to be listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (Skye Shelter Fund). It was subsequently launched in the Nigerian capital market.

He has also been awarded a laurel of excellence for his role as a community ambassador in his native Ogun community, by the Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives, in Ogun State, around 2014.

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