Prince is second-generation wealth. A scion of a very prominent and wealthy family who plays heavily in education and finance.
He is on the board of very critical institutions and plays heavily in the markets, and is well respected.
One of the icons of the market and someone I respect with everything in this life. He respects me as an oga would respect a young energetic upstart and once even considered collaborating with me on his three books.
Then it happened. All these journey men, who just runs about looking for deals and using emotional blackmail on me to open up access to power
I have been burnt severally cos most of them who come at me and say,’ Edgar I want to meet Elumelu, Edgar I want to meet Chike Ogeah- I want to supply chicken to Marriot are usually not serious pple
So, I have devised a strategy for pushback. I give them assignments on their projects that serve like a huge Boulder on their ankle and throw them into the Atlantic.
Ohhhh, you want to supply chicken to the Marriot, ok that’s brilliant. Oya, which kind of chicken do they use at the Marriot, do the homework, and come back. You never see them again
This one was different. He was the company SEC of a big bank on the Marina. He is now retired and runs a legal firm somewhere on the island.
He came with the full authority of someone who is used to giving instructions
Edgar, I want to buy an issuing house license. Get me someone who wants to sell. I have clients who are ready to buy. We need it asap
I shd have known o. Some months ago he had come with the same charge – we want to buy an asset management firm. We want to take it over. I gave a small assignment – send me a vision paper, I no see mumu again
So this time, I don’t even know what got me. Maybe I was distracted by planning the masterclass, I just reached out to Prince
Prince had told me he wanted to exit his stockbroming firm and concentrate on his issuing house that had a 49-year elegant pedigree.
He is not the kind of person you take frivolity to as he is a very busy man. He is playing heavily in regulation these days and remains one of the most respected in the industry and beyond.
Na this kind man I carry kukuruku go meet. Edgar, I am not interested in selling my issuing house business. That is my sweat and carries the input of my goodwill over the last 40 years. He told me
I said, “My Lord, let’s even hear what is on the table.” I am not asking u to sell your issuing house license just yet, I am asking you to listen to what we have to say, and then you make up your mind.
He said he would think about it. I went back to oga, and oga said we would swallow the stckbroking if it is a deal breaker. We will take both. I said okoo
Prince got back and said we should meet at the Metropolitan Club. I knew what that meant.
This was him taking us very, very seriously. This was the bastion of elitist capital. The most conservative hallowed hall of private wealth in the country.
I started to sweat. Prince was taking us very seriously all on my goodwill, and I had gone to place my reputation on someone else that I wasn’t even really sure he was aware of the weight of the situation
But I needn’t panic, abi? He was company secretary of the company whose master wants to take Africa in his hands. They are not jokers in the place, abi?
Bro, we no fit come metropolitan club, can we do a whats app call?
It was at that point that I realized that I was dealing with !a clown. How would u ask for a WhatsApp call against face time at the metropolitan club
Maybe they were not in town, I figured and told Prince, who expectedly was upset. I begged him and massaged him small, and he agreed to a new date.
The new date was Wheatbaker Hotel at 5pm. Prince lives in ikoyi a stone through and would pass through the wheatbaker on his way to the airport at 5pm sharp.
My people agreed o and the meeting was set. I called Lami. He is the corporate finance expert, and he could handle the whole discussion with the delicateness it deserves.
My people, 12 noon, mumu call me. Edgar abeg what is the fee sharing structure he asked. Babanla red flag, ooo
I am dealing with an amateur. I am in trouble. Who discusses fee sharing when the deal formatting has not even started. This is a look and feel meeting. Kai investment banking is sexy
It’s all about positioning and engagement, all fueled by ego. It’s like a delicate game of chess. This was Prince trying to profile us and positioning himself to gauge seriousness and capacity
See this mumu talking about fee sharing. By this time, I knew I was in trouble, but I also knew that I had to put them in the room. Otherwise, my own reputation was toast.
I said my brother there is the buy side and the sell side. U take from the buy side and I take from the sell side and he screamed noooooo
So we will do all the work for nothing. Tell Prince he must also pay. Kai, by this time, it dawned on me that I was in real trouble.
I had gone to set up a meeting with an icon of the capital market with journey men who were but mere hustlers.
I kept my fingers crossed, knowing that I would manage the meeting effectively with humor and a lot of free flow conversation
I went to the wheatbaker pple and asked for the choicest of wines and small chops. I knew there would be no deal, Prince would not hand over a sterling family gem to these groups, but at least I must come out of it with my rep intact.
5pm sharp, Prince arrives. Lami and I go downstairs to welcome him. He is looking very debonair still fine with a long caftan and cariage that befits his royal carriage
Edgar, where are ur people? He bellowed as I ushered him to a seat.
I walked away to call the company secretary and almost peed. I am still in Ajah. u didn’t say anything about my fees
My people I was dealing with house agent o. This man is a charge and bail lawyer o. I remembered at that moment that his office was located in a shopping complex. Kai na agent I dey deal with o
I lost my temper – Oga. I know understand what u are saying. Shebi, u will still come, and let’s see that there is a deal in the first place bf all these ones.
He repeated. Oga, I didn’t move cos u were not decisive on my fees.
Then, he now wanted to be doing me that them bank rubbish talking down on me and giving instructions
I would not have that. I shouted back – please dont talk to me like dt. U really have no right. I don’t know you, and u have just messed up my relationship. Rubbish
Went back to Prince and said traffic. I begged him to go to the airport that when they got here, I would handle them
He stood up, looked at me, and said, ‘ I will never take you seriously. And entered his jeep and drove off.
I stood there like a failure. There were over 50 CEOs upstairs who had taken me seriously and had come out, and here was this one iconic CEO downstairs calling me a jerk
I felt like the man in the Bible who went after one sheep, leaving 99.
Prince was that my one sheep. My head bowed, I stood there like a fool feeling like a clown as he looked at my hair, wondering why on earth he would have taken me seriously in the first place
I have blocked the agent- company secretary and woke up to his text – Edgar tell him to send us his financials – I replied Bastard.
Duke of Shomolu