The Association of Stock broking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), in an exploratory move, is seeking partnership with a leading Mauritius-based, information and communications technology ( ICT) company, Acoyvis Limited.
Acoyvis has proposed an international workshop for ASHON to address global best practices in technology governance, and the need to enhance oversight functions of board members of Stockbroking firms and bring them closer to the staff in the back office for harmonious operations.
Specifically, Acovyis, a leading ICT trainer, has proposed a comprehensive training programme for board members of Stockbroking firms and back office staff in line with global best practices in technology governance and oversight functions.
If endorsed by ASHON, the proposed series of joint workshops will address a wide range of issues that will strengthen international competitiveness of its members.
Addressing ASHON’s executive members at a meeting, Acoyvi’s Chief Executive Officer, Susanne Alfs, stressed the need for continuous training of board members and back office staff to upscale their skills in view of frequent challenges in ICT architecture.
She explained that disruptive trends in the ICT world have brought into fore the imperative of acquisition of latest skills in technology.
“With technology invading even the remotest corner of our organisations, it is also moving up a few notches on a typical board agenda. But in the past, technology knowhow was not typically sought after in board members. That is why many boards today struggle to keep up,” she said.
Responding, ASHON’s Chairman, Patrick Ezeagu, described the proposal as a management change that every board must embrace.
Ezeagu noted that the presentation has re-opened the ongoing discussion on the fourth revolution, and the need for every professional to be prepared for a change.
He said: “You have talked about the fourth revolution which is going to disrupt a lot of things in terms of how to do business. People are going to have fewer margins, while many may lose jobs except they upscale their skills.
“Therefore, I believe that there would always be a place of collaboration for like minds, and I can tell you that the Council members shall deliberate on what have been said, and arrive at a consensus on the areas to collaborate with Acoyvis.”
He noted that stockbrokers in Nigeria are resilient, as they operate in an environment characterised by market volatility, frequent changes in technology and attendant high cost of acquisition, unstable government policies, and uncertainty in the economy following unguarded utterances by the political class, thereby causing panic among investors.
Ezeagu also expressed ASHON members support for the ongoing demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and their interest in how the exercise will impact their businesses.
Commenting on the challenges facing stockbrokers in Nigeria, Alfs said many of them were technology based, and urged ASHON members to acquire technology skills, as the pace of change will increase into the future.
“But also, the Nigerian government should work on its reputation and increase the capital inflow to have a higher liquidity in the market to achieve a more positive outlook,” she said.
ASHON, had, in a recent advertorial, advised the political class to guard against unguarded statements that are heating up the polity.
The Association was prompted by the continuous slide in stocks value at the Nigeria Stock Exchange, following the dumping of shares by foreign investors who are apprehensive of likely crises in the 2019 polls.