Michael Chu’di Ejekam stands at the forefront of innovation when it comes to retail real estate. Though the industry, itself, is ever-changing, specific areas of the world are now seeing rapid growth, a massive shift in demographics, and even bigger changes in the way people want to experience life. One of the greatest shifts of our generation is occurring right now in Nigeria, and that’s where you’ll find. Mr. Michael Chu’di Ejekam.
Michael Chu’di Ejekam is a Wharton Grad with Lagos Roots
The retail thought leader was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and it was there that he spent his youth- aspiring to great things and focusing on his studies. From the very beginning, his drive to succeed pushed him, and it wasn’t too long before he packed his bags for the University of Pennsylvania. Not only did Michael Chu’di Ejekam get accepted to the Ivy League Wharton School of Business, but he was also honored for his achievements with the Howard E. Mitchell Award. Ultimately, he received a bachelor of science in economics, with a focus on finance.
Michael Chu’di Ejekam Began his Career in New York City
Working for Merrill Lynch as a Wall Street investment banker, the newcomer to the finance world was involved in $3 billion of leveraged buyout financings, initial public offerings, and leverage loans. From there, he moved onto the real estate industry, taking a position with a private investment and development firm in NYC. The company held over $2 billion in real estate assets, and during his time there, originated a solid $350 million in development and led bidding for an additional $750 million in assets.
Michael Chu’di Ejekam Earned Acclaim for His Work in Nigeria
Despite his successes in the United States, the retail real estate expert returned home to Nigeria to help bolster the local economy and spur growth throughout West Africa. For seven years, he headed Actis’ West African real estate development division. His attention to detail and insights into retail, as well as the changing demographics of the region, and keen understanding of the community’s wishes helped Actis to lead the pack in the retail revolution. He had a hand in numerous developments and originated in excess of $750 million in retail projects over the years. Some of the most notable projects include several malls, such as the Ikeja City Mall in Lagos, and the first green certified building in all of Nigeria, Heritage Place.
Mr. Ejekam has a proven track record that spans the full cycle of retail investment and development: from site origination, to equity investment, planning approvals, development management, tenant leasing, asset management and exit of the largest retail malls in Nigeria, Ghana, and broader West Africa. With so much success seen in such a short period of time, he is often called upon for his expertise by the media and development companies alike. To follow the most recent industry news, hear his latest insights, and learn about his upcoming projects, be sure to bookmark this page for future reference.
Michael Ejekam – Career Highlights
For 7+ years Director Real Estate for W Africa for Actis, a $7.5bn private equity firm- most active retail developer in Sub-Saharan Africa (ex SA). Originated $700+m in retail projects. Retail projects include $100m Ikeja City Mall Lagos, $130m Jabi Lake Mall Abuja and Accra Mall. Other projects include Heritage Place, Nigeria’s first green certified commercial building. Originated three upcoming Nigeria malls ranging from $150-185m each totaling over 40,000m2 each, which would be largest in the region. Co-led exit of Ikeja City Mall.
- Proven track record of full cycle retail investment and development: site origination, equity investment, planning approvals, development management, tenant leasing, asset management and exit of the largest retail malls in Nigeria, Ghana, and broader W. Africa.
- Directed Actis’ W Africa retail strategy, research, rollout. Strong insight about retail challenges, success factors, demographic data.
- Leading role in the “retail revolution”, widely quoted retail thought leader, strong local business and government relationships.
- Prior experience includes a USA private real estate investment and development firm with interests in $2bn of real estate assets. Originated $350m development Trump SoHo, led bid for $750m asset.
- Previously Wall Street investment banker at Merrill lynch in NYC: participated in $3bn of acquisition/LBO financings, IPOs, leverage loans.
- Wall Street transaction experience includes $500m financing for telecom firm and $325m simultaneous High Yield Debt/IPO for oil & gas company. Other Wall Street experience includes $450m Crown American REIT, largest transaction of its type at the time.
Currently on board of Gruppo Nigeria Limited, owner of Ikeja City Mall (joint venture btw Hyprop a South African publicly listed REIT and Atterbury). Also on board of Afrinvest Securities, a broker dealer.