Michael Chu’di Ejekam, hailed by the media as a retail thought leader, is often sought out by journalists and development companies alike for his expertise in retail real estate. With a background in finance and extensive experience in commercial development, both in America and Nigeria, his commitment to the communities he serves and his dedication to delivering impeccable results has led to an amazing track record for success.
Michael Chu’di Ejekam: Background
Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Michael Chu’di Ejekam always had a passion for business and a keen eye for detail. He dedicated his youth to studies and was subsequently accepted into the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and earned the Howard E Mitchell Award for his outstanding achievements. As an Ivy League institution, with programs rated number-one by both Forbes Magazine and U.S. News & World Report, many of the graduates take roles in Fortune 500 companies and become world-renowned entrepreneurs. Mr. Ejekam excelled at Wharton, graduating with a bachelor of science in economics, with a focus on finance.
Michael Chu’di Ejekam: United States Real Estate Development
In the United States, Mr. Ejekam initially took Wall Street by storm as an investment banker. While working for Merrill Lynch in New York City, he participated in $3 billion of leveraged buyout (LBO) financings, initial public offerings (IPO), and leverage loans. He also aided a private real estate investment and development firm which held interests in $2 billion of real estate assets. With this company, Mr. Ejekam originated $350 million in development and led bidding for $750 million in assets.
Michael Chu’di Ejekam: Nigeria Real Estate Development
In Nigeria, Mr. Ejekam focused in on the budding retail market. For seven years, he led Actis as the company’s Director of Real Estate for West Africa. His strong insights into the unique challenges retail companies face in West Africa, as well as demographical information, and factors for a successful enterprise solidified Mr. Ejekam as a leading expert in the industry and led enabled Actis to be a forerunner in the retail revolution. During his time with Actis, Mr. Ejekam developed a proven track record for full cycle retail investment and development. He originated more than $750 million in retail projects, including many notable developments that have forever changed the face of retail throughout Western Africa. Some of these include the Ikeja City Mall in Lagos, the Jabi Lake Mall Abuja and Accra Mall, Heritage Place (Nigeria’s first green certified commercial building), and several other Nigerian malls.
Mr. Ejekam presently resides in Lagos and has an eye towards the future. Although Mr. Ejekam has been involved in some of the biggest projects in West Africa, through the origination, structuring, and private financing of new projects, he intends to continue pushing forward, helping to bring even more opportunities to the developers and consumers as the retail landscape continues to advance. To stay informed on his latest insights, find out more about his upcoming projects, and learn about exciting new developments, bookmark this page and check back frequently.
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.