Eloho Onwah is a chartered accountant with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting. She is currently employed as an Investment Research Analyst in the financial services industry.
CN: What were you doing prior to this?
I spent some time in a financial control function and prior to that, I was an accounting lecturer at my alma mater.
CN: What are your primary responsibilities at work?
I analyse information (economic data, financial statements and quantitative/ qualitative management information), form an opinion and offer recommendations and advice to enable others make informed decisions as regards their investment portfolios. I am also involved in corporate strategy formulation and execution.
CN: What do you consider to be the best career decision you’ve ever made?
I think it was the decision to study accounting rather than medicine. My mum is a medical doctor and the pressure to become a doctor like her whilst I was growing up was a lot. I am forever glad for my mum who discerned that I was focused on following her path rather than mine. The path to making that change after secondary school was not without hiccups and cost me some time but I think that understanding what I was better suited for, and acknowledging it, is my best decision yet. Sticking to the aspects of my profession that I enjoy will probably tie with this.
CN: What do you like most about your job?
I love helping people make money and the fluidity of expression that it affords me. One is allowed to express an opinion that is not necessarily generally held as long as he/she has a basis and a defendable one at that. It also feeds in from several fields and has given me a much more liberal view of many businesses and their value chains because one cannot buy/invest in what one does not understand. I also enjoy converting broad based strategic insights into workable, trackable goals.
CN: What do you like least about it?
The fact that I can seem to do almost everything right with my analysis and yet have an opinion that is far removed from the truth because one government policy or management strategy changes at the last minute. However, this has taught me that things are not always as they seem and that no matter how thorough the analysis and insightful work, one can be positively or negatively surprised. Life is full of surprises.
CN: What is your personal philosophy?
To deliberately make decisions that facilitate a life of legacy and not worry about things I cannot change.
CN: What advice do you wish someone had given you as an undergraduate?
I met a fantastic mentor towards the end of my first-degree studies and I wish I met him earlier because he was very instrumental and still is instrumental to my evolving career. I wish more undergraduates would seek and pursue such mentoring relationships with people in the fields they are interested in who can provide for their protégés bridges over the waters that drowned them. Some early mistakes are unnecessary if one has the wisdom of older colleagues to run with. I also wish someone had encouraged me earlier to spend some more time on other fields besides mine. The world is a lot broader than what one’s primary discipline is and a more multi-disciplinary approach to learning than I adopted would have helped.
CN: Who are your role models?
Career wise I am inspired by Sola David-Borha of Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Nimi Akinkugbe of Bestman Games Limited; they both have displayed amazing strength and capacity with long lasting relevance in the financial services industry. I am also inspired by Christine Philpotts of AllianceBernstein for her refreshing intelligence and impressive analysis. In other matters, Mrs Nkoyo Rapu is my role model for her elegant carriage and refreshing wisdom and perspective in things that matter to life and godliness.
CN: Which books have really made a difference in the way you think and live?
There are so many. The Bible for one has been the most inspiring. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clayson changed my mind about saving and investing, The Rules of Life by Richard Templar opened up simple but profound life principles to me whilst Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell helped redefine how I view success. Also, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg.