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Politics - December 20, 2022

Funso Doherty: The Underrated Governorship Candidate

Funso Doherty is the Managing Director and CEO of Pensions Alliance Limited, is one of Nigeria’s foremost Pension Fund Managers. As the election year kicked in, Doherty stepped out to contest for Lagos State governorship election in 2023.  

Among 16 other candidates vying for the position as the Lagos State Governor , Funso Doherty competes under the party African Democratic Congress (ADC). 

Funso Doherty is an uncommon face in politics in Nigeria, and there is little known of this chartered accountant turn Governor candidate. 

During his declaration ceremony in March, Doherty stated that his administration would concentrate on lessening the burden of tax and regulatory harassment on small businesses in the state.

Funso Doherty is a chartered member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, as well as a co-founding Trustee of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society Nigeria.

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Background of Funsho Doherty  

Funsho Doherty, who was born in 1968 to the late Dr. Henry Aderounmu Aremu Doherty and Gladys Urunowonekawo Kirstein, had a modest upbringing in Yaba.

His father joined the colonial administration as a medical officer in 1926 after graduating from medical school in Glasgow, Scotland, and went on to own and operate a private medical practise. 

After 35 years in the civil service, his mother retired from the former National Electric Power Authority.

Funso studied at Victoria Island’s Corona School in Lagos. His father’s alma mater, King’s College Lagos, accepted him.

Funso started his undergraduate education at the University of Lagos, where he majored in accounting. He earned a Second Class Upper Division Honours degree in 1990.

Starting a career 

In 1991, after completing his mandatory one-year NYSC duty, Funso applied for, a coveted post at the Lagos office of Arthur Andersen & Co. (now KPMG) and secured the role.

During his three years at the fFirm, he received both local and international training, soon moving up to the rank of Senior.

He quit in 1994 after passing the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria qualification exams because he did not wish to pursue a career in accounting practise.

At the company’s foundation in 1994, he joined Asset & Resource Management Company, which at the time was a subsidiary of the Guaranty Trust Bank Group. He soon became a specialist in investment management and one of the forerunners of the Nigerian mutual fund sector.

His family life

In 1995 he married  Orode Omolara Williams of the Williams Family of Olowogbowo, Lagos. Funso began the MBA programme at Harvard Business School in 1999 after being accepted to the school.

Orode was also granted admission to Harvard’s Graduate School of Public Health. In the summer of 2001, they both received their diplomas.

In that same year, Funso started working for the major investment banking company Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s investment management division.

On September 11, 2001, he was in the heart of Manhattan, New York, when terrorists attacked and destroyed the World Trade Center’s twin buildings. 

Funso Doherty subsequently joined PNC Advisors, the investment management division of the PNC Banking group, as a Vice President at its headquarters in Pennsylvania, USA.

Heading ARM Pension 

In 2005, he made his way back to Nigeria to take up the role of Pioneer Managing Director and CEO of ARM Pension Managers, which he had founded and grown into one of Nigeria’s top pension fund administrators.

The first significant merger and acquisition transaction in the pension industry was led, managed, and successfully integrated by him. 

He served as the Pioneer Chairman of the Pension Fund Operators Association, the organisation that represents all licenced pension operators, during this time after being elected by his fellow operators.

In 2011, he went on and started working in private investing. Following the acquisition of their joint venture partner’s interest in Valualliance Asset Management Company, he entered into a partnership with the African Capital Alliance Group (ACA) between 2014 and 2017.

He was a co-investor, the managing director, and the CEO. He was put forward by the then-Acting President in 2017 together with a fresh group of Commissioners for the position of Director-General of the National Pension Commission.

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