Arese Ugwu is founder of Smart Money Africa. Smart Money Africa provides content, advice and action tools tailored to help Africans understand financial matters. Leaving out the financial jargon that alienates people, Arese makes finance less complicated. This she does by telling interesting stories and giving illustrations that the average African can relate to.
Arese Ugwu holds an M.S.C in Urban Economic Development from University College London (UCL) and a B.S.C in Business and Management from Aston Business School. She sits on the boards of Partnership Securities Ltd and House of Tara International Ltd as a non-executive director and is an associate member of WIMBIZ. She is also an alumna of the of the Lagos Business School, INSEAD Abu Dhabi and The London School of Business executive education programs.
Doubling as the Head of Wealth Management at Partnership Investment Plc, Arese Ugwu is proof that you can create an impactful business while still having your day job. At her day job she is responsible for building the company’s wealth management division, through business development and growing existing client relationships. According to her “The reality is, not everyone is cut out to be ‘their own boss’ and you need to learn this early on. Being a boss is not about working for yourself and avoiding the discipline of a 9-5. It is about adding value and being a high performer, wherever you are.”
A mother of one, Arese Ugwu says she has always wanted to be the sort of mother that has a thriving career and a strong bond with her child. Her daughter Zikora has always been her motivation to work harder.– “My fear of being broke and hungry in adulthood multiplied after I had her. She became my no 1 motivation to work harder and be better because it is extremely important to me to provide a better life for her than my parents did for me.”
Not the boring type of financial professional- she understands the needs and experiences of the average Nigerian woman. From fashion (she loves Chanel bags- “The classic style statement”) to investing and budgeting, her advice connects to everyone who listens.
She is not blind to the rat race and the craze to constantly be on “fleek”. According to her, “Nigeria is fast becoming a place where, it’s more important for people (women especially) to be popular and LOOK like they have money, when in actual fact, they are struggling behind closed doors, to uphold an image they can’t keep up.”
She understands this craze but echoes Ivanka Trump’s advice to women “invest wisely and splurge selectively.”
She continues to press on in her objective to help change the African narrative of poverty by continually providing high quality content that breaks down the very complex issue of money.
Arese is fixated on raising “a generation of women who are financially literate. When this happens, they are likely to become beacons of hope for survival in times of strife as opposed to cautionary tales of helplessness.”
Writer: Josephine Stevens
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