Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, the Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has argued that one does not have to be an investment banker to fully understand and debate the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal, insisting that suggestions that non-experts in investment banking lack an understanding of the deal is unfounded.
His assertions follow views expressed by Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and others to the effect that persons such as Bright Simons, who lack expertise in investment banking, cannot be more informed on the soundness of the deal than the experienced investment bankers such as Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who are overseeing the Agyapa deal.
“In this matter of Agyapa Royalties, they say Bright Simons is not an investment banker. So what? Why is that even part of the discussion?
Investment banking is a career or a job some people choose to do for a living. It is not some exclusive, impenetrable field that persons who do not make a living in it cannot understand or master. Investment bankers come from all manner of backgrounds: engineering, law, math, other hard sciences, economics, the liberal arts, humanities, you name it.
Moreover, the clients for whom investment bankers work are rarely ever themselves masters of investment banking. In fact, investment banking is not even a profession one typically masters or qualifies to enter through formal training or education. In my own experience, I got to understand a great deal more about the intricacies of corporate and capital market transactions as a corporate lawyer than I ever got to understand in graduate business school. Any suggestion, therefore, that a man of Bright Simons’ learning and experience, an investor and entrepreneur to boot, cannot or does not understand this fairly simple Agyapa deal enough to debate its promoters is just ludicrous,” he argued on social media.
The lawyer and governance expert opined that the debate on the Agyapa deal is not even about investment banking but about how Ghanaians can collectively benefit from its mineral resources.
“In any case, one does not need to be an investment banker or be interested in investment banking in order to form or express an intelligent opinion on a transaction involving our sovereign assets. The debate here is not about investment banking. It is about how best to extract and maximize value from our sovereign mineral resources and receipts. It is a debate for Main Street, first and foremost, not one to be outsourced to Wall Street,” he emphasized.
He contends that everyone’s opinion on the matter is important and people must not be dismissed on the basis that they apparently lack expertise.