Leading brewer East African Breweries Ltd recently appointed Mr Felix Okoboi as an Independent Non-Executive Director with effect from 30th May 2023. An experienced finance and investments professional, with over 25 years working in local and international finance, development finance, real estate and project management, Mr Okoboi has worked in various roles in USA, Europe and Uganda.
Interestingly, Mr Okoboi is entering a new field of beer businesses where he hopes his finance skills will come in handy. His CV reads like any other finance professional until you notice that he holds three Master’s degrees in various fields.
According to information made available during his appointment Mr Okoboi holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in International Studies and master’s in engineering.
He earned the MBA in Finance from The Wharton School, and studied for the Master of Arts in International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a graduate of the Aachen University of Technology (RWTH Aachen) in Germany, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Engineering with a major in Architecture.
But it seems the MBA (finance option) has had a strong pull on his career, driving him deep into high finance. Mr Okoboi says is passionate about impact investing and sustainability, and specializes in advisory work in the distressed assets, real estate and equity investments.
Mr Okoboi has held several leadership positions in his career. He is currently the Board Chairman of Uganda Development Bank, Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi) and Britam Insurance Uganda. He is also the Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Yield Uganda Investment Fund, Uganda’s largest Impact Equity Investment Fund for Agribusiness.
Two or more master’s degrees can help you to pursue more than one academic field, qualify for a position with more responsibility and opportunities and help you to become a top candidate for higher paying jobs.
Prof. Spafford notes that such people are also interested in working in some “middle” area or new topic and believe that having a grounding in multiple related areas would be an advantage, or necessity. “If time passes between the degrees it is because the person has developed a change in focus or interest and wishes to explore the new area as one of future focus,” he adds.
For Felix Okoboi, there seems to be a bias in his career path towards finance-related jobs. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of Uganda’s National Housing and Construction Company, Financial Sector Advisor to KfW Entwicklungsbank (German Development Bank) and Executive Director/Head of Investments of First Renaissance Securities, previously Renaissance Capital, a member of the Uganda Securities Exchange.
Prior to that, he was a Vice President with Kalahari Advisors LLC (now Kalahari Capital Partners), a US private equity firm, and an investment banker in the Leveraged Finance group at Wachovia Securities (now Wells Fargo Securities).
During this time, he worked on and executed acquisitions, refinancing and recapitalizations, among other transactions. Before he worked on Wall Street, he was a Project Manager and Architect for a leading regional consultancy, responsible for overseeing the execution of several multimillion-dollar projects.