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Mohamed Jalloh: A Life of Historic Firsts

23 September 2014 at 10:20 | 5767 views

By Our Correspondent

A Life of Historic Firsts

A Biography of Mohamed A. Jalloh.

The life of our 2014 Grand Chief Patron, Mr. Mohamed A. Jalloh (St. Edward’s Secondary School Class of 1973), Managing Director of Bridgedal Capital Management, LLC, a financial services company based in suburban Washington, D.C., USA, can be accurately summarized as a life of historic firsts:

When Mohamed A. Jalloh (pictured), universally known to his very many friends by his nickname, Moh’m, entered St. Edward’s Primary School at Howe Street in Freetown, Sierra Leone, he became the first member of the very accomplished Jalloh family of Jenkins Street in Freetown to do so.

Similarly, when Mohamed took and passed the 1968 Selective Entrance Examination (also known as the Common Entrance exam) in Class 6 at St. Edward’s Primary School, one year earlier than it was usually taken in Class 7, he became the first member of the very accomplished Jalloh family to do so.

In 1968, Mohamed Jalloh also became the first member of his very competitive family to attend St. Edward’s Secondary School at May Park, Kingtom, in Freetown. In doing so, Mohamed started a Jalloh family tradition that ensured that all but one of the Jalloh family sons, Dr. Chernor M. Jalloh, Esq., the eldest, who attended the Prince of Wales School — would become Edwardians. As a result of Mohamed’s decision to become the first Edwardian in his family, each and every one of his younger brothers — Dr. Alpha O. Jalloh, Dr. Alusine Jalloh, Alhasan Jalloh, and Alhaji Jalloh attended not only St. Edward’s Secondary School, but St. Edward’s Primary School as well. Please join me in saluting the distinguished Jalloh family of Jenkins Street as a true family of accomplished Edwardians!

In 1973, Mohamed Jalloh was among six (6) Form V students who made national history at St. Edward’s Secondary School when they placed St. Edwards on top of the national General Certificate of Education (G.C.E.) O Level rankings in Sierra Leone for the best results by a school. Mohamed and his fellow Edwardians passed their G.C.E. O Level exam with a First Class with Distinction grade, setting an academic record at St. Edwards Secondary School that still stands today, 41 years later.

Please join me in congratulating our Distinguished Grand Chief Patron, Mr. Mohamed Jalloh, and his fellow Edwardians of the St. Edwards Secondary School Class of 1973, Dr. Edward Anthony, Nabil Basma, Joseph Dennis, Solomon Roberts, and Roland Williams for their unprecedented stellar academic accomplishments 41 years ago that earned our alma mater, St. Edwards Secondary School, first place among all secondary schools in Sierra Leone for academic achievement in the 1973 G.C.E. O Level Examination!

Also in 1973, when Mohamed Jalloh, entered Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone, he became the youngest student ever admitted to FBC — the oldest university in sub-Saharan Africa — during its then 146-year history. Mohamed would later make history for the second time at Fourah Bay College.

In 1978, Mohamed Jalloh became the first Sierra Leonean to graduate from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, with a Bachelor of Science in Economics with joint honors in economics and accounting.

It was also in 1978 that Mr. Jalloh started his career in financial management at the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board (SLPMB) in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Within three months, Mohamed Jalloh made history at SLPMB when he earned the fastest promotion ever for an entry-level employee. Mohamed competed for and earned a promotion from Accounting Assistant to Accountant. He quickly established a reputation as a leader in the accounting department at SLPMB.

In January 1979, he took over from the expatriate British accountant at a subsidiary of SLPMB, the Sierra Leone Pam Kernel Oil Mill (SLPKOM), where the financial statements had been three years in arrears. Within nine months of taking over from the British accountant, and working with the same accounting staff, Mohamed Jalloh had brought SLPKOM’s financial statements up-to-date.

In 1981, Mohamed Jalloh became the first head of the Economic Planning Department at SLPMB, a management position he would hold until he ended his lengthy exemplary service to his native country in 1992, when he immigrated to the United States.

Mr. Jalloh is a graduate of Washington State University in the USA, where he earned MBA and Master of Accounting degrees as an AFGRAD (African Graduate Fellowship Program) scholar. He obtained a post-graduate diploma at America’s best business school, Northwestern University’s renowned Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1984.

In 1993, Mr. Jalloh branched out into financial services as an independent General Agent in suburban Washington, D.C., USA, representing some of America’s leading financial services firms, including Midland National Life, Walnut Street Securities, Inc., and Mutual of Omaha. He very quickly established himself as an exemplary professional by earning multiple annual President’s Club awards, the highest performance award at each company.

For three years, from 1999 to 2001, Mohamed Jalloh reached the highest possible goal in an international financial services career by earning a coveted membership in the financial services industry’s elite Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) which admits only the top 6% of financial services professionals in the world.

Mohamed Jalloh also took and passed the Series 7, 24, and 63 securities examinations administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), now known as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), as well as the Series 65 securities examination. With those professional certifications, Mohamed became licensed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a General Securities Principal and a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), authorized to manage investments for corporations and individuals in those states of the USA for which he held security licenses.

In 2003, Mohamed Jalloh started managing multi-million dollar investment portfolios for corporations and high net worth individual investors at the Bethesda, Maryland office of the largest private bank in the world, UBS Financial Services, Inc. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, UBS had assets of over $2 trillion. Mr. Jalloh was recognized in the October, 2004 edition of the firm’s 66,000-employee circulation magazine, Financial Advisor, for his exemplary performance as a financial advisor. He was invited to join Synergy Investment Group, LLC, in 2005.

In 2005, Mohamed Jalloh became the first Regional Manager in the state of Maryland for Synergy Investment Group, LLC, the first independent nationwide investment brokerage firm in the USA to effectively merge the benefits of a full service Wall Street firm and the advantages of an online broker. He would serve with distinction in that position — which expanded his experience in the U.S. securities industry to include management responsibilities over an OSJ (Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction) — until he finally accepted an offer from the Government of the District of Columbia in 2009, four years after he had been initially approached about it.

The program Mr. Jalloh agreed to manage in 2009 was a long under-performing program in the Government of the District of Columbia. It had been established in 1937 pursuant to the federal Social Security Act of 1935, and was under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet, in 2013, four years after he started managing that program, Mohamed Jalloh again made history when he guided the D.C. government Agency to a historic first among six states.

The District of Columbia made history in calendar year 2013 when its 1-year old SUTA Dumping Detection Program managed by Mohamed Jalloh — which detects employers that engage in rate manipulation schemes to reduce their unemployment insurance tax payments — outperformed by the widest of margins the much older and better financed programs in the six-state US. Department of Labor Region 2 comprised of Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, according to figures released in April 2014 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Regional Office for Region 2 based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Jalloh has been listed in Marquis Who’s Who in Finance in America, as well as Who’s Who in the World. An extremely patriotic Sierra Leonean and promoter of self-esteem among Africans, Mohamed Jalloh has spent most of his life empowering Africans through his internationally published writings and philanthropy. His first article, "Devaluation — A Rich Man’s Cure" was published in Freetown in 1979 by We Yone, then the leading newspaper in Sierra Leone.

Since then, in The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, two of the leading newspapers in the USA, and in the London-based West Africa weekly newsmagazine, among other publications, Mr. Jalloh has written extensively about the causes of, and solutions to, the problem of underdevelopment in African countries. In particular, he has focused on the role of Western countries and other Western entities, in addition to that of African leaders and other indigenous officials, in creating Africa’s problems.

In 2005, Mohamed Jalloh authored twin essays on economics that, to date, are his most widely-read published writings, namely: "How the IMF Fooled the Sierra Leone Government’ into Impoverishing Sierra Leone" and "How the World Bank Helped the IMF Impoverish Sierra Leone."

Mohamed Jalloh lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland with his wife and two children. His hobbies include music, walking, reading, writing, cricket and playing the guitar.

The beginning of the Traditional Thanksgiving Procession. From left: Milton Tucker (second from left), Chairman of Old Edwardians Alumni Association; the ceremonial standard bearer (third from left) and Mohamed A. Jalloh, Grand Chief Patron (first from right.)

Old Edwardians at last weekend’s thanksgiving event.

Grand Chief Patron of the 2014 St. Edward’s Alumni Thanksgiving Service, Mohamed A. Jalloh, is shown in the center of this photograph. To Mr. Jalloh’s right is Milton Tucker, Chairman of Old Edwardians Alumni Association. To Mr. Jalloh’s left is Wean Manneh, 2014 Patron.