Profile of Tony Elumelu

Tony O. Elumelu is an entrepreneur and a philanthropist, the chairman of Heirs Holdings, United Bank for Africa Plc and Transcorp Nigeria Plc.

In his early career, he made a name for himself by turning the nearly bankrupt Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player in Nigeria. In 2005, he led the largest merger in the banking sector in sub-Saharan Africa, acquiring United Bank for Africa (UBA). In five years, he transformed it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with over 7 million customers in 19 African countries.

In 2010, he commenced full-time operations at Heirs Holdings and founded The Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organization focused on supporting entrepreneurs in Africa by enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector.

He serves as a member of the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum. He sits on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. He played a leading role in the formation of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria and serves as its vice chairman. He is also a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

He is the author and leading proponent of the philosophy he calls “Africapitalism,” which is the private sector’s commitment to Africa’s development through long-term investment in strategic sectors of the economy that drive economic prosperity and social wealth.

In 2003, the Federal Government of Nigeria conferred the national honour of Member of the Federal Republic on him. In 2012, he was also awarded the Commander of the Order of the Niger for his service in promoting private enterprise. He was recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” and one of Africa’s 50 richest men in 2014, by Forbes Magazine.

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