Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu CFR is a distinguished Nigerian economist and philanthropist, born on March 22, 1963. He is renowned as the founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation and holds the position of chairman at Transcorp and Heirs Holdings. Elumelu's impact extends globally, earning him a spot in Time magazine's prestigious list of the 100 most influential people in 2020. As the Group Managing Director, he played a pivotal role in the 2005 merger of Standard Trust Bank and United Bank for Africa, orchestrating the transformation of the institution from a domestic banking entity to a pan-African powerhouse, operating in 20 African countries, as well as in France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Elumelu later transitioned to the role of the board chair for the United Bank for Africa.
Bio Data Overview
|Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu
|Date of Birth
|March 22, 1963
|Jos, Plateau, Nigeria
|Ndudi Elumelu (Brother)
|Bachelor's in Economics (Bendel State University)
Master's in Economics (University of Lagos)
|Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation
Chairman, Transcorp and Heirs Holdings
Former Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa
|Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation
|Approximately $700 million (Forbes)
Early Life and Family
Born in Jos, Plateau, Nigeria, on March 22, 1963, to Suzanne and Dominic Elumelu from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, Elumelu grew up alongside four siblings, including Ndudi Elumelu, who would go on to become a minority leader in the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives.
His educational path led him to study Economics at Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University), earning a Bachelor of Science degree with a Lower Second Class (2:2) honor. He further pursued a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Lagos.
Elumelu's career began in 1985 as a Youth Corp member at the Nigerian Bank Union Bank, where he started as a salesman. His professional journey continued at Allstates Trust Bank. He reflects on his early days, stating, "I started my career as a salesman, a copier salesman to be specific, young, hungry, and hardworking, but the reality was that I was just one of the thousands of young Nigerian graduates, all eager to succeed."
In 1997, Elumelu led a determined group of investors to acquire the struggling Crystal Bank (later renamed Standard Trust Bank). His strategic acumen turned the bank profitable within a short span. This laid the groundwork for his leadership in orchestrating one of Sub-Saharan Africa's largest banking sector mergers – the acquisition of United Bank for Africa (UBA) – where he received a pivotal 20 million Dollars investment from billionaire Femi Otedola.
Architect of Pan-African Banking
Elumelu's tenure as the Group Managing Director after the 2005 merger of Standard Trust Bank and United Bank for Africa marked a transformative era. Under his guidance, UBA evolved from a domestic institution to a pan-African financial powerhouse spanning 20 African countries, France, the U.S, and the U.K. In 2010, he stepped down, continuing to contribute as the board chair of the United Bank for Africa.
Heirs Holdings and Philanthropy
In 2010, Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, his family's investment holding company. The same year saw the inception of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship across Africa. Through Heirs Holdings, Elumelu holds a controlling stake in Transnational Corporation, a conglomerate active in Power, Hospitality, and Energy.
Elumelu's leadership prowess extended to Transcorp Plc, where he officially received ownership of Transcorp Hotels on April 14, 2021. This marked the successful fulfillment of all privatization conditions attached to the property's sale in 2005.
Tony Elumelu ranks among the wealthiest individuals on the continent, with a net worth of $700 million according to Forbes. In 2015, he claimed the 31st spot on the list of the richest Africans, cementing his legacy as an economic and philanthropic force to be reckoned with.
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