Tony Elumelu is back. Not that he has ever been away. Quitting as Managing Director/CEO of United Bank of Africa plc in 2010 ensured relatively reduced visibility. Heirs Holdings Limited and TRANSCORP, Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate, both of which he is Chairman; and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, dedicated to catalyzing entrepreneurship across Africa, do no thrust him into the limelight as UBA did.
On Monday, Elumelu’s appointment as Chairman, UBA plc was announced. The appointment is considered a fitting glory for one of Nigeria’s brightest banking brains. Early in his career, in 1997, Elumelu turned the gasping Standard Trust Bank into a top-five financial services player, creating a new model of customer-focused banking for the country’s emerging middle class. In 2005, he led the largest merger in the banking sector in sub-Saharan Africa, acquiring UBA, which currently operates in 19 Africa countries, as well as New York, London and Paris.
In 2010, he founded Heirs Holdings Limited, an African investment holding company, with investments in financial services, power, oil and gas, agribusiness, real estate and hospitality. In the same year he established The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a philanthropy dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship in Africa.
Elumelu is the author and leading proponent of the philosophy “Africapitalism,” which advocates the private sector’s commitment to Africa’s development through long-term investment in strategic sectors of the economy.
Elumelu currently serves as a member of the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum, sits on the Presidential Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security.
He was instrumental to formation of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria and now serves as its vice chairman. He also chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria. Elumelu has been honoured with the award of the Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON.