Tony Elumelu Biography
Tony Elumelu born Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He was born on 22 March 1963 in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. He hails from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
He is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Elumelu holds the Nigerian national honours, the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). He was recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes magazine.
He has two degrees in economics from Nigerian universities, a bachelor’s degree from Ambrose Alli University and a master of science degree from the University of Lagos. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme.
Tony Elumelu married Awele Vivien Elumelu, a medical doctor, in 1993, and they have seven children together. He has four siblings, one of whom is Ndudi Elumelu, a former member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives.
Tony Elumelu Net Worth
Nigerian entrepreneur and investor Tony Elumelu owns a controlling interest in Transcorp, a publicly traded Nigerian conglomerate with interests in hospitality, agriculture, oil production and power generation. He came into the limelight in 1997 when he led a small group of investors to take over a small, floundering commercial bank in Lagos. He turned it profitable within a few years and in 2005 he merged it with the United Bank for Africa. That banking group now has subsidiaries in 20 African countries and in the U.S and U.K. Elumelu also owns extensive real estate across Nigeria and a minority stake in mobile telecom firm MTN Nigeria, among other assets. His net worth is estimated to be about $700M.
Tony Elumelu Career
In his early career, Tony Elumelu acquired and turned Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player in Nigeria. In 2005 he led the acquisition of United Bank for Africa (UBA), later transforming it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with more than seven million customers in 19 African countries.
Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, Tony Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organisation dedicated to the promotion of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship and to enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector across Africa.
In 2011, Heirs Holdings acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly quoted conglomerate that has business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors. Elumelu was subsequently appointed chairman of the corporation.
Tony Elumelu serves as an advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He sits on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He is also vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), whose formation he was a key driver in, and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. In addition, he chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, at the invitation of the Federal Government and the Presidential Jobs Board, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year. He also serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum.
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He was one of the co-chairs of the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, from 11 to 13 May 2016.
Tony Elumelu Foundation
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Heirs Holdings, an African investment firm.
We are funded by an annual grant from Heirs Holdings and supported by the group’s investee companies. In turn, the Foundation provide support to the philanthropic activities of the Heirs Holdings Group.
In the last five years, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has spent over N2 billion toward its mission, which includes supporting the philanthropic goals of other institutions and foundations working in and for Africa.
To that end, the mission of the Tony Elumelu Foundation is to catalyse economic and social development in Africa through entrepreneurship, focusing on three areas:
- The empowerment of entrepreneurs through capacity development, seed capital, mentoring and networking.
- The promotion of thought leadership on entrepreneurship through advocacy and evidence-based research as a guide for policymakers across African governments.
- The creation of an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem that promotes African entrepreneurship.
The main philosophy of the Tony Elumelu Foundation is based on the Founder’s desire to empower a generation of successful for-profit entrepreneurs who drive Africa’s economic and social transformation. The guiding principles are derived from an inclusive economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which states that long-term, dynamic African-led private sector investment in key sectors of the continent’s economy will drive economic and social development through its programme and activities. The Tony Elumelu Foundation seeks to “institutionalise luck” and create an environment where entrepreneurship can flourish in a sustained manner.
Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is the flagship entrepreneurship programme of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, founded by the entrepreneur, respected investor and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu.
The pan-African programme is inspired by the Founder’s:
- Inclusive economic philosophy of Africapitalism, based on the belief that a vibrant African-led private sector is the key to unlocking Africa’s economic and social potential,
- Commitment to drive African economic growth through the fostering of African entrepreneurship,
- Mission to institutionalise luck and create an environment where home-grown pan-African companies in various sectors can flourish.