There are many popular names in Nigeria today. Some are celebrated due to their wealth, others have the admiration of Nigerians because of their impact. Very few individuals are able to enjoy the admiration of Nigerians because of their wealth and impact.
Tony Elemelu falls into the latter category. Who is Tony Elemelu? What is Tony Elemelu’s Net worth and many other questions will be answered in today’s post.
Who is Tony Elemelu
Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu is a Nigerian entrepreneur, philanthropist, and chairman of Heirs Holdings and the United Bank for Africa. He was born in Jos, Nigeria on March 22, 1963, to Suzanne and Dominic Elemelu from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local government area of Delta State.
Elumelu is known for his commitment to promoting entrepreneurship and economic development on the continent. In 2010, he launched the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which supports African entrepreneurs through funding and mentorship. Elumelu’s influence extends beyond the business world, as he is actively involved in various initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable development in Africa.
Not much is known about Tony Elumelu’s childhood education. His academic journey started with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Ambrose Alli University, formerly known as Bendel State University. Mr Tony Elemelu graduated in 1985 as a second-class holder of a B.Sc degree in Economics.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Elumelu furthered his education by obtaining a master’s degree in economics from the University of Lagos in 1989. This advanced degree equipped him with a deeper understanding of economic principles, laying the groundwork for his future ventures in business and finance.
Elumelu’s educational background provided him with a strong foundation in economics, a discipline that would prove instrumental in his subsequent career. His academic achievements, combined with his innate business acumen, set the stage for his impactful contributions to the business world and beyond.
He spent most of his career in banking, rising from the position of an analyst to become the CEO of United Bank for Africa.
After getting his first degree, he proceeded to register for the 1-year mandatory service required from all Nigerian graduates under the age of 30. He served in Sokoto as a Corps member at a branch of Union Bank.
After completing his Master’s degree from the University of Lagos, Mr Elumelu applied to join Allstates Trust Bank, despite not meeting the qualification criteria. By a stroke of luck, the CEO of the bank came across his application letter, and he was handpicked for the interview.
In 1989, at the remarkable age of 26, Tony received a groundbreaking offer to step into the role of branch manager at AllStates Trust Bank, marking him as the youngest individual to hold such a position nationwide. This pivotal moment not only shaped Tony’s own trajectory but also inspired him to extend similar opportunities to emerging talents. Thriving in his role, Tony discovered an interest in impacting the lives of young individuals through mentorship and investment.
In 1997, he became the CEO of Crystal Bank after acquiring the struggling financial institution. This action made people nickname Elumelu and his colleagues “the cowboys of banking.”
Mr Elumelu acknowledged his acquisition of Crystal Bank which was later renamed Standard Trust Bank as a major breakthrough for him.
In seven years, a struggling financial institution became the fifth-largest bank in Nigeria.
In 2005, Tony Elumelu merged Standard Trust Bank with UBA. After the merger, he became the CEO of the consolidated UBA. His leadership and strategic initiatives contributed to the growth and success of the bank during his tenure.
At the time of the merger UBA was one of the top 4 largest banks in Nigeria. UBA only operates within Nigerian soil. However, Mr Tony Elumelu made UBA a Pan-African bank. UBA currently has branches in two European countries: the UK and France, and one US location in New York. It also has operations in the UAE.
Mr Elumelu retired from UBA in 2010 at the young age of 47.
Source of wealth
Tony O. Elumelu is an aggressive banking strategist and an investor with a keen business acumen.
Mr Elemelu chairs Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading producers of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.
He is the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Oil & Gas, an upstream oil and gas company, whose assets include Nigerian oil block OML17, with a current production capacity of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and 2P reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with an additional 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources of further exploration potential.
Mr Elumelu currently chairs Heirs Holdings, a family-owned investment holding company. He holds a 2.1 percent stake in Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, and a 7 percent interest in UBA also.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF)
Mr Tony Elemelu created the Tony Elumelu Foundation in 2010, after retiring from UBA. The foundation is dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and empowering African entrepreneurs to drive economic development and sustainable change across the continent.
TEF is renowned for its flagship initiative, the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program which kicked off in 2015. It is the largest African philanthropic initiative committed to empowering African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship on the continent.
Beyond financial support, TEF places a strong emphasis on mentorship and training. Entrepreneurs in the program receive guidance from experienced mentors, helping them navigate challenges and make informed business decisions. Training sessions cover essential skills needed for successful entrepreneurship.
Mr Tony Elemelu has a net worth of about $700 million. He is recognized in the Forbes list of the top 50 richest Africans. He was also one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
In 2003, Elumelu received the national honour of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) from the Federal Government of Nigeria. In 2012, he was honoured with the title of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his contributions to promoting private enterprise.
The life of Mr Tony inspires many African youths. While his net worth is remarkable, his life story encourages entrepreneurs to dream big and chase their dreams. Just like Tony Elumelu, their net worth can also increase exponentially.
Also check out, the Top 10 Richest Men in Lagos, Nigeria.