In 2015, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), founded by Mr Tony Elumelu announced that it had committed $100m to empower 10,000 Africans over a period of 10 years. TEF remains one of the biggest philanthropic efforts on the African continent and today, we are going to look at the financial journey of the man behind it.
Tony Elumelu’s net worth
Before we delve into his financial journey, let’s quickly look at how much he is worth. A quick search on Forbes revealed that as of 2015, he was the 31st richest man in Africa with a net worth of $700 million. This was reaffirmed by Time Magazine mid last year.
How did Elumelu become rich?
Tony Elumelu started his banking career as a Youth Corp member in Union Bank. He was and still remains a banker who was able to turn a sinking bank on its head, stirring it to profitability. According to Forbes, in 1997 he convinced a small group of investors to take over a medium-sized commercial bank that was on the verge of bankruptcy.
The newly acquired bank was renamed Standard Trust Bank and Tony Elumelu was named the CEO of the bank. In a few years, he stirred the bank to profitability and later, the bank was merged with UBA, the third-largest bank in Nigeria at that time.
Tony Elumelu was named the CEO of the merged UBA bank and he was able to turn the Nigerian bank into a Pan-African Bank with branches in over 20 African countries. He stepped down from his role as CEO of UBA leaving the bank with a $2 billion Market Cap., $12 billion in assets, and over 10,000 employees according to Forbes.
From the above information, it is clear that Tony Elumelu made his fortune in the banking sector before branching out to other fields as an investor.
What does Tony Elumelu do now?
Chairman UBA Africa Plc
Despite stepping down as the CEO in 2010, he still remains the Chairman of the Pan-African bank with branches in over 20 African countries. It also has branches in New York, London and Paris.
The Bank currently has assets in excess of $19billion.
Transnational Corporation is a Nigerian conglomerate with holding investments in hotels, power and agriculture. According to Forbes, Tony Elumelu owned 22.2% of the conglomerate’s shares as of 2013. He is the company’s largest individual shareholder. He was appointed Chairman of the company in 2011 and his shares in 2013 were valued at N30.7bn.
According to his personal LinkedIn profile, Heirs Holdings is an African investment company committed to boosting the African Economy by investing in its promising sectors which are financial services, healthcare, infrastructure, real estate and hospitality, agriculture, oil and gas.
These are his three known sources of income. The Tony Elumelu Foundation is strictly a not-for-profit institution.
What you should know about Elumelu’s Africapitalism concept
Mr Tony Elumelu is the founding father of the Africapitalism concept. The Africapitalism theory argues that the African economy can be fixed by the private sector by making long-term investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth.