Tony Elumelu is a Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist who has made significant contributions to the economy of Nigeria.
He currently serves as chairman at United Bank for Africa Group, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Ltd., and Transnational Corporation Plc.
More recently, he was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the world. Check out his family background and net worth!
Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu: 5 Things You Need to Know About Nigerian Billionaire Entrepreneur
- Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu is a Nigerian business magnate. He is the founder and chairman of Heirs Holdings, one of Africa’s largest privately-held conglomerates with interests in banking, manufacturing, energy (including oil exploration), real estate, and agriculture.
- HIS BACKGROUND AND HUMBLE BEGINNING
Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu was born on March 22, 1963, Jos, Plateau State in Nigeria.
Tony comes from the Eastern part of Nigeria. Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State to be precise.
Tony was born to a poor family in Nigeria, but by age 26 he had become a millionaire. He has gone on to build his wealth into billions and is now considered one of the richest men in Africa with an estimated net worth of over $2 billion dollars.
The economist and philanthropist hold a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Ambrose Ali University and a master’s degree from the University of Lagos.
In 1993, he got married to his heartthrob, Awele Vivien Elumelu who is a medical doctor. Their marriage is blessed with seven children.
Also, Tony Elumelu has four siblings who are equally doing well in their different fields. One of his siblings is Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, a member of the House of Representatives.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Babes-Bolyai University for his contributions to Africa’s economic development.
He has received various awards including being named one of Forbes’ “20 Most Influential Africans” and dropping out of Harvard Business School early to return home.
- Tony Elumelu’s Career Life: How He Started
Tony Elumelu started his journey to financial freedom in 1985 when he served as a Youth Corps Member with Union Bank. Due to his financial dexterity, he was able to buy over the STANDARD TRUST BANK in 2005 and later United Bank for Africa as well.
After sitting on the board of the bank for more than six years, he retired from UBA in 2010 to establish 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 organization.
Heirs Holdings was founded with a focus on investing and banking. His goal was to build an African multinational corporation that can compete with international companies like Nike, Starbucks, or Google.
Nicknamed ‘Tony E’, he’s not only been ranked by Forbes as one of the richest men in Africa but also a role model for young entrepreneurs on that continent through his foundation and investment arm – Heirs Holdings.
He created Heirs Holdings, with assets worth $600 million today ($200 million at the start ), which has invested in over 20 African businesses including a Nigerian bank, an oil firm, and real estate.
He’s also had stints with global firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Credit Suisse AG, and UBS AG as well as being on the boards of Coca-Cola Co. (NASDAQ: KO) Heirs Holdings is not only about investing though; Elumelu proudly states that he was instrumental in founding Africa’s first venture capital fund – Nigeria Helps Investments Ltd.
Tony E advises other young Africans to “get educated abroad, get rich at home” since you have more opportunity if you’re from the continent.”
The business is now valued at $700 million USD – it’s been awarded the Nigerian Presidential Order of Merit (CON), which is Nigeria’s highest civilian award for public service
In 2002 he invested in the purchase of then-bankrupt Unibank from government ownership as part of broad reforms undertaken by President Olusegun Obasanjo. Upon acquisition, Tony renamed the bank Tony Elumelu Bank plc (TEB) and made himself chairman until 2005.
He has since focused more on his philanthropic work through his Tony Elumelu Foundation, which provides scholarships to Nigerian students in science and technology.
In November 2016, he was the first African on Forbes’ list of billionaires with a net worth of $600 million USD.
– He also founded Tony Onyemaechi Consulting Services Limited as well as co-founded Access Bank plc along with American billionaire George Soros. In addition, Tony has invested heavily in various businesses and entrepreneurial development.
- TONY ELUMELU’S CHARITABLE WORKS IN AFRICA
Tony Elumelu founded Tony Elumelu Foundation in 2008 to promote entrepreneurship and provide opportunities for young Africans.
Through it, he’s mentored thousands of entrepreneurs who are now generating millions of dollars through their businesses as well as creating jobs for themselves and others.
He also established the Tony O. Elumelu Entrepreneurial Program at Babson College which has graduated 1000s of successful entrepreneurs across Africa including a female from Nigeria who started her own company that supplies food to American retailers like Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT).
Elumelu is also the founder or co-founder of several other organizations such as The Tony O. Elumelu Foundation, NextGenAfrica Initiative, Egozi Youth Development Initiative, African Leadership Academy, and Tony O. Elumelu Foundation’s flagship program- The Tony O. Elumelu Entrepreneurial Program
In 2010 he was appointed Vice Chairman at Heirs Holdings Limited (NSE: HEIRS) by the board of directors for his passion and commitment to building Nigeria’s economy through entrepreneurship.
Tony Elumelu is known for his excellent and entrepreneurial works in creating businesses that generate millions in revenue to mentoring entrepreneurs across Africa.
- TONY ELUMELU’S FAMILY LIFE AND LIFESTYLE
Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu is a devoted husband and father who is guiding and practically showing his children the road to financial freedom and independence.
Despite his busy schedule, Tony Elumelu still spends time with his children; Ogor Elumelu, Onyinye Elumelu, Oge Elumelu, Ugo Elumelu, Nneka Elumelu, Tony Elumelu, and Tony Elumelu in their Lagos home.
He never fails to flaunt his lovely family on social media or celebrate their big day. He has set sterling records as one of the billionaire Nigerian fathers who put their family first and are doing their bid to give their family the most luxurious yet simple and modest upbringing.
Tony Elumelu also lives a very classic lifestyle. His fashion sense and style stand him out in the crowd. Also, he drives very sophisticated cars like Mercedes Benz S-class, Range Rover, valued at 30million naira, among others.
- TONY ONYEMACHI ELUMELU’S NET WORTH AND BUSINESSES ACROSS AFRICA
Tony Elumelu has come a long way from his humble beginnings. He has various spread of businesses in Nigeria and outside Nigeria.
His net worth is estimated at $US 900 million (Nigerian) or $US 300 million(American).
Some of his businesses in Nigeria include United Bank for Africa which he cofounded with Nigerian businessman Kola Aluko; industrial manufacturing conglomerate Transcorp, real estate development firm Paragon Group Ltd., luxury hotel chain Vivanta by Taj – now owned by India’s Tata Sons group; Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony & Friends Homes. He also has an interest in mobile telecoms and is the founder of Eko Atlantic City – a new city development that he claims to be the “biggest real estate project in Africa”.
- SOME LAURELS TONY ELUMELU HAS WON
- Tony Onyemachi Elumelu, Tony and Friends Homes were awarded the 2016 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme Award by Tony O. Elumelu Foundation (TEF) for their contribution to Nigeria’s development through entrepreneurship.
- In 2011, Tony was selected as one of “The Young Global Leaders” at World Economic Forum in Davos – a group described as: “a network within the world’s most exclusive club”. He is also on the Board of Trustees at Harvard University.
- Tony has been named among 12 African business leaders who are making an impact across Africa by CNN Money Magazine; he won CNBC Africa Person Of The Year 2015 award; Forbes magazine ranked him #15 on its list of “Africa’s 50 Richest People” Tony was also honoured in 2013 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the EFYT (Nigerian business and professional association).
- Tony has been recognized for his philanthropic contributions, which include funding scholarships at Harvard University, Princeton University and Yale-National Universities Project in Nigeria; he funded one million dollars to TEF’s Microfinance Scholarship programme underwritten by Credit Suisse Group AG.
- The Tony O. Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme Awards were instituted to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contribution towards creating wealth opportunities for Nigerian entrepreneurs across all sectors of the economy via entrepreneurship.
- Following his contribution in the economic and entrepreneurial growth, the Federal Government of Nigeria bestowed on him the title of MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC (MFR) in 2003.
- In 2006, he was awarded the African Business Leader of the Year Award by AFRICA INVESTOR, a United Kingdom based magazine.
- In 2009, late former President of Nigeria, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua nominated him to serve in the Presidential Committee on the Global Financial Crisis.
- In 2012, he was granted the National Honor of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his administration in advancing private enterprise in Nigeria.
- At the fifth version of the yearly Economic Forum of the Ivorian National Council of Employers, CGECI Academy, (CGECI) in Abidjan in April 2016, he was granted a Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Also, in 2016, he was granted the Daily times, Nigerian man of the year award.