Brand Personality: Tony Elumelu

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Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chair­man of Heirs Holdings, the Unit­ed Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foun­dation.

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. Tony Elumelu owns a controlling interest in Transcorp, a publicly traded Nigerian conglom­erate with interests in hospitality, agriculture, oil production, and power generation.

Following his retirement from United Bank for Africa in July 2010, Elumelu founded The Tony Elume­lu Foundation, an Africa- based and African- funded philanthropic organization. His stated objective was to “prove that the African pri­vate sector can itself be the prima­ry generator of economic develop­ment.” The Foundation is charged with the mission of “driving Africa’s economic development by en­hancing the competitiveness of the African private sector”.

He was recognized as one of “Af­rica’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes magazine.

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