Elumelu returns to UBA as Board Chairman

Tony Elumelu
Tony Elumelu

The former Group Managing Director/ CEO of United Bank for Africa, UBA, Tony Elumelu, was on Monday named chairman of the Board of the bank.

Mr. Elumelu succeeds Joe Keshi.

The appointment was announced by the Divisional Head, Marketing and Corporate Relations, UBA Plc, Charles Aigbe, in a statement.

Mr. Elumelu is also the Chairman/CEO of Heirs Holdings, the pan-African proprietary investment company he founded in 2010.

Heirs Holdings holds equity stakes in a number of leading African businesses, including Transcorp PLC, Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate by market capitalisation, as well as UBA from where he retired in 2010.

Prior to his retirement from UBA following the introduction of the policy of 10-year tenure limits for bank CEOs by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Elumelu had served as CEO of the UBA Group for 13 years.

Mr. Elumelu was credited with several achievements during his tenure, including the transformation of UBA to one of the leading generation of banks in Nigeria and Africa today.

It was under his leadership that UBA flourished as a financial services institution reputable for innovation and the democratisation of banking services through a network of branches serving more than 10 million customers across the continent and London, Paris and New York.

Widely regarded as one of the most influential business leaders in Africa today, Mr. Elumelu has cultivated a reputation for identifying value and bringing a long term investment orientation and discipline to sectors critical to Africa’s development.

Some of the key sectors he has investment interests include financial services, power, oil and gas, agri-business, real estate and hospitality.

As the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropy, Mr. Elumelu is committed to the promotion of entrepreneurship in Africa, based on his championing of Africapitalism, the philosophy that identifies African private sector as the critical enabler of the continent’s socio-economic transformation.

Apart from his Chairmanship of the UBA Board and other Heirs Holdings’ portfolio businesses, Mr. Elumelu is the Chairman of Tenoil Petroleum & Energy Services Limited; Seadrill Limited.

He is one of the Nigerian businessmen that acquired the 972 megawatts (MW) Ughelli thermal power generating plant in Delta State under the Federal Government privatization of the power sector.

With operations in 19 African countries and presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is one of the largest financial services institutions in Africa.

The bank recently unveiled its Project Alpha, a three-year roadmap of key transformation initiatives, designed to consolidate the Group’s strategic positioning to fully exploit the opportunities provided by Africa’s economic renaissance and the UBA Group’s unique platform.

The Group Managing Director/CEO UBA, Phillips Oduoza, said Mr. Elumelu’s return to the Board after retirement would boost the depth of knowledge and experience in the African financial services industry.

Mr. Oduoza said UBA was particularly lucky to have Mr. Elumelu accept to lead its Board at this critical stage in the bank’s development.

The Chief Executive of Financial Derivatives, Bismarck Rewane, the leader of the shareholders groups also welcomed Mr. Elumelu’s return.

“Banking in Africa is a dynamic, exciting and an increasingly competitive and challenging industry that demands visionary, courageous men like Mr. Elumelu, who has proven ability to think for the long term, to create significant shareholder value for investors,” . Mr. Rewane said.

He said the drive, dynamism and competitiveness that Mr. Elumelu showed during his time as CEO of UBA were some of the qualities that inspired the changes in the Nigerian banking sector today.

Mr. Elumelu has acknowledged that financial services remained one of the key drivers of African growth, both in terms of social inclusion and regional integration, adding that his return to UBA Group would provide a unique platform for him to contribute his quota to the effort to deliver both extraordinary value and drive Africa’s economic success.

“I would also like to thank my predecessor, Ambassador Keshi and the entire board for their contributions to the growth and development of the bank,” Mr. Elumelu said.

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