5. Tony Elumelu
Net Worth: $1 Billion
Rank in Nigeria: #5
Rank in Africa: #26 (Newcomer)
Nigerian-born Tony Elumelu, one of Africa’s most revered business leaders, makes his debut on the Forbes list of Africa’s richest this year thanks to a variety of investments, including a controlling interest in Transcorp; a significant stake in the United Bank for Africa;and an extensive portfolio of real estate across Nigeria, among other assets.
In 1997, when he was 34, he led a small group of investors to acquire Standard Trust Bank, a struggling commercial bank in Lagos, and restored the bank to profitability within a few years.
In 2005, he merged the bank with the United Bank for Africa and transformed it from a single-country commercial bank into a financial services institution with operations in several African countries. He served as CEO until 2010.
He subsequently set up Heirs Holding to invest across Africa.
Elumelu is the author and leading proponent of ‘Africapitalism,’ an economic philosophy that advocates the private sector’s commitment to Africa’s development through long-term investment in strategic sectors of the economy.