Tony Elumelu: Biography, Net Worth


57 (March 22, 1963)


Ambrose Alli University, University of Lagos, Delta State University, Benue State University


Chairman, United Bank for Africa, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, & Heirs Holdings



Spouse (s)

Dr. Awele Elumelu

Net Worth

$900 million (January 2020)


Tony Elumelu is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and the chairman of the United Bank for Africa and Heirs of Holdings. Elumelu is globally recognized as one of the most influential and powerful people in Africa. As of January 2020, Elumelu had a net worth of almost $1 billion. The source of his fortune comes from his businesses and multiple investments.

Early Life and Education

Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu was born on March 22, 1963 in Jos, Plateau, Nigeria, to his parents, Suzanne and Dominic Elumelu. He hails from Onicha-Ukwu, Aniocha North LGA, in Delta States. Although much isn’t said about his childhood and early education, Elumelu bagged two degrees in economics—a bachelors’ degree from Ambrose Alli University and a masters’ degree from the University of Lagos.


Elumelu’s rise to fame in the Nigerian banking and financial sector indicates that he probably had a lot going for him in his early career days. Not much is said about his early career days, however, his rise to fame started with the acquisition of Standard Trust Bank (STB).

In 2005, Elumelu acquired Standard Trust Bank, and later United Bank for Africa (UBA). Both companies were consolidated in one of the biggest mergers in the history of the Nigerian capital market. By 2010, Elumelu retired from his position in UBA and founded a new firm, Heir Holdings, which includes making investments in financial services, real estates, hospitality, agribusiness, healthcare sectors, and energy. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, a non-profit created to support small businesses with funds across Africa.

Heirs Holding acquired a controlling interest in Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) in 2011. The firm’s business interest includes energy, agribusiness, and hospitality sectors.

Recognitions and Positions

Mr. Elumelu is a member of the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He also serves as an advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He is the vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), and serves as Co-chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. Elumelu also serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL). He chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centers across Nigeria, under the Presidential Jobs Board created to create 3 million jobs in one year.


  • ·        Member of the order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR), conferred in 2003.
  • ·        In 2006, Elumelu was named African Business Leader of the Year by Africa Investor Magazine, and also won the African Business Leader of The Year award conferred by the UK –based magazine.
  • ·        In 2008, Elumelu was recognized as the African Banker of The Year by African Banker Magazine.
  • ·        Member of the Presidential Committee on the Global Financial Crisis, 2009.
  • ·        He was listed among the 100 most influential Africans in Business by New African Magazine, 2012.
  • ·        He was recognized as one of Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People by Forbes Magazine in 2012.
  • ·        He was awarded with an honorary doctorate of science degree from the Benue State University and another from University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
  • ·        He was named African Business Icon of 2013
  • ·        He received the Leadership Award in Business and Philanthropy from the Africa-America Institute (AAI) Awards.
  • ·        He was decorated with the National Honor of commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
  • ·        He was named the 2017 Philanthropist of The Year award by Per Second News
  • ·        He also received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Entrepreneurship Award from the Business Council for International Understanding in 2017
  • ·        He received Nigeria’s National Productivity Order of Merit in 2019.
  • ·        He won The Seven Stars Man of The Year Award in 2019.

Philanthropy and Non-Profits

In 2010, Elumelu founded the Tony Elumelu Foundation, a foundation dedicated towards helping small and medium enterprises across Africa. The objective of the foundation is to “prove that the African private sector can itself be the primary generator of economic development.” It is also driven with the mission of “driving Africa’s economic development by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector.” He is also involved with the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) through his Tony Elumelu Foundation. The partnership is called the Blair-Elumelu Fellowship Program.

Besides his foundation which is his major philanthropic movement, Tony Elumelu is also involved with other non-profits to support Africa’s economy. He is a member on the Bretton Woods Committee, which is a group of senior leaders in the global banking industry. He is also a Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI). He is also a co-chair of the Africa Energy Leaders’ Group (AELG), and a Trustee of the Infant Jesus Academy in Delta State, Nigeria.

In 2018, he was joined with other global leaders to become a member of the inaugural Board Members of Generation Unlimited, an initiative of the United Nations of refocused youth agenda.

Personal Life

Tony Elumelu is married to Dr. Awele Elumelu (m. 1993 to date). Together they have seven children. He is the brother of Ndudi Elumelu, a member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives, and a cousin to the late legendary reggae artist, Ras Kimono.

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