Our Leadership Team
Tony O. Elumelu, CON, is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, a proprietary investment company operating a portfolio of businesses across the African continent.
In 1997, recognizing the strategic potential of the Nigerian financial services sector, Elumelu acquired Standard Trust Bank, and created a new model of customer-focused banking for Nigeria’s emerging middle class. In 2005, he engineered, what was at the time, the largest merger in the Sub- Saharan African banking industry, through his acquisition of the United Bank for Africa (UBA). Within five years, the UBA Group had been transformed into a pan-African institution with over 7 million customers in 19 African countries, creating one of Africa’s most powerful financial services brands.
In 2010, Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, driven by his vision of African created and African-focused entrepreneurship that is committed to stimulating economic prosperity and social wealth. Heirs Holdings has significant interests in the ICT, 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 funded philanthropy dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship in Africa by enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector to create economic and social wealth.
In 2011, Heirs Holdings acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc. (Transcorp), a publicly quoted company, which operates in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors. Elumelu now serves as Chairman of Transcorp.
Elumelu also serves as an Advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He sits on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (AITC). He is also Vice-Chairman and was a key driver in the formation of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. At the invitation of the Federal Government of Nigeria, he also chairs the Committee responsible for the establishment of world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria.
Elumelu is the originator and leading proponent of the term “Africapitalism,” a philosophy that views the African private sector as the key driver of lasting economic transformation in Africa, through long-term investments, that create both economic prosperity and social wealth.
In 2003, the Federal Government of Nigeria conferred on him the National Honour of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) and subsequently the further honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 2012, for his service in promoting private enterprise.
In 2013, Mr Elumelu received the Leadership Award in Business and Philanthropy from the Africa-America Institute (AAI) Awards. He was also named African Business Icon at the 2013 African Business Awards.
|Dr Awele Vivien Elumelu is the Chief Executive Officer of Avon Medical Services Limited and oversees the healthcare investments of the group. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of Benin. Her experience as a medical doctor includes medicine, surgery, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology and emergency medicine. In Nigeria, Dr Elumelu has worked with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and, in the UK, with Grantham and District Hospital, Grantham.|
|Obinna Ufudo is the President/CEO of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc and is responsible for driving the group’s interests in oil and gas, agribusiness and hospitality. He holds a Master of Science degree in International Securities, Investment & Banking from the University of Reading (UK) as a British Chevening Scholar. He also has an Executive MBA from the IESE Business School, University of Navarra (Barcelona). He is a financial services industry veteran who has held senior-level positions in trading, investment management and financial advisory capacities.|
|Dr Tony Chukwueke is Director of Energy and Natural Resources at Heirs Holdings. His role is to identify opportunities across the mineral and energy value chain. He holds a first degree in Physics, a Masters in Applied Geophysics and a PhD in Geology. He has over 36 years’ experience in the energy industry in Nigeria and internationally, having served at various times as Chief Geophysicist, Value and Portfolio Manager, and Business Development Manager Africa at Shell companies in Nigeria and the UK. Between 2004 and 2009 he was Adviser to the Minister and then Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources where he initiated reforms to production sharing contracts and fiscal arrangements in offshore leases.|
|Emmanuel N. Nnorom is President/COO of Heirs Holdings. Prior to joining the Heirs Holdings Group, Emmanuel served as CEO of UBA Africa, overseeing United Bank of Africa’s operations outside Nigeria and executing corporate strategy in 18 African countries. Other senior roles within UBA included Group COO UBA, followed by his appointment as UBA’s Group CFO, with responsibility for Finance and Risk. Emmanuel is qualified as a chartered accountant, and brings over 3 decades of professional experience in the corporate and financial sectors, working with publicly listed companies. He is an alumnus of Oxford University’s Templeton College, and a Prize winner and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.|
|Adim Jibunoh is Business Development Director at Heirs Holdings overseeing the non-banking financial services investments in the group. He is a First Class graduate in Economics from the University of Port Harcourt. His career in the banking industry spans over two decades. His prior positions have included: Investment Executive at the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB – now Bank of Industry); Executive Director at Standard Trust Bank Plc; and the Chief Executive Officer of Continental Trust Bank. He is also a non-executive director of Avon HMO and UBA Capital Plc.|
|Sam Nwanze is Chief Investment Officer at Heirs Holdings, and is responsible for the administration and management of the group’s overall financial activities and investment programmes. He has a Masters in Finance and Management from Cranfield School of Management (UK). Prior to joining Heirs Holdings, Mr Nwanze worked in banking intuitions in various roles that saw him oversee strategy, financial control, performance management, and Treasury as well as play a key role in the STB-UBA merger.|
|Patricia Aderibigbe is Director of Group Integration & Shared Services at Heirs Holdings. Her role is to set and maintain world-class standards of excellence while enabling integration across the group’s business interests. She has a Master’s degree in English & Literature from University of Ibadan and obtained two further postgraduate qualifications in Human Resources and Employment Law from the UK. From 1998 to 2012 Mrs Aderibigbe was COO and Executive Director of ElanIT, Europe’s leading workforce solutions company, where she played a pivotal role in the company’s transformation. She has a background in Human Resources and strategic and operational business management.|
|Owen Omogiafo is Director of Human Resources at Heirs Holdings. Previously, she was the HR Advisor to Tony O. Elumelu, when he was GMD/CEO of United Bank for Africa Plc. In this capacity, she worked with Mr. Elumelu to strategically drive staff affairs at the bank. Owen joined UBA from Accenture, where she was an Organisation and Human Performance consultant, specializing in Change Management. Owen is also a certified Change Manager with the Prosci Change Management Institute, and a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, UK. She holds a B.Sc. (double honours) in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Benin and a Master’s of Science in Human Resources from the London School of Economics and Political Science.|
|Nigel Sonariwo is Director, Marketing and Corporate Communications at Heirs Holdings. He is a marketing and communications strategist with over 25 years’ hands-on experience leading global brand strategy designs; new business development, public relations and leadership training. Prior to joining Heirs Holdings, Nigel worked on a number of marketing initiatives for several Fortune 1,000 companies, including AT&T, Time Life, Western Union and MoneyGram International. He is a fellow of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, and a graduate of Cable and Telecommunications Marketing Association’s Harvard University Executive Leadership Program. He has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the State University of New York and an MBA from Howard University in Washington, D.C.|
|Dr Wiebe Boer is CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Under his leadership, the Foundation strategically deploys its resources to resolve challenges that inhibit Africa’s entrepreneurs. Dr Boer is a Director of Mtanga Farms, Tanzania; a Director of East Africa Exchange, Rwanda; and a Director of Avon Healthcare. He serves on the advisory boards of Digital Divide Data (DDD) Kenya and IC Publications, as well as several Nigerian public sector committees. Previously, Dr Boer was the associate director in the Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa office and a consultant with McKinsey & Company. He was born and raised in Jos, Nigeria and earned a Ph.D. in History from Yale University.|