Tony O. Elumelu

Chairman , Heirs Holdings
"Economic prosperity and social wealth must go hand in hand for maximum impact. Success cannot be measured purely in economic terms, and Heirs Holdings’ investment activities aren't strictly driven by profitability—though our ultimate responsibility to our shareholders remains creating economic value for them."

Tony O. Elumelu is an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and the chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited. He also serves as chairman of Transcorp. In his early career, Mr. Elumelu made a name for himself by turning the nearly bankrupt Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player in Nigeria. In 2005 he led the largest merger in the banking sector in sub-Saharan Africa, acquiring United Bank for Africa (UBA). In five years he transformed it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with over 7 million customers in 19 African countries. 

Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, at age 47, Mr. Elumelu commenced full-time operations at Heirs Holdings and founded The Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organization dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship in Africa through interventions in the areas of business leadership, policy and access to finance. He serves as a member of the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum. He sits on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. He played a leading role in the formation of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria and now serves as its vice chairman. He chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, at the invitation of the Federal Government. Mr. Elumelu is the author and leading proponent of the philosophy he calls “Africapitalism,” which is the private sector’s commitment to Africa’s development through long-term investment in strategic sectors of the economy that drive economic prosperity and social wealth.

In 2003 the Federal Government of Nigeria conferred the national honour of Member of the Federal Republic on Mr Elumelu. In 2012 he was awarded the National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger 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. Mr. Elumelu is on Twitter at @TonyOElumelu. For further information, please go to:

Read an interview with Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman on how shared value might be the most effective way to attain sustainable economic development for Africa: “Shared Value Synonymous with Africapitalism”

View More Shared Value Thought Leaders»

Shared Value Thought Leaders

The global practitioners who have applied shared value in new ways with proven results. View Thought Leaders

Who's Leading Shared Value?

Personal reflections from the practitioners driving shared value strategy within their organizations. Read More