Biography Of Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu: Nigerian Economist, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist

Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu
Nationality Nigerian
Education: Ambrose Alli University, University of Lagos
Occupation Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, President, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, Heirs Holdings & United Bank for Africa
Active Years 1987 – present
Best known for founding the Tony Elumelu Foundation
Spouse(s) Dr. Awele Elumelu (d. 1993)
Children 7


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Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu was born on 22 March 1963. He is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur and philanthropist . He’s chairman of Heirs Holdings, United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founding father of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Elumelu has earned national honors from Nigeria, Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) and Commander of the Order of Niger (CON). he’s best known in Africa for his support of entrepreneurship through his $100 million personal fund commitment to the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Program.

In 2020, Elumelu was included in Time’s list of the 100 most influential people within the world.


Tony Elumelu’s initiative into the spotlight came in 1997, when he led a group of small investors to shop for a struggling full service bank in Lagos. Within a couple of years, he turned the bank into a profitable business and eventually merged it with United Bank for Africa in 2005. UBA now has branches in additional  20 countries in Africa and beyond.


In 2010, after retiring from UBA, he founded Heirs Holdings, which invests within the financial services, land , hotel, agribusiness, energy and healthcare sectors. He also established the Tony Elumelu Foundation within the same year. In 2011, Heirs Holdings acquired a majority stake in Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly traded conglomerate that has commercial interests within the agribusiness, energy and hospitality sectors.

Tony Elumelu is no doubt a consultant for the USAID Private Equity Group Partner Forum for Africa (PCGA) and Vice Chair of the Nigeria National Competitiveness Council (NCCN). he’s also on the Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC) of the President of Nigeria


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With an estimated net worth of $700 million, Tony Elumelu is actually among the richest men in Africa. Its activities span through industries, including land and hospitality, agribusiness, energy, financial services and healthcare.

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