Meet Adebayo Ogunlesi, the Nigerian Who Sold His Company For $12.5 billion
Adebayo Ogunlesi, a name synonymous with remarkable achievements in the global financial sector, has recently marked another milestone in his illustrious career. The Nigerian entrepreneur and chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) has successfully navigated the sale of his company to BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, for a staggering $12.5 billion.
This significant deal, involving BlackRock paying $3 billion in cash and 12 million of its shares, valued at around $9.5 billion, further cements Ogunlesi’s legacy in the world of finance. It also leads to his inclusion on BlackRock’s board and global executive committee.
Born in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria, Adebayo Ogunlesi is the son of Professor Theophilus O. Ogunlesi, Nigeria’s first Professor of Medicine. He pursued his education at prestigious institutions, beginning with King’s College in Lagos and later earning a first-class degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University. Ogunlesi furthered his education at Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, where he completed a JD-MBA program in 1979.
Ogunlesi’s career trajectory is marked by a series of influential roles, starting with his time at the New York City firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore as a summer associate. He served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and later joined the project finance group at First Boston. His ascent in the financial sector continued as he became the Global Head of Investment Banking at Credit Suisse, followed by the founding of GIP in 2006.
Under his leadership, GIP made significant investments in global infrastructure, including acquiring stakes in several major airports. His appointment to Goldman Sachs’ board in 2012 and his rise to Lead Director in 2014 are testaments to his prowess in the financial
From his early days in Nigeria to his towering presence in the global financial sector, Ogunlesi has continuously broken barriers and set new standards. His journey is a source of inspiration, showing that with determination, expertise, and vision, one can ascend to the pinnacle of global business and finance.
Ntianu Obiora is a versatile creative professional with over a decade of experience in publishing, marketing, communications, and digital strategy. She is the Online Editor at THEWILL DOWNTOWN