Meet Adebayo Ogunlesi, Nigeria’s Unpopular Billionaire

Bayo Ogunlesi

Meet Adebayo Ogunlesi

The name Adebayo Ogunlesi has recently gained more traction in the news, as the Nigerian entrepreneur and investor was recently ranked among the richest people in the world, with an estimated net worth of $2.3 Billion according to Bloomberg.

Who is Bayo Ogunlesi, How did he acquire his wealth,  and why is he unpopular?


Biography of Bayo Ogunlesi

Adebayo Olusegun Ogunlesi is a Nigerian lawyer and investment banker.  He was born on 20 December 1953 and hails from Makun, Sagamu, Ogun State in Nigeria. Bayo Ogunlesi is the son of Professor Theophilus O. Ogunlesi, the first Nigerian Professor of Medicine.

According to his biography on Wikipedia, Bayo Ogunlesi attended Kings College for his secondary education and proceeded to Oxford University in the United Kingdom, where he bagged a first-class degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Other qualifications in his curriculum vitae include a Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration   (JD-MBA) from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School in 1979.

Bayo Ogunlesi is married to Dr. Amelia Quist-Ogunlesi, a British-born (retired) optometrist with whom he had two children. He is currently the chairman and managing partner at the private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). Before this, he served as the head of global investment banking at Credit Suisse First Boston before being promoted to chief client officer and executive vice chairman.

The name, Bayo Ogunlesi became more prominent after it was used in Burna Boy‘s song “Wonderful” which was released in 2020. In Burna’s album “Twice As Tall”, he made a line …“As I dey hustle like Adebayo Ogunlesi (No go talk say me I too lazy),” depicting the diligence and hard work of the man. This mention made his fans go online to know more about this man and what he does.

His career

Bayo Ogunlesi started his career as a law clerk to the Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He then began to work as an attorney, at Cravath, Swaine & Moore law firm in New York City.

He transitioned into investment banking, joining First Boston Corporation, now known as Credit Suisse eventually moving to Goldman Sachs, where he became the head of the Global Investment Banking Division.

In 2006, Bayo Ogunlesi co-founded Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), an independent infrastructure fund management company. The company is known for its investment in infrastructure assets like airports, seaports, and energy projects.

In 2006, GIP bought London City Airport. In 2009, GIP acquired most of London Gatwick Airport in a deal worth £1.455 billion. GIP also owns Edinburgh Airport, which they bought in 2012.

It is therefore safe to say that the Nigerian Yoruba man has three airports in the United Kingdom. Aside this Bayo Ogunlesi has also served in various advisory roles, including as an economic adviser to one of the past U.S. presidents, Barack Obama.

Billionaire Status

Bayo Ogunlesi's Billionaire Status

On January 14, 2024, Ogunlesi’s news is trending for another good reason as he gets ranked among the billionaires. The co-founder and current chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP)’s net worth according to Bloomberg was revalued after BlackRock, the biggest asset management company in the world, acquired his company, GIP for $ 12.5 billion.

BlackRock, which currently manages $10trn across all markets,  will pay $3 billion in cash and 12 million BlackRock shares (about $9.5bn) to GIP which currently manages more than $100bn in assets. BlackRock said it would also appoint Ogunlesi, GIP Founding Partner, chairman, and CEO, to the board at the next scheduled board meeting after the close of the deal.

With this Bayo Ogunlesi was reported to now have an estimated net worth of $2.3 Billion, making him one of the richest people in Nigeria.  It is no doubt that this deal has skyrocketed Adebayo Ogunlesi’s financial status. A lot of people are anticipating the remunerations this deal will bring into the life of the industrious man.

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