Net Worth: $450 Million, Source: Telecom
Citizenship: Nigeria , Age: 56
Hakeem Belo-Osagie is one of Africa’s richest businessmen. In FORBES’ inaugural list of Africa’s 40 Richest people which was published in November last year, he ranked number 28, with an estimated net worth of $450 million.
His story is quite remarkable. After graduating from Oxford with an M.A. and Harvard with awith an MBA in the early 80s, Belo-Osagie returned to Nigeria where he worked briefly with the Nigerian government, serving as a special assistant to the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum and Energy. Shortly after his stint with the Nigerian civil service, he struck out on his own and went on to establish CTIC, an energy consultancy that advised international oil companies, which were looking to make entry into Nigeria’s energy markets.
In 1992, he founded First Securities Discounts House Limited – an immensely successful boutique securities trading outfit that pioneered large scale trading activities in treasury bills, commercial paper and banker acceptances in Nigeria.
Six years later, in 1998, he made history in Nigeria’s corporate circles when he became the first Nigerian to stage a hostile takeover. The Nigerian government was selling off its controlling stake in the United Bank for Africa- a large, floundering commercial bank in Lagos. Belo-Osagie acquired the bank despite intense opposition from the bank’s senior management and trade unions. Using his infamous lean management style, he pushed the bank to profitability before flipping it for a profit to a consortium of investors led by Nigerian banker, Tony Elumelu.
Today, Belo-Osagie, 57, is the Chairman and largest individual shareholder of the Nigerian operations of United Arab Emirates-based telecom provider Etisalat. He is also the Chairman of Nigeria’s Chocolate City Group and serves on the boards of several other Nigerian companies.