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Boss Of The Week

Folake Ani-Mumuney: Marketer, Communicator Par Excellence



By Eric Elezuo

One of the basic achievements of the Beijing Women Conference of 1995 was creating untold courage among women who are determined and committed to making a paradigm shift towards affecting humanity for the positive reasons. One of such women is the strong woman at Nigeria’s foremost bank, First Bank, in the person of Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, who is the General Manager as well as sits atop Marketing and Corporate Communication department of the bank.

Ani-Mumuney, simply known as Folake by friends and well-wishers, is a humble combination of beauty, brains and workaholism. She is a stress-free achiever, who also chairs the insurance arm of the group.

Born to the family of late erudite former Medical Director of the National Orthopedic Hospital, Dr. Francis Owosina, who served between 1977 and 1989, Folake could very well be said to be a chip off the old block, striding in the very transparent footsteps of her forebears. Her father is reputed to have developed the modernised general and specialised Orthopaedic and Emergency Services department of the hospital in addition to introducing hip replacement and spinal surgery when he held sway in the hospital. He was also the brain behind the recognition of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi as a World Health Organisation collaborating centre in 1979 as well as establishing the Post Basic Nursing School and the Residency programme in Orthopaedics.

Versatile and very prolific, Folake holds a degree in Philosophy and Law and also a diploma in Business Computing System Analysis and Design in  addition to several management certificates and affiliation to many professional bodies.

She began her prolific and illustrious career with the British Airways, where she was responsible for Brands Policies and Communications across Europe and African region comprising 59 countries. She was practically running 59 countries, more than the size of the African continent at a time. It could only be as a result of her doggedness and desire to be the best one can be. She equally managed portfolios as Business Analyst, Strategy & Business Planning Manager, New Business Development Manager and Head marketing & Communications Manager Africa. And she was quite young then – a typical example of not too young to run product.

Her dexterity attracted the presence of the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who prompted co-opted her into the group. Bearing her experiences to bear, she initiated the speedy turnaround of Dangote Industries as its Chief Marketing and Communication Officer. Her days at Dangote are remembered with fondness for the giant strides she took.

It was from Dangote that Ani-Mumuney moved to First Bank where she presently serves as Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications and General Manager. She is known to be the brain behind the meteoritic rise in the fortunes of the bank as she continuously dishes out one form of market oriented policy after another.

It is not for granted therefore, that her prolific nature was rewarded in 2017 when she emerged as the 10th President of the Advertisers Association of Association in a keenly contested election. She therefore made history as the first female president of the association. Folake is known for creating firsts.

Between September 2017 when she took over the mantle of leadership of the association and today, Folake has walked her talk, creating a level playing ground for stakeholders as well as room for profit maximization in members’ respective businesses. Her intelligence and willingness to positively affect lives have remained the philosophy that drive her to greater heights.

In the testimonies of those who had been privileged to work with her or just come across her, Folake is a quintessential enigma, down to earth and full of respect – a virtue she confessed to receiving from her disciplinarian parents – her late father and her still bubbling 80 years mother.

With the likes of Wasiu Abiola of Nigerian Breweries, Nkiru Olumide Ojo of Stanbic IBTC, Nnena Osi Anugwa and Onome Asgbara of Dufil Prima on the driving wheels with her, Ani-Mumuney has been to steer the progress of ADVAN forward, initiating new vistas and building on the achievement of the past executives.

The communication and marketing expert, who has conquered the fields of aviation, manufacturing and banking, was recently appointed to chair the insurance brokers’ arm of the group, FBN Insurance Brokers, while maintaining her position. Her appointment was contained in a notification to the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), shareholders and the general public. Her elevation is a function of ability and trust.

A philanthropist of immeasurable standard, Folake has engaged in veritable corporate social responsibility, including individual based assistance to persons and communities. She is known to have put smiles on the faces of everyone that has come across her in one way or another, and has a retinue of gratitude in the bargain.

Folake is happily married with lovely children who are gradually carving a niche for themselves in their various little ways.

Ma, for being who you are (intelligent, productive and humane) and striving to make life bearable for as many people, you are our Boss of the Week. Congratulations!

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Boss Of The Week

Tony Elumelu: 60 Diamond Garlands for Africa’s Symbol of Enterprise




By Eric Elezuo
On March 22, 2023, an enigma celebrated another year of positive impact on the surface of the earth. He is Tony Onyemachi Elumelu, the influential name associated with the great United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Heirs Holdings Limited. Here is a man who will never cease to create firsts. That is what he was created to do, and has never disappointed. As such, his accolades resonate not just in the Africa sub-regions, but across the globe.
Vintage Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. A Nigerian national honours holder, the Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON), and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). It is worth noting that Tony has successfully held various editions of his annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurial Forum with not less than 54 African countries participating each time.
Adding another glorious feather to his retinue of feathers, Elumelu and his team of dedicated achievers, also operate new group insurance companies, namely Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life.
For a man, whose only concern is affecting humanity, it is not surprising that encomiums trail every of his step. In faraway Belgium on November 15, 2020, the man many referred to as chairman of chairmen was conferred with Belgium’s oldest and most important national honour titled: “The honorary distinction of Officer in the Order of Leopold.”
The award is said to be in recognition of his commitment to the eradication of poverty and the economic empowerment of young Africans. That’s vintage Tony, and it is no wonder he has been able to coin a new lexicon in the dictionary of entrepreneurial intelligence; Africapitalism!

“…the Kingdom of Belgium conferred on me with the honorary distinction of Officer in the Order of Leopold, the country’s oldest and most important National Honour.

“I am humbled by this recognition of the work @TonyElumeluFDN in catalysing entrepreneurs across Africa and will continue to drive the economic empowerment of our brilliant young #Africanentrepreneurs to propel development in Africa,” the distinguished entrepreneur had reported.

In commemoration of of his diamond jubilee event, a symposium was held in his honour at the Tony Elumelu Amphitheatre in UBA House.

The symposium tagged ’60 for 60’ was attended by 60 young beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, friends and colleagues.

Born Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu on March 22, 1963, in Jos, Nigeria, the economist by training, visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist, acquired and turned Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player in Nigeria. In 2005, his corporate reputation as an African business leader was sealed when he led the largest merger in the banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa to acquire United Bank for Africa (UBA). In five years, he transformed it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with over seven million customers in nineteen African countries.
In 2011, New African magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa, and a year later (2012), he was recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People” by Forbes Magazine.
Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organisation dedicated to the promotion of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship, and to enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector across Africa.
His stated objective at the formation of Tony Elumelu Foundation was to “prove that the African private sector can itself be the primary generator of economic development.” The Foundation is charged with the mission of driving Africa’s economic development by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector. As a premier pan-African-focused not-for-profit institution, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of entrepreneurship and excellence in business leadership across the continent, with initiatives like The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)
In a bid to expand his conglomerate as well as his business horizon, in 2011, through Heirs Holdings, he acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly quoted conglomerate that has business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors. Elumelu was subsequently appointed chairman of the corporation.
His enterprise is not limited to self financed enterprises as he serves as an advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He also sits on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He is also vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) whose formation he was a key driver in, and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security.
Elumelu additionally chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, at the invitation of the Federal Government and the Presidential Jobs Board, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year. He also serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum.
One will not be wrong to address him as a philosopher as well as he is the originator of the term Africapitalism. According to him, Africapitalism is an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth. Elumelu sees Africans taking charge of the value-adding sectors and ensuring that those value-added processes happen in Africa, not through nationalisation or government policies, but because there is a generation of private sector entrepreneurs who have the vision, the tools and the opportunity to shape the destiny of the continent. He insists that Africapitalism is not capitalism with an African twist; it is a rallying cry for empowering the private sector to drive Africa’s economic and social growth.
Having studied under Professor Porter at Harvard Business School, Elumelu subscribes to Michael Porter’s concept of Creating Shared Value (CSV). Professor Porter is the Founding Patron of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. In the same vein, CSV refers to the idea that “companies must take the lead in bringing business and society back together.” It asserts that “businesses acting as businesses, not as charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing the pressing issues (society) face(s).”
In 2003, the Federal Government of Nigeria granted Tony Elumelu the title of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), a national honour, and in 2006, he was voted African Business Leader of The Year by the Africa Investor magazine and was also recognised as  African Banker of the Year in 2008 by the African Banker magazine. In 2009, the Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’adua honoured him with a place on the Presidential Committee on the Global Financial Crisis.
In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his service in promoting private enterprise. Apart from being recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes Magazine as well as being featured in the New African Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential Africans in Business”. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the Benue State University and an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
In 2013, 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.
In addition, ESI-Africa, frequently described as “Africa’s power journal”, named Elumelu in its 2015 ‘ESI Most Influential Figures in African Power’ list, in January 2015.
Elumelu is not just a financial wizard; he also writes as well as provides incredible inspiration to writers. Some works that involves him include: How to Excel at Work – Proven strategies for achieving superior work performance by Bili A. Odum – a book inspired by Elumelu’s work ethics.
Elumelu has contributed to the Nigeria Leadership Initiative White Papers, writing on Leveraging private sector approaches in transforming government delivery.
The Power of Vision: Insights on Tony Elumelu is a testimonial compiled on the occasion of his retirement as Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer at the United Bank for Africa. It contains messages from Aliko Dangote, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Professor Michael Porter, former World Bank managing director and Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, President of Sierra Leone; Ernest Bai Koroma, former United States Comptroller of the Currency, Eugene Ludwig and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He has written about his philosophy and the economic development of Africa for several publications around the world including The Economist, the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.
The TOE Way: A handbook that offers insights into Elumelu’s philosophies, business practices, values and secrets of success, written by the man himself.
Tony Elumelu is happily married to Awele Vivian Elumelu, who he married in 1993, and they are blessed with five wonderful girls; Nneka, Ugo, Ogor, Oge and Onyinye.
It will not be worthwhile to end this article without stating the humble philanthropist’s one of most important quotes:
“Everything I have today is because of Africa, I was born here, went to school here, I work here and I’m achieving some level of financial comfort here.”
Sir, for your steadfastness in business and transformation of lives as well as unleashing the Midas magic to anything you are involved in or touched, you deserve once again to be celebrated.
Congratulations sir and happy 60th birthday!

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Boss Of The Week

Subomi Plumptre: African Business Leader, Social Entrepreneur




By Eric Elezuo

It is no secret that the most valuable recognition is granted by third-parties. For those who move an industry forward, third-party recognition is not only a nice-to-have, but also a yardstick of tangible social impact.

When Subomi Plumptre was recently announced as a member of Forbes Business Council, it came as a logical acknowledgement of her palpable achievements. Having garnered over 22 years of experience on boards and in corporate organisations where she led strategy and communications campaigns, Subomi has started making her mark in another industry – finance.

As a matter of fact, financial acumen has always been inherent to her. A long-tenured board member of Alder Consulting, the leading creative intelligence firm in Nigeria, Subomi grewAlder`s investment portfolio by 400% in two years without holding a formal position as a finance executive.

In her current position as the co-Founder & Director at Volition Capital Investments Limited, an SEC-licensed asset management company, she is helping the African middle class to create wealth. At Volition Blue LLC, which she also co-founded, she builds bridges between African & US investors and founders. In this interview, Subomi speaks about her transition to finance as well as her social mission to educate Africans and Diasporans on financial literacy.   

Boss Newspapers: Your transition into finance and your achievements in the industry are inspiring. Why did you choose to provide financial advisory and investment education to the middle class in Africa and the diaspora?

Subomi Plumptre: The middle class represents those who have made enough money for themselves and understand what it means to pay it forward. They know that by investing in someone else’s education or venture, they literally invest in the future — both for themselves and within their community. That is why for me, helping this demographic to create wealth feeds into a broader mission to impact society. A lot of global financial inclusion initiatives are typically targeted at the bottom of the pyramid. This is great. But we must not exclude the middle class who traditionally uplift economies by creating jobs.

Boss Newspapers: There are many prominent asset managers and other financial experts in the industry. Nowadays, there are many entrepreneurs who aspire to make life easier for Africans. What added value do you and your companies bring to the table?

Subomi Plumptre: In 2018, I created a new model for fund management and private equity using traditional African cooperatives. By pooling together funds from trusted networks, my co-founder and I created an accredited institutional fund with a seat at the table of global deals. The returns and in some cases, assets, were subsequently distributed back to the cooperatives. We have helped over 3,000 Africans save and invest about $30 million. That was our radical and innovative approach to financial inclusion. Today, we have many testimonials from clients who have funded their children’s tertiary education or purchased generational assets. In 2022, we received an SEC licence and our plan is to scale our model across Africa.

Boss Newspapers: Based on your profile, you are more than a financial expert, you are also a social entrepreneur. This means you are intentional about creating value beyond just your industry, but for the society at large. Is there anything special in your background that inspired you to become a social entrepreneur?

Subomi Plumptre: As far as I remember, I have always had a strong desire to develop others. I volunteered in various not-for-profit organisations; for instance the Nigeria Leadership Initiative where I served on the Governing Board.

Apart from my board experience, I have sponsored notable programs including education for out-of-school street kids through The Destiny Trust. These programs were life affirming for me, but I always noticed the same issue – the need for sustainable funding. I wanted to shift the narrative from philanthropy to social enterprise and that’s why I created my Foundation, Subomi Plumptre Trust to assist social entrepreneurs and also implement causes of my own.

Boss Newspapers: It is somehow difficult to understand what social entrepreneurs really do for those who are not into it. Could you please give any concrete example of your initiatives that can be classified as social entrepreneurship?

Subomi Plumptre: Through Volition Cap and Volition Blue, my co-founder and I fund businesses with social impact. For example, in 2022, Volition Blue invested in a US-based fund supporting underrepresented African founders who bring their innovations to the USA startup market. The same year, Volition Cap organised the first edition of the Africa Founders Immersion event in Dubai to open up growth and investment windows for African founders and investors. Our primary focus in delivering these initiatives was the lasting ecosystem impact that would outlive our companies.

At my foundation, the Subomi Plumptre Trust, I have trained about 10,000 individuals on financial literacy through my online courses. The idea is to teach people how to fish; in essence, to create their own wealth. My strong belief is that social entrepreneurship is a sustainable model for doing good and achieving results in society. That is why I wear two hats – business and social entrepreneurship.

Boss Newspapers: Thank you for your profound answers, Subomi. It has been a pleasure to learn about your business and how it serves the society.

Subomi Plumptre: It was my pleasure to share. Thank you for having me.

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Boss Of The Week

Adedeji Adeleke: Celebrating a Cerebral Philanthropist at 66




By Eric Elezuo

With a net-worth of about 900 million in United States of American dollars, it is not hard to imagine that the erudite scholar and reputed oil and real estate magnate, Dr. Adedeji Adeleke, is a force to reckon with in the Nigerian socio-political and economic terrain.

To many, he is the hitherto unknown ‘Baba Olowo’, as represented by his son, David Adeleke, in his hit song, Emi Omo Baba Olowo, to many others, he is just the father of one of Nigeria’s successful musicians, Davido, and to many others, he is the pathfinder that has helped in paving a path of fruitfulness for the Adeleke family in particular, and the people of Osun State in general.

Ebullient and renowned, Dr. Adedeji Tajudeen Adeleke, a native of Ede in Osun State, was born on March 6, 1957 in Enugu State, to Ayoola Raji Adeleke and Esther Nnenna Adeleke. Growing up with his maternal grandmother, fashioned in him the distinct features of Nigerian-ism thus becoming one of the few Nigerians, who are privileged to savour the true Nigerian originality, boasting of two physical ethnicities – Yoruba and Igbo.

Adeleke’s linage is blessed as his siblings are also movers and shakers of the Nigerian political and economic environments. His elder brother, late Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, was the first civilian governor of Osun State, and his younger brother, Senator Ademola Adeleke, is the present governor of Osun State.

Fondly called Deji by family members and loved ones, and Chairman by friends and associates, Dr. Adeleke, whose father was a renowned labour leader and activist, in addition to being the Balogun of Ede land and one time Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is many things one.

Tapping from the Igbo background of his beloved mother and the Yoruba originality of his father, Dr. Adeleke has overtime showcased qualities that stood him out as a believer in the oneness of the country, Nigeria.

Dr. Adeleke lived his early life in Enugu, where he developed inert abilities to mastering business craftsmanship, before moving to Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School, Surulere Lagos, for his primary education. Thereafter, he proceeded to Seventh-Day Adventist Grammar School, Ede where he graduated from in 1975, obtaining his West African School Certificate in flying colours.

His brilliance, coupled with opportunities, created a leeway for him thereafter to proceed to Western Kentucky University in the United States of America where he distinguished himself in academics and other endeavours, and graduating with a Bachelors degree in Finance in 1979.

A thoroughbred lover of education, Adeleke followed up his bachelors degree triumph with an MBA in 1981 and thereafter a Ph.D. in International Business from Pacific Columbia University, Mills Valley, California in 1983. It is not an understatement to say the proverbial ‘baba olowo’ is well read.

Having completed the academic trilogy, and with undisputable qualifications, Adeleke returned to serve his fatherland in the capacity of a Corps member in the National Youth Service Corps scheme; a clarion call he obeyed with all his being as a true Nigerian.

Armed and totally ready to take on the world, Adeleke ventured into the entrepreneurial world, audaciously establishing a drilling company, Pacific Drilling Company Limited which soon became the brainchild of other entrepreneurial ventures, metamorphosing into Pacific Holdings Limited, with a distinct focus on finances and investments in different sectors of the Nigerian economy, which comprises other groups of companies with diverse biases, including Pacific Energy Limited.

An egghead of no mean abilities, Adeleke is one of few academics, who holds double doctoral degrees, as he was privileged to bag a second Ph.D from the University of Phoenix, Arizona USA, where he studiously laboured for his honours.

His lofty academic sojourns have in more ways than one paved the way for him to conquer the competitive world of entrepreneurship. He is also the founder and Chairman Board of Directors of Pacific Merchant Bank Ltd which later became one of the legacy banks in the guise of present day Unity Bank Plc.

Quintessential in all ramifications, Dr. Adeleke is a philanthropist of note as his foundations and establishments speak volumes of his worth, and what he is capable of doing. Among his many foundations, dedicated to the upliftment of mankind, is the Springtime Development Foundation (SDF), a not-for-profit NGO, which has become a vehicle for the awards of scholarships at all levels of education, and distribution of medical assistance to diverse medical units across board; locally and internationally to meet the needs of needy Nigerians.

Adeleke’s SDF is also the brain behind the establishment of the prestigious Adeleke University Ede, where he is the Pro-Chancellor. In addition, Dr. Adeleke sits on the board of various blue chip companies across the globe.

Adeleke is known to be not just a father in words, but highly impactful, consciously and unconsciously imparting his children and any other person that crosses his path with his Midas touch of gold.

It has been said that no one comes his way, and leaves without a meaningful impact in his life. With his SDF tool, not a few lives have witnessed a turnaround.

Dr. Adeleke is blessed with four children, two males and two females named Adewale Adeleke, David Adeleke (Davido), Sharon and Ashley Coco, from his beautiful wife, Veronica, who died in 2003, and many grandchildren. His children are living examples of his paternal influence as they all have carved a veritable niche and influence for themselves in differs areas of human endeavours.

His youngest son, Davido, is a world renowned musician and philanthropist, carting away awards after awards in many areas.

He also has numerous grandchildren among whom are Imade Adeleke, Hailey Adeleke and Ifeanyi Adeleke, who are Davido’s children.

Adeleke is a lover of life, and the good things that come with it. As a result, he owns a Bombardier Challenger 605 Business jet and a Bombardier Global Express 6000 for both classic luxury and ease of movement, as an international businessman, who is constantly on the move.

At 66, Adeleke could be described as an accomplished husband, father, nationalist and entrepreneur.

We salute your dexterity and pray for more of wealth and health and many more years of celebrations. Happy birthday a true legend!

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