Home Business Nigerian Business Luminary Adebayo Ogunlesi’s GIP Snagged by BlackRock in $12.5B Deal

Nigerian Business Luminary Adebayo Ogunlesi’s GIP Snagged by BlackRock in $12.5B Deal

In 2016, Adebayo Ogunlesi gained international recognition when then U.S. President-elect Donald Trump appointed him to the “President’s Strategic and Policy Forum.” Fast forward to 2020, and Ogunlesi’s name resonated with a new audience, thanks to Burna Boy’s Grammy-winning album “Twice As Tall.” The lyrics of the hit song “Wonderful” had young people across Nigeria curious about the hustler mentioned.

Now, in 2024, Adebayo Ogunlesi is once again in the spotlight for a remarkable achievement. The private equity firm he founded and chairs, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), has been acquired by BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, for a staggering $12.5 billion.

Background and Family Ties

Hailing from Sagamu, Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria, Adebayo Ogunlesi is the son of Professor Theophilus O. Ogunlesi, the first Nigerian Professor of Medicine. In 1985, he married Dr. Amelia Quist-Ogunlesi, a British-born retired optometrist. The couple, based in the U.S., has two children: Geoffrey, a music executive, and Carl, a music producer.

Educational Journey

Ogunlesi’s educational journey took him from King’s College, Lagos, to Oxford University, where he earned a first-class degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Furthering his studies, he obtained a JD-MBA from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School in 1979.

Career Trajectory

His professional journey kicked off with a stint in corporate law at the New York City firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Ogunlesi then served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall from 1980 to 1981.

In 1983, he joined the project finance group at First Boston, an investment bank, working on transactions globally. Ogunlesi’s career milestones include heading the Global Energy Group at Credit Suisse in 1997 and later becoming the Global Head of its Investment Banking Division. In 2006, he founded GIP, focusing on infrastructure investments in energy, transport, water, and waste sectors worldwide.

GIP, under Ogunlesi’s leadership, made strategic acquisitions, including London City Airport (2006), a majority stake in London Gatwick Airport (2009), Edinburgh Airport (2012), and Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (2018).

Ogunlesi joined Goldman Sachs in 2012 as a Director, eventually becoming a Lead Director in 2014. His latest achievement involves BlackRock’s acquisition of GIP, making him a board member and part of BlackRock’s global executive committee.

In a video, Ogunlesi and Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, discuss the intricacies of the groundbreaking deal, solidifying Adebayo Ogunlesi’s status as a prominent figure in the global business landscape.

About The Author

Related Articles

EFCC Yahaya Bello Wanted

Just In: EFCC Declares Yahaya Bello Wanted Over Alleged N80.2bn Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared the former governor...


CBN Reduces Banks’ Loan-to-Deposit Ratio to 50% 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has slashed banks’ Loan-to-Deposit Ratio (LDR)...


Soldiers in Custody Over Alleged Theft of 897 Armoured Cables at Dangote Refinery

The Nigerian Army has detained two soldiers accused of stealing armoured cables...


CBN reduces commercial banks access to loans by 50%

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reduced the loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR)...