Chairman & CEO of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP)
Sector: Private Equity
Adebayo Ogunlesi (born December 20, 1953) is a Nigerian lawyer and investment banker. Ogunlesi is currently Chairman and Managing Partner at the private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). Ogunlesi was the former head of Global Investment Banking at Credit Suisse First Boston before being promoted to Chief Client Officer and Executive Vice Chairman.
Early Life and Education of Adebayo Ogunlesi
Ogunlesi is from Makun, Sagamu, Ogun State in Nigeria. He is the son of Theophilus O. Ogunlesi, the first Nigerian professor of medicine at the University of Ibadan. His family is of Yoruba origin.
Ogunlesi went to King’s College, Lagos, a secondary school in Lagos, Nigeria. He received a B.A. with first-class honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University in England.
In 1979, he received a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, which he pursued at the same time. During his time at Harvard, he was on the Harvard Law Review.
The Career of Adebayo Ogunlesi
From 1980 to 1981, Ogunlesi served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. Ogunlesi was an attorney in the corporate practice group of the New York City law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he had been a summer associate while studying for his M.B.A.
In 1983, Ogunlesi joined the investment bank First Boston as an advisor on a Nigerian gas project. At First Boston, he worked in the Project Finance Group, advising clients on transactions and financings and has worked on transactions in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
From 1997 to 2002, he was the Head of the Global Energy Group of the by then renamed Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB).
In 2002, Ogunlesi was appointed Global Head of CSFB’s Investment Banking Division. Also in 2002, he served as a member of Credit Suisse’s Executive Board and Management Committee.
From 2004 to 2006, Ogunlesi was Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Client Officer of CSFB.
In July 2006, Ogunlesi started the private equity firm, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a joint venture whose initial investors included Credit Suisse and General Electric. He currently serves as Chairman and Managing Partner.
In 2006, GIP bought London City Airport. In 2009, GIP acquired the majority in London Gatwick Airport in a deal worth £1.455 billion. The Nigerian press has given him the nickname, “The Man Who Bought Gatwick Airport.” GIP also owns Edinburgh Airport, which they bought in 2012, and Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, which they bought in February 2018.
Ogunlesi has been married to a British-born optometrist, Dr Amelia Quist-Ogunlesi since 1985. They have two children.
Other Interests of Adebayo Ogunlesi
Ogunlesi is now a Member, Board of Dean’s Advisors at the Harvard Business School; Member, Leadership Council of New York at Harvard Law School; and Member, Global Advisory Council at Harvard University.
He is a success-oriented man who has shown a great deal of diligence and readiness to succeed and though not very vocal about his achievements, he has set a good example for Nigerians in the diaspora.
He has also been able to stay on top because of his relentless ability to plan his time and prioritize effectively.
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Adebayo Ogunlesi is also a Member, Board of Directors of the Partnership for New York City Fund; National Board of Directors NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Board of Trustees New York-Presbyterian Hospital; and the King’s College Old Boys Association.
He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association. He taught a course on transnational investment projects in emerging countries, as a lecturer at Harvard Law School and the Yale School of Management, while also working at Credit Suisse First Boston.
In October 2012, Ogunlesi was appointed to the Board of Directors at Goldman Sachs and became Lead Director in 2014. There is no confirmed source of his net worth, but Wallmine estimates that Ogunlesi is worth at least $22.5 million dollars and owns at least 66,677 units of Goldman Sachs stock as of 7 May 2020.
In December 2016, Ogunlesi was named among business leaders that would be part of Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, but the forum was disbanded 8 months later.
Awards and Honors
Recipient of The International Center in New York’s Award of Excellence. Ogunlesi was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2019.
(Sources: Wikipedia & Nairametrics)