The different sectors of the economy have produced billionaires in Africa’s space, and the banking industry is not left out. While some billionaires are just investors in this space, some generate their wealth mainly from the sector. For instance, Nigerian billionaire and banker Jim Ovia earned N1.52 billion from Zenith bank in the first half of 2022.
With the prospects and potential of digital inclusion in the sector, the Consulting Firms in Africa predicted that the industry would generate more than it made in 2017 in 2022.
According to the global management consultancy McKinsey & Company, the African banking sector in 2017 outperformed the global banking industry. Also, revenues increased in Africa at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11%, surpassing the growth rates in the developed world.
In the area of profit, while the global average for ROE was 8.6%, Africa’s ROE was twice that of developed countries at 14.9%. This makes the continent the second fastest market in terms of growth and profits.
With this growth trajectory, the firm predicted that by 2022, the value of the sector will have increased to $129 billion.
Here are some billionaires leveraging Africa’s banking industry to be wealthy.
Othman Benjelloun is one of the billionaires who made their wealth from Africa’s banking industry. He is known for founding the BMCE Bank of Africa, which was initially an insurance company. With his knowledge of the industry, he expanded the business into 20 African countries. Its success made it the first Moroccan bank to have a presence beyond the country’s shores, with a market capitalisation of MAD 37.11 billion. In turn, he became the second wealthiest person in Morocco, with a net worth of about $1.5 billion.
Michiel Le Roux $1.7 billion
Michiel Le Roux is a South African billionaire who made his wealth in the banking and finance sector. He entered the industry in 2001 when he founded Capitec Bank and served as its chief executive officer (CEO) until 2004. He later served as the board’s chairman from 2007 to 2016, after which he became one of the board members. The bank grew to have a market cap of $10.94 billion. Through the industry, Michiel Le Roux is now worth $1.7 billion.
Tony Elumelu is a Nigerian billionaire and banker. He is the founder of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), one of Nigeria’s leading banks. Elumelu solidified his position in the industry when he and some investors acquired Crystal Bank, later rebranded as Standard Trust Bank in 1997. Under his leadership, the bank became successful. The success led to the acquisition of United Bank for Africa in 2005.
In 2005, he led the merger of two banks (Standard Trust Bank and United Bank for Africa). It subsequently became one of the largest mergers in the banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Though Elumelu dropped from the African billionaires’ list, he is still one of the wealthiest billionaires in Africa and Nigeria. The bank has grown to have a market cap of N246.24 billion.
Jim Ovia is a one-time African billionaire and the founder of Zenith Bank, one of the biggest commercial banks in Nigeria, with over $22.80 billion in assets and shareholders’ funds of $3.03 billion.
Under his leadership as chief executive officer (CEO), he made the bank one of the most profitable until 2010, when he became the board of directors chairman. This growth rate and the subsequent ones gave the company a market worth of N626.36billion.
In the bank, he owns a direct share of 3.55 billion units and an indirect share of 1.53 billion units, worth a 16.6% stake.
Laurie Dippenaar is a South African billionaire and banker. He co-founded Rand Consolidated Investing in 1977 with GT Ferreira and Paul Harris. During this period, the company underwent a series of mergers and acquisitions. It merged with First National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, and Momentum Insurance & Asset Management. In 1998, FirstRand was formed.
He became the first chief executive officer (CEO) of FirstRand in 2003 and remained as such until 2005. In 2008, he was selected as the Chairman in a non-executive role. Today, FirstRand has a market cap of $18.51billion with subsidiaries within and beyond the borders of South Africa in African countries such as Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Zambia.
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