Jim Ovia: 5 Assets of the Banking Multi-Millionaire
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African CEOs - July 14, 2023

Jim Ovia: 5 Assets of the Banking Multi-Millionaire

Jim Ovia, a prominent figure in the Nigerian banking sector has over the years been widely recognized as a successful multi-millionaire. His remarkable journey began when he worked as a clerk at Union Bank, (formerly Barclays Bank) at Oba Akran Way, Ikeja.

Ovia who worked for three years at Union Bank, relocated to the U.S., to obtain his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.  As he studied Business administration, Ovia picked an interest in computer science and information technology and decided to incorporate it into his academic program.

This interest was the reason why his Zenith Bank became the first Nigerian company to have a functional website in 1995. Through his vision, tenacity, and expertise, The banking mogul built an empire that has propelled him to great heights. 

It has also solidified his position as one of Nigeria’s most influential figures in the financial realm. Let’s delve into some of the assets owned by the banking multi-millionaire.

Zenith Bank

Jim Ovia established Zenith Bank in 1990 with a vision to provide excellent customer service, innovative products, and cutting-edge technology.

With a capital of $4 million and a staff of 50, Ovia weathered political instability, economic downturns and regulatory changes to ensure that the bank grew.

Today, Zenith Bank has over 500 branches, 10,000 employees, 9 million customers and $16 billion in assets. It is also listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

Visafone Communications Limited

The Nigerian businessmen also founded Visafone Communications Limited, a mobile network operator with 3 million subscribers to provide telecom and data. Ovia later sold the mobile network to MTN Nigeria in 2016. 

His interest in technology also made him establish Cyberspace Limited in 2007 to provide internet services.

Quantum Capital Partners

Established by Ovia in 2010, Quantum Capital Partners is a private equity firm that focuses on investing in or acquiring privately owned companies in the fields of Financial Services, Technology, Real Estate, Philanthropy and Other Sectors, with significant business presence or operations in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ovia’s Quantum Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Quantum group also owns a $1.5 billion petrochemical plant in Ibeno, Akwa-Ibom State.

The Civic Towers 

Described as the ‘Godfather of banking in Nigeria’ by Forbes Africa, Ovia built the Tower on Victoria Island, Lagos in 2015. The towers consist of a 16-story building that has a central elevator core with four elevators and large bays.

The structure stands out as one of Nigeria’s most intelligent architectural masterpieces. It is the neighbourhood of landmark structures like the Civic Centre, Oriental Hotels, Mobil House, etc.

Aquamarine Boat Club

The bank chief equally owns Aquamarine, an exclusive boat club catering for Nigeria’s richest folks. Members of the club include Nigerian billionaire, Aliko Dangote and many other billionaires.

The club is located at the Civic Center, Lagos, Nigeria. 

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