Tony Elumelu was born March 22, 1963 at Jos, Plateau State though his parents are from Delta State. After his primary and secondary education, Tony Elumelu who is second in a family of five proceeded to Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University) from 1981 to 1985, where he bagged a Bachelor’s degree in economics. Thereafter, he proceeded to the University of Lagos for a Master’s degree programme also in economics. Years later he attended courses at the famous Harvard Business School, USA. He is an alumnus of both the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and the International Institute of Management Development (IMD) Lausanne, Switzerland.
He began his banking career with the operations and foreign exchange department of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc as a Youth Corps member from 1985 to 1986. In 1988 he moved to All States Trust Bank as a Financial Analyst, where he was until 1995 when he moved to Linkage Assurance Company as an Executive Director. He later became the Chief Executive of BGL Limited; an asset management company, that later took over struggling Crystal Bank. Before long, he returned to banking as an Executive Director/CEO of Continental Trust Bank Limited, a position he relinquished to join Standard Trust Bank as the Managing Director in 1997. Under his leadership, STB pioneered electronic banking products in Nigeria including Internet banking.
When the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo evoked a policy induced consolidation on the banking industry, it became a great opportunity for Mr. Elumelu to step to another level. Through careful and skilful negotiations, he achieved a merger with UBA, then among the top five banks in the industry. On August 1st, 2005, Mr. Elumelu became the Group Managing Director of United Bank of Africa and took the company to Nigeria Stock Exchange to commemorate STB’s de-listing and the listing of the new UBA.
He is a director of ADIC and Standard Global Services Limited and Chairman of STB Capital Markets and Verticom Wireless, Flame Petroleum and Gas Limited and Standard Alliance Insurance Company Limited. He is a founding director of Transnational Corporation Plc, a member of the governing council of the Financial Institutions Training Center of Nigeria, Director of the Central Securities Clearing System Limited. In 1999, Elemelu was appointed into Nigerian Presidential Policy Advisory Committee. He was also a made a member of the Federal Government Privatization Council Sub-committee (on basic metals) and later served on the Presidential Committee on Interest Rate Moderation in the economy. Member, Presidential Committee on the Heart of Africa (Nigeria Image) Project, Presidential Committee on Outsourcing, Presidential Committee on Nepad, Advisory Board of the FCT, Presidential Task Force on Aviation Sector, Presidential Committee on Financing Agriculture, Presidential Committee on Police Equipment Fund, Advisory Board of Abuja Technology Village and other national committees.
He was accorded the national honour of Member of the order of the Federal Republic (MFR) in 2003. In 2006, he was elected as the President of the West African Bankers Association (WABA), a position he will hold for 2 years, vice chairman, UBA (Ghana) and chairman, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. He won the 2006 African Business Leader of The Year award conferred by the acclaimed UK-based magazine, African Investor. In March 2007, he was voted The Banker of The Year by the Nigerian magazine, Global Excellence.
Tony stepped down in 2010 as CEO of UBA Group after more that 10 years at the helm of STB and then UBA Group based on CBN guidelines.