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Meet Adebayo Ogunlesi, Nigerian Business Mogul Who Runs 5 Multi-Dollar Standard Airport In UK


Nigerian, UK-based lawyer and investment banker, Adebayo O. Ogunlesi is making history as one of the African entrepreneurs to have foreign airports which were acquired through his private firm, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

He brought the world’s second largest airport, The Gatwick Airport and also he bought 4 more all in the United Kingdom. Ogunlesi has truly established himself as an icon and an unshakable force in the Aviation Industry.

Born on 20th December 1953, Ogunlesi hails from Makun in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. He is the son of Theophilus O. Ogunlesi, the first Nigerian professor of medicine at the University of Ibadan. Ogunlesi went to King’s College, Lagos to receive his Secondary education.

He received a B.A. with first class honors 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. 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 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 his own 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 and three years after, GIP acquired the majority in London Gatwick Airport in a deal worth £1.455 billiion. In 2017, he was appointed by Donald Trump to become an member of his Strategic and Policy Team.

Ogunlesi has gone against all odds and succeeded in a foreign country which shows that Africans, especially Nigerians have what it takes to break against all barriers when they are determined to achieve goals.


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