written by Bukunmi Akinshipe

Not many people in the world happen to own four Airports including Gatwick Airport, the second-busiest airport by total passenger traffic in the UK, and the ninth-busiest airport in Europe. 

It is none other than Nigerian-born Adebayo Ogunlesi. 

This is the profile of a man who graduated with first-class honors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University in England. It is the profile of a successful lawyer who received a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, which he pursued concurrently. It is also the profile of a former professor at Harvard Law School. 

Adebayo Ogunlesi serves as the lead director at Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s leading investment banking and financial services firms. He has also worked at First Boston Investment Bank and served as a member of Credit Suisse’s Executive Board and Management.

He is a member of numerous reputable boards and councils including Board of Dean’s Advisors, Harvard Business School, and National Board of Directors, The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

In July 2006, Ogunlesi started his private equity firm, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), where he currently serves as Chairman and Managing Partner. GIP’s initial investors included big companies like Credit Suisse and General Electric. 

As the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so is Adebayo Ogunlesi with his lineage. His father, Theophilus O. Ogunlesi, was the first Nigerian professor of medicine at the University of Ibadan.

In July 2015, Adebayo Ogunlesi was presented with the New York’s International Center Award of Excellence, and the Harvard Business School Club of New York Leadership Award for his immense contributions to investment banking and his commitment to the community.

His professional experience and achievements are too numerous to keep track of and it only goes to prove the fierceness of the Nigerian Spirit. 

Ogunlesi strongly believes that ordinary people can effect change if they want it badly enough, and it is surely advice worth taking. 

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