Celebrating Heirs Holdings at 12

With so much accomplished within a short period, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, says the investment company will continue to work harder to achieve its lofty dreams, writes Charles Ajunwa

In the beginning

Since it came into fruition on August 1, 2010, Heirs Holdings – an investment company has demonstrated resilience navigating the tough business terrain in Nigeria and beyond.

Driving this is one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists, Mr. Tony Elumelu. Elumelu’s business acumen and sagacity paved the way for the investment company to venture into financial services, power, oil and gas, real estate, hospitality, healthcare and agribusiness.  

The family-owned investment holding company which is committed to improving lives and transforming Africa through long-term investments has metamorphosed into different entities in the last 12 years.

Today, companies under Heirs Holdings include: Africa Prudential Plc (AP Plc), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Heirs Insurance (HIL), Heirs Insurance Brokers (HIB), United Capital Plc and Heirs Life Assurance (HLA).

Others are Transcorp Power Limited, Heirs Oil and Gas, Transcorp Energy Limited, Afriland Properties Plc, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Avon HMO and Avon Medical.

One of the things that makes Heirs Holdings attractive to investors is the way visitors’ privacy is treated as provided by the legal advisors.

Heirs Holdings at 12

To mark its 12th anniversary, Heirs Holdings which is tucked in the serene area of Ikoyi in Lagos, recently rolled out red carpets to celebrate its existence.

Though the celebration was low key, Elumelu used the auspicious occasion to praise the ingenuity of the staff who, according to him, continue to contribute to the growth and expansion of the company. He attributed the feat accomplished to the painstaking job carried out by the staff of Heirs Holdings in one decade plus.

With his trademark disengaging smiles all over his face, Elumelu while addressing the staff of the company said “the easiest thing to do is to dream dreams”, adding quickly “the more difficult thing is to actualise the dream.”

Though 12 years may be too short to attain its dreams, Elumelu acknowledged that so much had been  accomplished within the period while admitting that there is so much more to do in the years ahead.

The company’s 12th anniversary, according to Elumelu, is time to make an honest appraisal of Heirs Holdings’ strengths and weaknesses. To this end, he said the company will be able to make positive projections into the future.

“Our 12th anniversary is a moment for us all to look back and to look forward. To celebrate, to take stock, to learn and redouble. And yes, a time to thank and to acknowledge that we would not have accomplished our dreams  without our wonderful HH People.

“Let me thank God, my family, you, the HH People and all our supporters.  Almost everything we wanted to accomplish in our first 10 years, we have accomplished.

“Anyone can dream – execution, institutionalisation, patience, persistence, these are the hallmarks of our achievement, our success separates us from many. We appreciate luck, but we create opportunity, and opportunity that leads to results, milestones, value – tangible and intangible.

“As we are now well into our second decade, let me highlight and celebrate our HH People; both past and present, those that have helped us at Heirs Holdings to execute our vision, despite the often challenging operating environment we find ourselves in.

“I want to commend all subsidiary and investee companies associated with Heirs Holdings, for making HH’s vision a reality, without them, we would not have been able to accomplish what we have achieved.

“And as I look forward in our journey and lead us into the future, I am more encouraged, to be even more audacious and bolder than we ever were, because of you, our HH People.

“In the beginning, we had shared visions, for business and for Africa. In business we have done well, but more important is the impact we are making every day in Nigeria, and Africa, as well as our growing influence across the globe.

“What we do at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which all of you support, directly and indirectly, is transforming lives and giving hope.  When I listen to our young African men and women tell how their lives have improved as a result of the work of the Foundation, I feel even prouder of HH People and how we are collectively transforming Africa.

“Nothing gives me greater happiness, greater excitement, and a greater sense of fulfilment than seeing the faces of these young men and women, from our continent, that have been enabled and empowered.

“So on behalf of aspiring young African entrepreneurs and on behalf of my family, I say thank you to all of you, for making the past 12 years significantly impactful.  We must not relent in our vision to improve lives and transform the African continent through living our philosophy of Africapitalism and our commitment to long-term investment and sustainable businesses.

“As always, let us commit again to our values of excellence, enterprise, and execution,” Elumelu said.

Elumelu’s Passion for Africa 

When he spoke at French President Emmanuel Macron’s flagship initiative, Tech for Good summit, held at the Elysee Palace in Paris some years ago, Elumelu called for increased investment and focus on Africa as a reflection of his own legacy.

He said, “At the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we have led in committing to Tech for All. Our digital hub for African entrepreneurs, TEFConnect, demonstrates the possibilities that can be unlocked on our continent when we leverage technology in business, investment and social good. Our platform is a demonstration of what can be achieved when the digital revolution is democratised – personal empowerment, business growth, equitable bilateral relationships and a more gender balanced and inclusive society.”

Lover of entrepreneurship

In 2015, he committed $100 million of his own money to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs over a 10 year period. 

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme has been described as the “largest African philanthropic initiative committed to empowering African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship on the continent.”

“The private sector must be the core driver of Africa’s economic transformation, but this sector cannot attain its full potential if entrepreneurs are left behind,” Elumelu said in a press statement announcing entries into the 2019 cohort of the programme. 

Also, Elumelu is the driver of the Africapitalism philosophy, which holds that the private sector, supported by good government reforms and support, has the capacity to transform Africa.

Elumelu was named one of the most influential philanthropists in the world by a UK-based digital platform some years ago.   


And as I look forward in our journey and lead us into the future, I am more encouraged, to be even more audacious and bolder than we ever were…

Related Articles