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Otunba Subomi Balogun: End an Era for Baron of Nigeria Financial Market 

Otunba Subomi Balogun: End an Era for Baron of Nigeria Financial Market 

Otunba Olasubomi Olaotan Olanipekun Balogun. The name that means so many things to many people. But one major undeniable thing is the fact that the name is essentially synonymous with success.

One of the major achievements of the Olori Omooba of Ijebuland and banking legend remains the fact that he successfully engraved his name in the hearts of the generality of his compatriots which cut across the globe. By whatever yardstick, he was never a colourless personality!

Riches, reverence and royalty are three natural substances associated with the man known as the true definition of a wealthy aristocrat. The blueblood from Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, was unarguably wealthy and winsome.

For the founder of First City Group (a financial conglomerate comprising First City Monument Bank, FCMB  Capital Markets, First City Assets Management, CSL Stockbrokers and City Securities), he was awed by his own achievements in life and humbly attributed his many successes to God.

Almost two decades after retiring from active banking, he still wielded much influence in Nigeria’s banking sector. Some even argue that he has as much influence after his retirement as he did while he was still active as Chairman and CEO of the first wholly-owned Nigerian Merchant bank, FCMB.

Even at a ripe age of 89, this old dandy tycoon refused to show any sign of slowing down, this is just as he continued to make fortunes. The stylish billionaire remained unrelenting and continued to cut deals till he breathed his last.

Little wonder many were shell-shocked when news of his passing broke last week Friday. Many, including those who only knew him through the pages of newspapers were stunned. It was not because the flamboyant businessman didn’t live a fulfilled life or that he didn’t live to old age, but because his colourful lifestyle even beat a kingly living till the last day.

He was both revered and respected at the same time, and was just the type you can rightly describe as man of timber and calibre. He was super rich, affluent, connected, colourful and dapper. He was also the true definition of wealthy aristocrat and he was created by God for the purpose of money making and service to humanity. 

He had almost incomparable taste for the good things of life. Legendary for his flamboyant dressing, he never settled for anything but the very best-in terms of class, taste and luxury.

Even in death, he remained part of those who have rewritten the story of the country’s financial sector and launched it into the global map. His philosophy was: “All things are possible if you believe.”

But interestingly, as stupendous a wealthy man that he was, he failed to meet his heart desire. One of his heart desire that he prayed to God for was for his Creator to grant him long life to reach the age of 100 before his death. This, we gathered he told some of his friends last December when they gathered at his Ijebu-Ode palatial house for new year prayers and thanksgiving.

Man proposes, but God disposes. The legendary banking don wished to live up to 100 years, but God had a different plan for him.

Adieu Olori Omooba of Ijebuland.

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