Hakeem Belo-Osagie, MBA 1980

United Bank for Africa

Interview conducted in March 2002

Hakeem Belo-Osagie, HBS 1980, grew up in Nigeria, England, and the United States. After graduating from HBS, he returned to Nigeria to work in financial services. He started at a securities trading outfit and soon realized there was little trading activity going on in commercial paper, treasury bills, and bankers acceptances. Together with Nigerian shareholders and international shareholders including the World Bank, Hakeem set up a niche firm. Later, he realized a smaller group like his was vulnerable to being forced out of the market by a large, efficient commercial bank. Therefore, when the Nigerian government decided to sell its shares in the United Bank for Africa, Hakeem recognized a landmark opportunity and purchased the bank. He is now chairman of the United Bank for Africa, which has operations in 20 African countries and offices in three global financial centers. In March 2002, Hakeem shared his experiences as an entrepreneur and business leader. Interviewer: Obi Isiadinso, HBS 2002.

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