VENTURES AFRICA – The Nigerian-born investment banker who bought London’s Gatwick Airport, Adebayo O. Ogunlesi, has been added to the board of Goldman Sachs, as an independent director.
The American multinational investment bank announced the appointment Tuesday, making it Ogunlesi’s third appointment on the board of major Wall Street firms including; Credit Suisse and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), the world’s largest private equity firm committed to infrastructure buyout.
On October 2, GIP’s second infrastructure fundraiser closed with a record $8.25 billion, exceeding Goldman Sachs’ $6.5 billion infrastructure pool.
“Our board and our shareholders will benefit from Adebayo’s wealth of knowledge and rigorous thinking,” Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s CEO, said in a statement. “He has advised companies and institutions around the world and invested in many of the most important sectors in the global economy,” he furthered.
In April, the Ogunlesi-led GIP, after acquiring Gatwick and London City airports, also purchased Edinburgh Airport from BAA, fighting off competition from JP Morgan Asset Management, and paying a stunning £807 million ($1.3 billion). GIP’s chairman, Mr Ogunlesi, described the acquisition as a “landmark deal.”
The appointment of the investment banker makes him the eleventh director on the current board of Goldman Sachs, which has a total of nine independent directors.
Mr. Ogunlesi, son of Nigeria’s first professor of Medicine, attended the prestigous King’s College Lagos, received a B.A with first class honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, a law degree and MBA from Harvard University. He practised law for two years at Cravath, Swaine & Moore before pursuing a career on Wall Street.