There is no way you search for Gatwick Airport on the web, and not be overwhelmed when his name pops out. He is a Nigerian, a business man, and the man who acquired Gatwick Airport in 2009, in the United Kingdom.
Adebayo Ogunlesi, 56, is the chairman and managing partner, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), an independent investment fund based in New York City with worldwide stake in infrastructure assets.
The acquisition of Gatwick by his company, saw them spending a whooping £1.455 billion; an agreement which they signed with BAA Airports Limited.
Bayo Ogunlesi, attended the prestigious King’s College, Yaba, Lagos. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association. He was a lecturer at Harvard Law School and the Yale School.
Ogunlesi’s father was the first Nigerian-born medical professor, studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and then earned law and business degrees from Harvard.
He has lived in New York for 20 years and is active in volunteer work. But he also nurtures his ties to Africa. He informally advises the Nigerian government on privatisation.
Prior to his current role, he was executive vice chairman and chief client officer of Credit Suisse, based in New York. He previously served as a member of Credit Suisse’s Executive Board and Management Council and chaired the Chairman’s Board. Previously, he was the Global Head of Investment Banking at Credit Suisse. Since joining Credit Suisse in 1983, Ogunlesi has advised clients on strategic transactions and financings in a broad range of industries and has worked on transactions in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
In the US, he is known as the Nigerian who clerked for late Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall, who they say was unable to pronounce his name and quickly dubbed him Obeedoogee.
The Company has offices in London and New York with an affiliate in Sydney and a portfolio company operations headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. GIP has a 75% ownership interest in London City Airport and its other UK investments are Edinburgh Airport and Great Yarmouth Port Company.
Although, colleagues and close friends may call him Bayo, we in Nigeria, call him, our “Nigerian Pride”.
His story is an Inspiration to us all.