A Nigerian, Adebayo Ogunlesi, has acquired the London Gatwick Airport as the new owner. The Gatwick deal is a £1.455 billion agreement with BAA Airports Limited. 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,is the new owner of the London Gatwick Airport. Ogunlesi attended the prestigious King’s College, 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, whose father was the first Nigerian-born medical professor, studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and then earned law and business degrees from Harvard. Ogunlesi has lived in New York for 20 years and is active in volunteer work. But he also cultivates his ties to Africa. He informally advises the Nigerian government on privatisation. And last summer Manute Bol, former NBA center, visited Ogunlesi in his Park Avenue office, seeking donations for a charitable foundation in former basketball star Manute Bol’s homeland, Sudan.
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. Colleagues and friends call him Bayo.