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Ten family offices owned by Africa’s wealthiest people

The UHNWI population in Africa is growing at a faster pace than any other region in the world ­– except Asia.



Nigerian banker Herbert Wigwe.

The population of ultra-high net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) in Africa – those with $30 million or more in net assets – is growing at a faster pace than any other region in the world ­– except Asia. According to the 2021 Knight Frank Wealth Report, Africa is expected to see a five-year UHNWI growth rate of 33 percent to reach close to 4,400 individuals by 2026. A lot of that wealth will be created by entrepreneurs.

Successfully managing a family’s wealth and its enduring legacy can be a challenge without a family office ­– an entity established or engaged by a single family or a group of families to manage their wealth. While the family office industry is quite nascent in Africa, a dynamic family office ecosystem is slowly developing.

Many African billionaires and UHNWIs are opening up to the idea of an entity solely devoted to managing the wealth and affairs of their families. While many Africans are leaving their fortunes and affairs to be managed by multi-family offices and private banks, a handful has established their own single family offices to cater to their immediate and extended families.

These single family offices are staffed with professionals responsible for a myriad of tasks including but not limited to wealth management, philanthropy, as well as tax planning, and even concierge services.

Here are 10 family offices owned by African billionaires and what they do.

TY Danjuma Family Office

Founder: TY Danjuma

Location: London

TY Danjuma Family Office is a privately-owned single family office that manages the assets of Nigerian billionaire and former Defense Minister Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma. The firm, which is based in Surrey, England, invests in public market equity and fixed income portfolios, alternative investments, real estate, and direct private equity investments. It manages the TY Global Conservative Fund, an open-ended USD mixed-asset fund incorporated in Singapore with a bias towards emerging markets. The firm also invests in everything from art and movie production to industrial gases and pharmaceuticals.

Mary Oppenheimer Daughters Family Office

Founder: Mary Oppenheimer-Slack

Location: Isle of Man, Johannesburg, London

Mary Oppenheimer-Slack is the granddaughter of Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, the legendary diamond and gold mining entrepreneur. She manages her fortune through Mary Oppenheimer Daughters family office (MODO), a single-family office that has locations in Johannesburg, London and Isle of Man. While asset allocations are a closely held secret, MODO made the headlines in 2020 when it gave a $5.5-million lifeline to Phumelela, South Africa’s biggest horse racing company, after the racetrack owner filed for a local form of bankruptcy protection. Mary, a horse racing enthusiast, owns the Wilgerbosdrift stud farm. She is the founder of Business and Arts South Africa in 1997 and served as its first chair.

Oppenheimer Generations

Founder: Nicky Oppenheimer

Location: Johannesburg

Oppenheimer Generations is the family office tasked with managing the wealth and philanthropic activities of Nicky Oppenheimer and his son, Jonathan Oppenheimer. Nicky, heir to the DeBeers diamond fortune, and elder brother of Mary Oppenheimer-Slack, sold his 40 percent of the firm to Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash in 2012. Oppenheimer Generations, through its investment arm, Oppenheimer Partners, invests in private equity. Some of its investments include Ugandan beverage company Hariss Industries, GZI, an aluminum beverage can manufacturer, and energy infrastructure company, Genser.

Heirs Holdings

Founder: Tony Elumelu

Location: Lagos

Heirs Holdings is the family office of Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu. Its portfolio spans the power, oil and gas, financial services, hospitality, real estate and healthcare sectors, operating in 23 countries worldwide.

Selous Family Office

Founder: Rostam Aziz

Location: Dubai

Selous is the Dubai-based Family Office of Tanzanian billionaire Rostam Aziz. It manages an extensive property portfolio in the Middle East, as well as private investments in energy and infrastructure across East Africa.

Aziz was previously the largest shareholder in Vodacom Tanzania, the country’s largest mobile telecoms company. He sold his stake to Vodacom Group of South Africa in 2018 and 2019.

Tengen Family Office

Founder: Herbert Wigwe and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede

Location: Lagos

Tengen, a Lagos-based family office manages the private assets of Nigerian bankers Herbert Wigwe and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede ­– the two men who acquired Access Bank in 2002 and transformed it from a tiny local bank into a multinational financial services giant.

Tengen invests in financial services, energy, real estate and art.

Man Capital

Founder: Mohamed Mansour

Location: London

Man Capital is the London-based family office of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour. It invests in private capital in privately-held companies in the education, healthcare, logistics, oil and gas, real estate, technology, and telecoms sectors.  The company is managed by Loutfy Mansour, Mohamed’s son.

Eric Ellerine Trust (Pty) Limited

Founder: Eric Ellerine

Location: Johannesburg

Eric Ellerine Trust was founded in 2012 by South African furniture tycoon Eric Ellerine, the founder of Ellerine Holdings. Eric and his brother Sidney founded Ellerine Holdings in 1950 and ran it for five decades, building the company into one of South Africas largest furniture retailers. They retired in 2000. Eric Ellerine Trust has three main areas of investment focus namely: investments in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, property investments and private equity investments. Its property portfolio includes stakes in properties such as Canal Walk (Cape Town), The Glen (in the south of Johannesburg), and the Fourways Crossing Centre (in Fourways, Johannesburg), as well as many other iconic buildings. The family office is run by his daughter, Dionne Ellerine.

Singularity Investments

Founder: Issam Darwish

Location: Lagos

Sam Darwish, who has Nigerian, Lebanese, and U.S. citizenship, is the owner of Singularity Investments, a Lagos-based family office that focuses on tech investments.

Singularity has backed companies like Paystack, Flutterwave, AsokoInsight and Smile Identity.

Darwish is the chairman and group CEO of IHS Towers, the largest mobile telecom infrastructure provider in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Steyn Family Office

Founder: Douw Steyn

Location: Johannesburg

Steyn Family Office is the family office of South African billionaire, Douw Steyn, the founder of BGL Group, a UK-based insurance and financial services company. Steyn is also the owner of the popular Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, and Steyn City, a luxury private estate sitting on a 900-hectare site between Fourways and Lanseria in Johannesburg.

Steyn Family Office has investments and operating subsidiaries in the UK, United States and South Africa across a range of private market investment strategies including real estate, private equity and venture capital.

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African-American billionaire Oprah Winfrey files lawsuit against creators of ‘Oprahdemics’ podcast

As the “Queen of Talk,” Winfrey has built a thriving media empire that includes Harpo Productions.



Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey, a well-known African-American billionaire and talkshow host, has filed a lawsuit against the creators of the “Oprahdemics” podcast through her company, Harpo Productions, claiming that the program misleads the public into believing she sponsored or approved it.

According to Reuters, Winfrey, the wealthiest Black woman in the United States and one of the world’s richest Black billionaires, stated that she is neither seeking profit nor damages from the creators of “Oprahdemics,” and she is not attempting to halt the podcast.

She demanded that the podcast’s name be changed because its live events dilute Harpo’s “Oprah” and “O” trademarks and that the use of the word capitalizes on the goodwill that she has spent decades building, a move she said could cause irreparable harm to Harpo’s reputation.

Many consider Winfrey, who turned her hit talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which aired for 25 years, into a media and business empire, to be an institution.

Winfrey returned to the small screen in 2020 on Apple TV+ for an interview show about COVID-19 as part of a multiyear deal with the streamer.

Since the start of the year, her net worth has declined from $2.6 billion to $2.5 billion at the time of writing this report, resulting in a total loss of $100 million for the leading businesswoman.

As the “Queen of Talk,” Winfrey has built a thriving media empire that includes Harpo Productions, which has worked on films like “The Color Purple,” “Beloved,” and “Selma.”

She also has a 25.5-percent stake in the Oprah Winfrey Network, the cable channel that she launched in 2011, and a seven-percent stake in Weight Watchers, a global company that provides weight loss and maintenance services, which is presently worth $492 million.

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These are the four African billionaires whose net worth has increased since start of 2022

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.



Nassef Sawiris.

Only four of the 21 African businessmen on our radar with a net worth of $1 billion or more have seen their fortunes improve since the beginning of the year.

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

The recent surge in the shares of companies in their portfolios has resulted in a combined wealth increase of nearly $2 billion for these four African billionaires since the start of the year.

According to data compiled by Billionaires.Africa, this is how they stand at the moment.

#1 Aliko Dangote

Net worth: $19.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Aliko Dangote, the chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, Africa’s most diversified manufacturing conglomerate, has seen his net worth rise by more than $670 million this year, from $19.1 billion at the start of the year to $19.8 billion at the time of writing.

The increase in his net worth can be attributed to a bump in the market value of his 86-percent stake in Dangote Cement Plc, which accounts for $9.06 billion of his $19.8-billion fortune.

Since the year began, shares in Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement manufacturer, have increased from N257 ($0.614) per share to N265 ($0.633) per share.

Earlier this week, the company’s share price plummeted to N241 ($0.57) per share, resulting in a staggering $863-million loss for the billionaire in a single day.

However, renewed buying interest among investors on Wednesday saw the billionaire recoup part of the wealth loss and net a year-to-date wealth gain of $670 million.

#2 Nassef Sawiris

Net worth: $7.16 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Egyptian

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris, a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, is one of the four African billionaires who have seen significant increases in their net worth since the beginning of the year.

The leading billionaire, who serves on the boards of Adidas and OCI N.V., a global nitrogen product manufacturer and distributor, has seen his net worth rise by $659 million since the beginning of this year, from $6.5 billion to $7.16 billion at the time of writing this report.

The majority of his fortune stems from his 38.8-percent stake in the Netherlands-based OCI N.V., which is worth $2.52 billion, and his six-percent stake in Adidas, which is worth $2.13 billion.

#3 Abdul Samad Rabiu

Net worth: $5.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $400 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Thanks to the listing of BUA Foods Plc, Abdul Samad Rabiu, the founder of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing conglomerates, has seen positive wealth gains this year.

The market value of his stake in his newly consolidated food conglomerate, which went public on Jan. 5, offset the decline in the market value of his stake in his cement business, BUA Cement Plc, as its share price fell from N71.95 ($0.17) to N58.8 ($0.14) at the time of writing this report.

His net worth has risen by $400 million since the start of the year, from $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion.

#4 Nicky Oppenheimer

Net worth: $8.20 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $250 million

Nationality: South African

South Africa’s second-richest man Nicky Oppenheimer, who previously ran the diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to Anglo-American a decade ago, has seen his wealth rise by $250 million this year, from $7.95 billion to $8.2 billion, thanks to the revaluation of his private equity investments.

Oppenheimer, who is Africa’s third-richest man and South Africa’s second-wealthiest man, invests the majority of his net worth in private equity in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.

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South African billionaire Johann Rupert-linked SEACOM partners with BT Group

Seacom is privately funded and 75 percent African-owned.



Johann Rupert. ©Billionaires.Africa

SEACOM has announced a strategic alliance with UK telecommunications service provider BT Group as it prepares to enter the African enterprise cybersecurity market.

SEACOM is a leading pan-African telecom services provider linked to South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert.

The partnership aligns with SEACOM’s plans to expand its portfolio of services targeting African businesses. By leveraging BT Group’s infrastructure and expertise, SEACOM hopes to secure its own infrastructure and deliver new networking and security solutions to African businesses.

“With SEACOM’s global network and local presence and BT’s global reach and expertise, we will be able to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of cloud, security, and connectivity services that are reliable, scalable, and at the cutting-edge of the industry,” Oliver Fortuin, CEO of SEACOM, said.

BT Group, which protects some of the world’s largest organizations from cyber threats through a dedicated network of security operations centers around the world, announced that SEACOM customers will gain access to BT Group’s Cloud Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) platform.

The SIEM platform provides real-time visibility and monitoring across an organization’s entire IT environment, acting as an additional layer of security to SEACOM’s existing ICT solutions.

Seacom, which bills itself as Africa’s most extensive ICT infrastructure provider, is privately funded and 75-percent African-owned, with Rupert’s investment holding Remgro owning 30 percent of the company.

South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe owns a 15-percent stake in the pan-African telecom services provider through his financial services conglomerate, Sanlam.

Jubilee Holdings, a Kenyan investment holding backed by Aga Khan IV (Shah Karim al-Husayni), increased its stake in SEACOM from 8.8 to 18.8 percent earlier this year after acquiring an additional 10-percent stake in the company.

According to Nizar Juma, chairman of Jubilee Holdings, the transaction will strengthen the company’s ability to diversify its investment priorities across major sectors of the economy.

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