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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.

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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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Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu loses more than $4 million in 36 days

UBA is a leading Nigerian financial group with operations in 20 African countries, as well as the UK, United States and France.

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Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu.

Nigerian businessman and multimillionaire philanthropist Tony Elumelu has recorded a N1.67-billion ($4.06 million) loss in the past 36 days from his stake in one of Nigeria’s leading financial services groups, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA).

UBA is a leading Nigerian financial services group with operations in 20 African countries, as well as the UK, United States and France.

The pan-African bank ranks among Nigeria’s largest lenders. It operates under Elumelu, the billionaire businessman who holds a 6.96-percent stake in the group, deriving a total wealth of N18.8 billion ($45.8-billion) from his position.

The recent decline in the value of his stake can be linked to a single-digit drop in UBA’s share price on the Nigerian Exchange, as investors trimmed down their stake in the tier-1 lender.

As of press time, Dec. 4, shares in UBA were worth N7.9 ($0.01924) per share, 63-basis points lower than their opening price yesterday morning, Dec. 3.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that shares in the leading lender as of the opening of business and trading on Oct. 29 were worth N8.6 ($0.02094) per share.

Portfolio-rotation activities by investors who trimmed down their holdings in the bank caused its share price to slump by more than eight percent to N7.9 ($0.01924) per share as of the time of writing, accruing a total of N23.9 billion ($58.3 million) in losses for the bank and its shareholders.

While the market value of Elumelu’s 6.96-percent stake declined from N20.48 billion ($49.86 billion) to N18.81 billion ($45.8 million), this translates to a N1.67-billion ($4.06 million) loss for the Nigerian businessman in the past 36 days.

So far this year, the valuation of UBA and the market value of Elumelu’s stake in the bank is down by nearly nine percent.

Elumelu, who holds more than 2.3 billion shares in the pan-African bank, has earned a total of N1.72 billion ($4.18 million) in dividends from his stake.

The multimillionaire philanthropist recently paid out a total of $24.75 million in funding support to 4,949 entrepreneurs in Africa in line with his commitment to empower entrepreneurs on the continent.

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Egypt’s Ghabbour family gains $15.8 million in 11 days as shares in GB Auto rebound

The wealthy Ghabbour family holds a majority 62.9-percent stake in the leading auto manufacturer.

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Businessman Raouf Ghabbour.

Egypt’s Ghabbour family has gained EGP247.73 million ($15.8 million) in the past 11 days from their stake in GB Auto.

GB Auto is an Egyptian manufacturer of automobiles, buses, trucks and motorcycles founded by   Kamal and Sadek Ghabbour in 1960. Since then, the company has grown into the largest automobile manufacturer in Egypt under the Ghabbour Group.

The wealthy Ghabbour family holds a majority 62.9-percent stake in the leading auto manufacturer.

The recent gain in the market value of their stake can be linked to the performance of the company’s shares in the past 11 days as investors renewed interest in the automaker after its share price on the Egyptian Stock Exchange plummeted below EGP3.7 ($0.232) per share.

Data retrieved by Billionaires.Africa revealed that shares in the Egypt-based automaker were worth EGP4.01 ($0.255) per share as of press time, Dec. 4, 282-basis points higher than their opening price for the week.

As a result of the renewed buying interest in the automaker, its stock price soared by 10 percent from a valuation of EGP3.65 ($0.232) per share on Nov. 22, to a price of EGP4.01 ($0.255) per share as of the time of writing.

Meanwhile, the market value of the Ghabbour family’s stake in the automaker increased from EGP2.51 billion ($159.91 million) to EGP2.76 billion ($175.69 million), accruing total gains of EGP247.73 million ($15.8 million) for the family in 11 days.

So far this year, the valuation of GB Auto and the market value of the family’s stake in the company is up by nearly 21 percent.

The company’s stock performance in 2021 can be linked to its robust financial performance during the year.

Figures contained in its first-nine-month financial report for 2021 revealed that its revenue rose by 39 percent to EGP22.4 billion, while its net income increased by 59.8 percent to EgP1.01 billion.

The robust performance can be linked to the benefits that the company reaped from operational efficiency initiatives, operational leverage from higher revenues and the overall improved demand in the period.

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Led by Ivorian banker Tiemoko Yade Coulibaly, Societe Generale Cote d’Ivoire loses $42.6 million in three days

Societe Generale Cote d’Ivoire SA is an Ivory Coast-based bank offering financial products and services.

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Businessman Tiemoko Yade Coulibaly.

Leading Ivorian bank Societe Generale Cote d’Ivoire has accrued XOF24.73 billion ($42.65 million) in losses for shareholders after its shares slumped by nearly seven percent in the past three days.

Societe Generale Cote d’Ivoire SA is an Ivory Coast-based bank offering banking and financial products and services to individuals and corporate institutions.

Under the leadership of its chairman, Ivorian banker Tiemoko Yade Coulibaly, the comapny operates as a subsidiary of the French multinational investment bank Societe Generale, which is headquartered in Paris, France. 

As of press time, Dec. 3, shares in the bank were trading at XOF10,705 ($18.46) per share, 4.5-percent lower than their opening price this morning on the Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres, a regional stock exchange for companies in West African countries.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that shares in Societe Generale Cote d’Ivoire at the opening of business and trading this month on Dec. 1 were worth XOF11,500 ($19.83) per share.

Profit-taking activities on the regional bourse, as investors trimmed down their holdings in the bank, caused its share price to slump by nearly seven percent to XOF10,705 ($18.46) per share.

As a result of the decline in the bank’s shares, its market capitalization dropped from XOF357.78 billion ($616.95 million) on Dec. 1 to close the week at XOF333.04 billion ($574.3 million).

This resulted in a total value loss of XOF24.73 billion ($42.65 million) for the bank and its shareholders in just three days.

So far this year, the valuation of Societe Generale Cote d’Ivoire is up by more than 30 percent.

In the first nine months of its current financial year, the bank reported a 40-percent hike in its net income from the XOF34.65 billion ($60 million) that it posted last year to XOF48.44 billion ($82.8 million).

The surge in earnings can be linked to a contained growth in overheads and reasonable control over the net cost of risk despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its interest-bearing assets.

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