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Jim Ovia (Zenith Bank CEO) Biography, Age, Wife, Children, Parents, Net worth

The Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, is an astute businessman who has, over the years, successfully built many enterprises that can stand the test of time. His numerous investments are now working for him, earning him some serious money by the way. Now, this is the sort of cool life we should all aspire to have!

Jim Ovia Biography

Jim James Ovia CFR CON (born 4 November 1951) is a Nigerian businessman, he is the founder of Zenith Bank which he founded in 1990.

Jim Ovia Parents: Father and Mother

Jim Ovia is the second son in the family of Obi Olihe of Agbor-Obi. His father was one of the most revered chiefs in Agbor Kingdom, Delta State.

Jim Ovia Education

Jim Ovia holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana, Monroe, Louisiana, USA in 1979 and a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA in 1977. He is also an Alumnus of Harvard Business School.

Jim Ovia Career

Jim Ovia is the founder of Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s tier-1 bank and one of the most profitable financial institutions in Nigeria until 2010, when he moved into the chairman role. He was the recipient of a Nigerian national honor.

During two decades of leadership, he helped position the bank as one of the largest and most profitable in Africa.

Ovia is the founder of Visafone Communications Limited and the chairman of both the Nigerian Software Development Initiative (NSDI) and the National Information Technology Advisory Council (NITAC). He is a member of the Honorary International Investor Council as well as the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI). He is the Chairman of Cyberspace Network Limited. He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in the 50th convocation ceremony of the University of Lagos.

In September 2018, Ovia announced the publication of his book Africa, Rise and Shine published with ForbesBooks.

He is a member of the Governing Council of Lagos State University, Lagos and a member of the Board of Trustees, Redeemer’s University For Nations, Lagos. He was a member of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (1999–2007) and served on the board of American International School, Lagos (2001–2003).

Ovia headed numerous NGO’s at various times including serving as the first President of the Nigeria Internet Group (2001–2003). He is the founder and Chairman of Mankind United to Support Total Education (MUSTE), a philanthropic organization focused on providing scholarships for the less privileged. He is the founder of the Youth Empowerment / ICT Foundation, which focuses on improving the socioeconomic welfare of Nigerian youths by inspiring and motivating them to embrace Information and communication technology.

In October 2022, a Nigerian national honour of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) was conferred on him by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Jim Ovia Wife and Children

Jim Ovia is married to Kay Ovia, she is the MD/CEO at Quantum Markets Ltd. and their union is blessed with five children – Isioma, Zephia, Tito, Tomi and Jesse.

Jim Ovia and Wife, Kay
Jim Ovia and Wife, Kay

Jim Ovia

Jim Ovia has an estimated of $550 million, according to Forbes. He is among the first ten richest bankers in Nigeria. He is the founder and Zenith Bank and also the largest individual shareholder of the bank. He has assets worth billions of Naira in different parts of the country, including Lagos Marriott Hotel, the Aquamarine Boat Club, and the Civic Towers which has over a 15-storeys.

He is the Chairman of Prudential Zenith Life Assurance Limited, he oversaw the landmark partnership of Prudential UK; one of the world’s largest life assurance companies and Zenith Life – Nigeria’s fastest growing life assurance company. He is currently the Chairman and majority shareholder of Zenith General Insurance Limited; Nigeria’s most profitable general insurance company.


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