Profile: Tunde Omotoba '03
man' achieves at Africa Finance Corp.
the average student in the Kellogg School's Full-Time
MBA Program lands a summer internship, he or she has already
spent five years in the workforce and demonstrated intellectual
prowess through strong undergraduate achievement and high
scores on standardized tests. That person is well prepared
for the challenges ahead.
Omotoba '03 found his summer internship at Smith Whiley
& Co. in 2002, it was clear to everyone involved that
he was not the average student. He had arrived at Kellogg
the previous autumn with 11 years of professional experience,
eight of which he'd spent with Arthur Andersen's Nigeria office.
He had been valedictorian of his 6,000-student undergraduate
class at the University of Benin (in his home country of Nigeria),
where he had earned a degree in civil engineering.
recalls that his colleagues at Smith Whiley — one of
whom was Venita Fields '88, the organization's senior managing
director — were so impressed with his work that they
sent the Kellogg School a letter of appreciation at the end
of his internship and asked him to stay on during the academic
year. "In my second year, I was working on projects part-time
while attending Kellogg," he says. Smith Whiley offered Omotoba
a full-time position upon his graduation from Kellogg.
years, three promotions, an M&A Advisor Consumer Financing
Deal of the Year Award, and nearly $111 million in private
equity and mezzanine transactions later, Omotoba left his
position as vice president of Smith Whiley's private equity
division in December to join the Africa Finance Corporation,
an investment organization established last year to fuel economic
development across Africa.
are pleased that Tunde Omotoba has decided to join us," says
AFC president and CEO Austine Ometoruwa, to whom Omotoba reports
as director of AFC's private equity initiative.
Kellogg mentors couldn't be prouder.
Omotoba is a great example of how Kellogg can make an impact
on the entire world," says Steven
Rogers, the Kellogg School's Gordon and Llura Gund Family
Professor of Entrepreneurship. Rogers, who worked closely
with Omotoba during the student's initial summer internship
search, calls Omotoba "a brilliant young man" with an astute
understanding of the Kellogg network — an ability to
make the right connections and seize opportunities as they
with AFC will allow Omotoba not only to do what he does best
— manage a $5-billion venture capital fund — but
also to play a central role in a continent's developing economy.
The fund will channel much-needed capital into Africa's transportation,
heavy industry, and energy sectors, giving communities critical
foundations on which to build.
who directs the Larry
and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice,
is inspired by Omotoba's talent and tenacity. "Tunde, like
all entrepreneurs, is one of my personal heroes because he
will be directly responsible for investing in entrepreneurs
who in turn create jobs throughout Africa. People who have
jobs are self-sufficient, and self-sufficient people tend
to live in healthier communities. It's wonderful to know that
a 'Kellogg man,' one of our own, is now responsible for managing
one of the largest venture capital funds in the world."
wife and four children will join him later this year in Nigeria,
where he has been working since late December. He is eager
to put the fund to work.
was created to drive Africa's development, and it is recruiting
top talent from around the world," he says. "This is going
to be an exciting opportunity for me to give back to Africa."