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Life And Times Of Otunba Subomi Balogun, Founder Of FCMB



Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun, founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Olori Omoba of Ijebuland, is dead.

Family sources revealed that the Otunba Tunwase of Ijebuland died in London Friday morning, aged 89.

As a high ranking Egba Chief, his death is yet to be officially announced.

It was however gathered that the family had informed the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, of his death.

A formal announcement of the passage of the foremost banker will soon be made, in line with tradition.

Chief Michael Olasubomi Balogun was born on 9 March 1934 at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, to Muslim parents.

He, however, converted to Christianity while in secondary school.

He was a Nigerian Yoruba banker and philanthropist who founded First City Merchant Bank, a company that later became the FCMB group.

Subomi Balogun was a long time member of the council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

He graduated from Igbobi College and studied Law at the London School of Economics.

Before leaving for Europe, he briefly worked as a teacher.

As a student in London, Subomi Balogun regularly attended fellowships and had the opportunity to meet some noted Nigerians such as Yakubu Gowon before the latter became the Head of State.

After earning his law degree, he returned to Nigeria to join the Ministry of Justice, Western Region.

Life portrait of Otunba Subomi Balogun
From the regional Ministry of Justice where he was a Crown Counsel, Balogun found a new post as a Parliamentary Counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice.

After the January 1966 coup, he joined the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB).

At NIDB, his interest in investment banking led him to advocate for the establishment of merchant bank sponsored by NIDB.

When ICON securities, a merchant banking outfit, was established in 1973 as a subsidiary of NIDB, Balogun moved to ICON Ltd as a director of operations.

When Balogun’s ambition to head ICON was not realised, he left the firm to found City Securities, a stock broking and issuing house.

City Securities developed relationships with Mobil, Texaco and Total petroleum marketing companies, handling the companies equity offerings.

In 1979, he applied for a merchant banking license to establish First City Merchant Bank.

Balogun was inspired by the entrepreneurial works of Siegmund Warburg, who co-founded S.G. Warburg, he visited Warburg in London prior to establishing his merchant bank.

He often tells the anecdotal story of how his son inspired him to take the leap in starting the bank.

When the operations of the bank took effect in 1983, Balogun established an entrepreneurial culture at the new bank, unique as an owner managed bank in contrast to the government owned banks at the time.

Balogun built a National Pediatric Centre in Ijebu-Ode that he donated to the University College Teaching Hospital (UCH)

A direct descendant of Oba Tunwase of Ijebu-Ode, Chief Balogun, till death, was the chieftaincy title Otunba Tunwase of Ijebuland.

He is also the Olori Omoba of Ijebuland and the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians.

•Additional information: Wikipedia

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