“The Man Who Bought Gatwick Airport.”
Adebayo Ogunlesi, JD is a Nigerian-born lawyer and investment banker and is currently
Chairman andManaging Partner at the private equity firm, Global Infrastructure Partners
(GIP). Ogunlesi was the former head of Global Investment Banking at Credit Suisse First Boston before being promoted to Chief Client Officer and Executive Vice Chairman.
Ogunlesi is from Makun, Sagamu, Ogun State in Nigeria. He is the son of Theophilus O. Ogunlesi, the first Nigerian professor of medicine at University of Ibadan. His family is of Yoruba origin.
Ogunlesi went to King’s College, Lagos, a secondary school in Lagos, Nigeria. He received a B.A. with first class honors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University in London, England. In 1979, he received a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, which he pursued at the same time.
From 1980 to 1981, Ogunlesi served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. Ogunlesi was an attorney in the corporate practice group of the New York City law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he had been a summer associate while studying for his M.B.A.
In 1983, Ogunlesi joined the investment bank First Boston as an advisor on a Nigerian gas project. At First Boston, he worked in the Project Finance Group, advising clients on transactions and financings and has worked on transactions in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
From 1997 to 2002, he was the Head of the Global Energy Group of the by then renamed Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB). In 2002, Ogunlesi was appointed Global Head of CSFB’s Investment Banking Division. Also in 2002, he served as a member of Credit Suisse’s Executive Board and Management Committee. From 2004 to 2006, Ogunlesi was Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Client Officer of CSFB.
In July 2006, Ogunlesi started the private equity firm, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a joint venture whose initial investors included Credit Suisse and General Electric. He currently serves as Chairman and Managing Partner. In 2006, GIP bought London City Airport. In 2009, GIP acquired the majority in London Gatwick Airport in a deal worth £1.455 billion.
The Nigerian press has given him the nickname, “The Man Who Bought Gatwick Airport.” GIS also owns Edinburgh Airport, which they bought in 2012.
In December 2016, it was announced that Ogunlesi, among other business leaders, would be part of Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.