Whoot Africa

Whoot Africa’s “The Greats” – Otunba Subomi Michael Balogun

“Each new generation is reared by its predecessors; the latter must therefore improve in order to improve its successor. The movement is circular. “ – Emile Durkheim

“It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.” – Arnold Toynbee

“They say footprints in the sand of time are not made by sitting down”, they are an embodiment of hard work, determination and above all the will to lead as one would be led. This phrase describes the life and excellence of Nigeria’s business icon and inspiration in the person of Otunba Subomi Michael Balogun.

The Pioneer - Otunba Subomi Michael Balogun
The Pioneer – Otunba Subomi Michael Balogun

Otunba Subomi Micheal Balogun is a man of excellence, integrity, an exemplary leader and a great reference point to the phrase “All things are possible if you believe”. Otunba Subomi Michael Balogun,CON, is the Founder of FCMB Group and a trail blazer and pioneer extraordinaire in the Nigerian financial and business sector.

Otunba Subomi Michael Balogun has been referred to as the Grand-master and Baron of the Nigerian Capital and Money Market. He stunned skeptics with his can do attitude and a “no guts, no glory” approach and made history by founding the first Nigerian Bank to be established in Nigeria without foreign direct investments or funding from the Nigerian government.

He is the type of man whose story inspires confidence and tenacity; Rather than staying down and remaining vengeful after being unfairly replaced by his employers for a role he more than deserved in a company he had even helped drive to the peak with his expertise and ingenuity; Otunba Subomi Michael Balogun picked himself up and took a giant leap of faith in venturing out on his own.

A move that has not only paid off, but today the First City Monument Bank has become a legacy which has now been handed down to the next generation and is currently headed by his son Mr. Ladi Balogun, CEO First City Monument Bank.



When you mention courage, tenacity, inventiveness, brilliance, distinction and visionary leadership and all these attributes added to faith, the Baron personifies them all.

Born to Muslim parents, Otunba Subomi Micheal Balogun has never been one to shy away from his converted Christian beliefs and unwavering faith and the importance of Godly practices both in his personal walk and business life. This move bears testimony to his courage, independence and willingness to go against the grain. These attributes combined with his resolve to make the best of life and be the best, are part of those that helped him quit his job and set up a bank in a way no one had ever done before and at the age of 42.

People of all ages would do good to learn from this; he did not let the fact that he was past the age range in which people believe one can take such risks deter him but went ahead anyway.


The Ijebu people have been stereotyped over the years as tight-fisted people, but Otunba Subomi Micheal Balogun has proved this assumption wrong one too many times and continues to do so with his philanthropy.

He has touched and continues to touch lives with his hundreds of scholarships and support to the “temporarily underprivileged” and many other charitable endeavours. He is one man that is determined that no child in Nigeria should ever die of a curable disease. His charitable actions are too many to be listed here.


Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre, OTNPC, Ijebu Ode
Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre, OTNPC, Ijebu Ode

An octogenarian with over 35 years in the banking world “The Baron” Otunba Subomi Michael Balogun has accepted age gracefully and has garnered a huge wealth of wisdom which he now shares with the next generation.  Just ask anyone who has worked under his tutelage at the First City Monument Bank and you will be amazed by what you will hear.

He was humble enough to recognize the wisdom in the words of his then eight-year old son who asked his father “when he was going to stop worrying about being the boss of someone else’s business and start running his own instead.”

He recognizes the importance of spending time to walk closely with God.

Otunba Subomi Michael Balogun refuses to be bowed down physically by age, he remains active in church and physically active; he still swims and takes long walks. He has created a holistic legacy which will live on after him and inspire many people

“There is only one way to avoid criticism; say nothing, do nothing and be nothing” – Aristotle. 

Otunba Subomi Balogun decided to rise above speculations and criticisms and as a result has become a pillar in our society, indeed a man for all seasons



·         Born March 9, 1934

·         Graduated from Igbobi College 1952 with Grade 1

·         Graduated with LLB Honours from the London School of Economics June 1959

·         Called to the English Bar December 1959

·         Assistant Parliamentary Counsel 1962

·         First Principal Counsel and Company Secretary to the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank 1966 – 1975

·         Director of Operations for Icon Securities Limited 1973

·         Member of the Council of Stock Exchange representing City Securities Limited and Icon Securities 1973 – 1988

·         Resigned from Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers) December 1977

·         Set up his own company, City Securities Limited the first Nigerian institution to combine stock broking and issuing house December 1977

·         Set up the first solely Nigerian owned merchant bank known then as First City Merchant Bank 1979

·         Set up a Chair for Capital Market Studies in the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan 1987

·         Became a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management August 1988

·         Donated the “IyeSubomi’s Child Care Centre to the Ijebu-Ode General Hospital 1989

·         Commenced the construction the “Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre” 1994

·         Established the “Otunba Tunwase Foundation” 2000

·         Published his memoirs “The Cross, The Triumph and The Crown” August 2000

·        Commissioned the “Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre” as a gift to the nation 2004


Whoot Africa celebrates the Man himself, An African Pride, Joy and Inspiration – One of the many Greats who rose, continues to rise and is greatly admired.

Whoot Africa’s The Greats!!! Otunba Subomi Micheal Balogun.







Simi Olusola

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