Jim Ovia

Founder, Zenith Bank Group

Nigeria

Jim Ovia is the founder and pioneer Group Managing Director / CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s largest and Africa’s 6th largest bank by Shareholders’ Funds. He was at the helm of affairs, from inception, for 20 years until his resignation in July, 2010. He was reappointed the Chairman of the bank in 2014.

Jim Ovia was a member of the National Economic Management Team of Nigeria and he is a member of the Honorary International Investors’ Council.
Jim Ovia is a philanthropist and the founder and proprietor of James Hope College, Agbor, Delta State. His foundation, which focuses on providing scholarship to the less-privileged, has a number of beneficiaries that are now qualified medical doctors, engineers, etc.

He is also the Founder of several enterprises and philanthropic institutions including the Youth Empowerment & ICT Foundation, which focuses on improving the socio-economic welfare of Nigerian youths by empowering them to embrace Information and Communication Technology. The initiative holds annual Youth Empowerment seminars.

In recognition of his achievements particularly in support of the Nigerian economy, Jim Ovia was conferred with the national award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in November, 2011.

Jim Ovia holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Louisiana, Louisiana, USA obtained in 1979 and a B.Sc degree in Business Administration from Southern University, Louisiana, USA (1977). He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School (OPM).

Jim Ovia is a writer and motivational speaker. He has been interviewed by a number of global networks including CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg and Arise TV.