From his days at King’s College to becoming an outstanding lawyer and business leader, igniting economic development through his support for private sector initiatives, Chairman, Nigerian Breweries Plc, ASUE IGHODALO has indeed blazed the trail. In this in-depth business profiling, Associate Editor, KEMI AJUMOBI presents his proof of growth, accolades from his impact, and outstanding achievements. Excerpts.
Success can be determined by one’s capability to navigate the intricate tapestry of life. Despite these situations, there are individuals who have gone through various experiences that has shaped who they have become today, and over the years, they have proven themselves as true models of distinction. Asue Ighodalo, is one of such examples.
Asue is a seasoned lawyer and outstanding business leader. He has created a laudable path that transcends obvious boundaries, imprinting his mark on the legal profession and the business terrain.
From his early years studying at the beginning of where nurtured boys transited to global men, King’s College, to where he sits today as Chairman of several top-notch organisations, Asue has had a remarkable journey, successfully led numerous high-stake negotiations, advised on critical legal matters, and directed strategic initiatives that has transformed organisations and achieved remarkable outcomes.
Born with a distinctive rarity and resolute devotion to justice, Asue embarked on a mission that birthed what has now become his legacy.
Partnering with Femi Olubanwo, Banwo & Ighodalo Law Firm was birthed on the 1st of February, 1991 with a resolve to create a world-class law firm and today, they are known for providing innovative, competent, cost-effective and well-timed solutions.
Right at the start of his legal career, he showed an uncommon proficiency to discern rigid legal matters with ease. His steadfast commitment to his clients, together with his brilliance and commendable work ethic, inspired him to strategically take his place in the legal arena.
As a business leader, Asue Ighodalo has over the years exhibited an uncommon perspicacity for valued business leadership, smoothly combining his legal skillfulness with a deep understanding of the corporate world.
Furthermore, his visionary approach to providing solutions to business challenges often yields phenomenal results, which helps to inspire the businesses to become ‘fireballs’, who go on to set new industry landmarks.
His ability to navigate the intricacies of the law while simultaneously fostering an environment conducive to growth and innovation has earned him the respect and admiration of peers and clients alike.
Beyond his professional accomplishments, Asue Ighodalo is a compassionate and philanthropic individual, channeling his success towards making a positive impact on the society.
When it comes to Asue Ighodalo, the quote “Great men are not born great, they grow great.” – Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather’ is apt. It is apt because Asue Ighodalo has grown greatly. He has grown as a business leader exemplified by his continuous pursuit of excellence and a decision to impact lives and businesses.
He is leading the path towards a worthy legacy and shaping the future of business and law through his visionary leadership and unwavering dedication, including his disposition and noesis to identify the potential of private sector participation in driving national development.
Asue Ighodalo is the co-founder of Banwo & Ighodalo, one of the foremost corporate & commercial law firms in Nigeria with 15 partners and over 100 lawyers. He obtained his first degree in Economics from the University of Ibadan, a law degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and was admitted into the Nigerian Bar in July 1985.
His core areas of practice are corporate and project finance, securities and capital markets, energy & natural resources, and mergers & acquisitions.
Ighodalo is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (past Chairman of the Section on Business Law 2014-2016), International Bar Association (Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law Section (SEERIL)), Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, Institute of Directors Nigeria, Commercial Law and Taxation Committee of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.
Asue is the Chairman, Board of Directors, Sterling Bank Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Levene Energy Group Limited, Edo State Investment Summit, DO II Designs Limited and Global Mix Limited. He also sits on the boards of Mainstreet Technologies Limited (ownership company of MainOne Cable Limited), Cardinal Stone Partners, Okomu Oil Palm Plc, Christopher Kolade Foundation, Boff&Co. Insurance Brokers, Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (NGO focused on the development of healthcare practitioners) and Kashim Ibrahim Foundation, Kaduna (NGO focused on the leadership development of Nigerian youths).
He is the immediate past Chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) and he also served on the Board of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, May 2017-May 2021, and was Chairman of Dangote Flour Mills Plc.
Ighodalo has been consistently ranked as a “Tier 1” or “Leading lawyer” in all of his areas of practice by the leading international legal directories. He has authored many articles in leading law publications and also delivered presentations on diverse subjects including a biannual seminar on ‘Contemporary Political History of Nigeria’ at the Nigerian Leadership Initiative Future Leaders class and the Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship (KIF) class. He lectured on the roles and duties of directors and corporate governance at the Lagos Business School and at the Institute of Directors. He was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Economics (D.Litt) (Honoris Causa) by the Edo University, Uzairue, Edo State in November 2021.
He is ever learning and seeking continuous growth through trainings and certifications. They include, International Institute for Management Development (IMD)- (2023), Stanford Directors’ College – (2019), INSEAD International Directors Programme (2016), Harvard Business School – Making Corporate Boards More Effective (2015), Aspen Institute -Nigeria Leadership Seminar (2006), Harvard Business School – Governing for Non-Profit Excellence (2004) and Georgetown University – Georgetown Leadership Seminar (2003).
His hobbies include golfing, watching football, reading, traveling and participating in political discourse. He is married to Ifeyinwa a furniture manufacturer and interior designer and has a daughter, Omoehi a serial entrepreneur.
January 1971 to June 1975: King’s College, Lagos (O’ Levels)
September 1975 to June 1977: International School Ibadan (A’ Levels)
October 1977 to May 1981: University of Ibadan (BSc, Economics)
October 1981 to May 1984: London School of Economics & Political Science (LLB)
October 1984 to June 1985: Nigerian Law School (BL)
November 2021: Edo State University, Uzairue (Doctor of Science (D.Litt.) Economics Honoris Causa)
NUGGET OF BUSINESS AND LEADERSHIP FROM ASUE
*Nigeria is a slightly complex country and sometimes if you are not in leadership sitting down with other leaders, you don’t get to see the full picture
*Anywhere in the world, companies start small, then the business multiples, that is how economies get built
*There is no economy that has been built where businesses haven’t grown in every level
*Our intention at NESG is to be the foremost think-tank in Africa and the world, to focus on growing and supporting the growth of economies of Africa
*I want to see more African firms become global brands able to easily compete with firms from any jurisdiction, and able to deliver first class service, promptly and efficiently
*There is a market for large firms as well as small firms who can specialise as niche players in different areas of practice and market segments
*I believe that a successful professional must know how to multitask, prioritise and be clinically efficient with their time
* If you are trying to do your best, people notice you. I have been fortunate to have been invited to join very strong boards of big multinationals and small boards of NGOs, all without lobbying
Chairman Ighodalo is a thoroughbred Nigerian corporate statesman and African business leader whose dedication to building institutions of excellence transcends his leadership on global, regional and national platforms, boards and professional organisations. As a NESG veteran reformer, his passionate, bold and audacious vision and action for change in a time of unprecedented economic progress reversals, accentuated his tenure as Chairman, and his oversight of the organisation’s strategic direction, was marked by courage to confront errors of the system and stand on our core principles of reform. Relentless in his quest for the actualisation of sustainable and competitive economic growth, the rule of law and governance in the national interest, Asue deepened national culture to use empirical evidence and policy analysis to hold national leaders accountable and speak truth to power.
-TAYO ADULOJU, CEO Designate, NESG
I thank God for blessing the Alukos with Asue Ighodalo. Asue and I were born just three days apart – a sign that God intended us to be close from inception. I have known him for over sixty years, and we both attended Mary Hill Nursery & Primary School, Agodi Ibadan. Then, we were privileged to proceed together into King’s College Lagos where we were further intertwined in the bonds of deep friendship.
Indeed, the friendship grew into family brotherhood. He was perhaps closer to my late brother, Bankole Aluko (SAN) than I was, and Asue was ‘adopted’ by my father Dr. T.M. Aluko as both our family businesses corporate lawyer and ever wise counsellor on matters both official and personal. He has maintained an excellent personal relationship with all my siblings to date.
Asue is loving and caring. He has stood by us steadfastly in good times and in bad times. Yes, he has also achieved well deserved great heights as a captain in the corporate world as testified to his chairmanship of some of our country’s largest corporations. Despite the height, he has always remained down to earth, a simple loving and caring brother.
Again, we thank God for blessing our family with Asue, and we all wish him God’s continued grace as he climbs further to achieve all that the Almighty has destined him to do.
MD Bisayo Property & Inv. Co. Ltd
Asue is the best brother and most loyal and trustworthy friend in the whole world.
You can expect only the fearless truth from Asue at all times. It’s a character trait he took from our mum and her father (i.e., our maternal grandfather.)
Your hard work, dedication and loyalty have been an inspiration to us all. Your commitment to excellence is greatly commendable, your strong work ethic is second to none and I couldn’t be prouder of your outstanding and steady accomplishments. You have consistently gone above and beyond, exemplifying what it means to be a true professional.
Cheers to you, you indeed set a new standard on the definition of success. Your unwavering commitment to your goals and your loyalty to those around you is immeasurable.
Through thick and thin, you have demonstrated your love and devotion, going above and beyond to ensure the well-being and happiness of friends and family.
From the countless sacrifices you’ve made, to the countless moments you’ve been there to offer a helping hand, your commitment shines through in everything you do.
I treasure the memories we’ve created together and forever shall it be.
Lead Pastor, Trinity House
Asue is a quintessential gentleman, and a consummate thoroughbred professional.
In the 30+ odd years that I have known and worked very closely with him, I have come to respect his brilliance, courage, zest, infectious determination to excel beyond expectations.
Managing Partner, Banwo & Ighodalo
Asue Ighodalo is a hardworking and consumate professional with loads of experience not just in the legal profession, but across the business world generally. He is a boardroom guru. His commitment to any project he is involved in, whether big or small is inspiring. He is also a people person. He is always nurturing and developing people.
He is readily available to provide any support, guidance, or advice you may require. He is a great leader and a big role model.
Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Nigerian Breweries
Asue Ighodalo, who, in addition to being the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Levene Energy Holdings, is also someone I am fortunate to call a mentor, leader and a friend. Asue Ighodalo has offered many years of distinguished service to the nation as an economist and a thought-leader. His Chairmanship of the Board of Levene Energy as well as other highly regarded corporate entities is a testament to the calibre of the person he is. From the conceptualisation stage of Levene Energy as an idea, to its incorporation and commencement of operations as an innovative solutions provider in the energy sector, Asue Ighodalo’s guidance has been invaluable every step of the way. All that we have achieved as a corporate entity is thanks in large part to how involved he is in all aspects of our business. Every board meeting and management retreat presents an opportunity for significant learnings by the executive management and members of staff, to take advantage of the fountain of knowledge that his presence and participation offers. In light of the foregoing, it goes without saying that we at Levene Energy Holdings hold him in the highest esteem and on behalf of the Board of Directors, management and members of staff, we will always be available to celebrate him as a valued stakeholder of our organisation.
Group Chief Executive Officer
Levene Energy Holdings