Jim Ovia, CFR (Founder of Zenith Bank)

  • Born on Sunday, November 4, 1951 in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.


  • Jim James Ovia holds B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA (1977) and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana, Monroe, Louisiana, USA in 1979. He is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School.


  • He is the chairman, founder and pioneer CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s largest and Africa’s 6th largest bank by shareholders’ funds. He founded the bank in 1990.


  • Ovia is also the founder of Visafone Communications Limited and the chairman of both the Nigerian Software Development Initiative (NSDI) and the National Information Technology Advisory Council (NITAC). He is a member of the Honorary International Investor Council as well as the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI). He is the Chairman of Cyberspace Network Limited. He was awarded an honorary doctorate at the 50th convocation ceremony of the University of Lagos.


  • Forbes listed Jim Ovia as the 30th richest man in Africa in 2014.


  • He is married to Kay Ovia, Chief Executive Officer of Quantum Markets Ltd and initiator of Star Rising Talent Hunt for children and young adults.


  • Jim Ovia will be 71 years old on November 4, 2022.


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