In this piece, platinumpost.ng chronicles the biography, family, education, career and net worth of Olayemi Cardoso.
Olayemi Micheal Cardoso is a Nigerian banker, chartered stockbroker and public policy maker. He served as the former chairman of Citibank Nigeria and was the Commissioner for Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and budget.
He was nominated as Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor by President Bola Tinubu on 15th September, 2023.
Cardoso is married with five children and three grandchildren. His parents were descendants of Brazilian returnees and came from prominent families from Popo Aguda.
His father, Felix Bankole Cardoso, was the first indigenous Accountant-General of the Federation of Nigeria in 1963; and, the first indigenous Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Barclays Bank of Nigeria shortly after joining the bank in 1972.
It was under his leadership that Barclays became today’s wholly-owned Nigerian entity, Union Bank of Nigeria.
Cardoso attended Corona School Ikoyi and St. Gregory’s College in Lagos for his primary and secondary education, respectively.
He completed his undergraduate studies upon obtaining a Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in Managerial and Administrative Studies from Aston University in 1980.
Cardoso obtained a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School where he was a Mason Fellow.
In recognition of his outstanding achievements in the private and public sector, Cardoso was granted a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) (honoris causa) by Aston University in 2017. He is also esteemed as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers.
Cardoso began his professional career at Howard Tilly & Co., Chartered Accountants in London before transitioning to the banking industry.
In 1981, he secured a position at the renowned Citibank, the largest financial services organization in the world at the time.
Cardoso went through the Citibank credit training program in Athens, Greece, and was subsequently mobilised to Citibank in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 1982.
He operated within the West Africa Regional Office/Non-Presence Country desk, which encompassed multiple countries in the sub-region where Citibank had exposure to sovereign debt but no physical presence.
In 1982, while Citibank was still awaiting a banking license in Nigeria, Cardoso returned to Nigeria and joined Chase Merchant Bank, an affiliate of Chase Manhattan.
When Nigeria transitioned to civilian and democratic governance in 1999, Cardoso was appointed a Commissioner in Lagos State, a state of significant economic importance within Nigeria and the broader African continent.
He set up and oversaw Nigeria’s first stand-alone Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, which became the think-tank of the administration and the champion of the reform process.
Cardoso pioneered the Ehingbeti Lagos economic summit in the year 2000, as a platform that enabled business leaders and other multi-stakeholders, including international development partners and not for profit civil society groups, to contribute to solving the peculiar problems of a megacity in a non-partisan and result-oriented way.
Following his departure from government, Cardoso consistently engaged at the intersection of finance, governance and public policy, leading to a wide range of development and private sector activities.
He provided consultancy services on development and financial matters, establishing strong partnerships with international companies like Standard & Poor’s (S&P), as well as prominent donors such as the World Bank, Department for International Development (DFID – now Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office), the Ford Foundation, UN Habitat, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Clinton Climate Initiative amongst others.
Notably, he played a pioneering role in the rating of sub-national governments in Nigeria in collaboration with Standard and Poor’s (S&P).
In 2007, Cardoso was selected to chair the audit committee of the board of Citibank. He held this position until 2010, when he transitioned to board member and subsequently Chairman of the board.
His tenure as Chairman of the Board of Citibank Nigeria Limited from 2010 to 2022 was marked by exemplary leadership and technical expertise, leading to significant improvements in both financial and non-financial aspects of the bank’s operations.
His estimated net worth is not available.