Jim James Ovia (born November 4, 1951) is a Nigerian businessman and philanthropist, a native of Agbor in Delta State. He founded Zenith Bank in June 1990 and was its pioneer Managing Director/Chief Executive for 20 years, until he retired in July 2010. Under Jim’s leadership, what started with $4 million in shareholders’ funds, grew into one of Africa’s largest banks, an internationally recognized institution with more than $16 billion in assets. Zenith Bank ranks Nigeria’s Number One Bank on 2020 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking.
Jim Ovia is 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).
Jim Ovia is the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, one of Africa’s largest banks with over $17.6 billion in assets as of 31 December 2019. As the Chairman of Prudential Zenith Life Assurance Limited, he oversaw the landmark partnership of Prudential Plc – one of the world’s largest life assurance companies and Zenith Life – Nigeria’s fastest-growing life assurance company. He is currently the Chairman and majority shareholder of Zenith General Insurance Limited; Nigeria’s most profitable general insurance company. He is also the chairman of Quantum Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in or acquiring privately-owned companies in the fields of Financial Services, Technology, Real Estate, Philanthropy, and Other Sectors, with significant business presence or operations in Sub-Saharan Africa.
He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School (OPM), University of Louisiana (MBA), and Southern University, Louisiana, (B.Sc. Business Administration).