The founder of First City Monument Bank, Otunba Subomi Balogun, has died. He reportedly died in a London hospital Friday morning.
Balogun had celebrated his 89th birthday on 9 March, 2023.
Otunba (Dr.) Michael Olasubomi Balogun, the Founder of FCMB Group and Olori Omo-oba of Ijebuland added significant value to humanity before his demise.
His mantra was, “When the final call comes, you will just open your hands and say, God, here I am. To be able to do that, you need the grace of God’’.
Born on March 9, 1934 at Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, Otunba Balogun became an outstanding personality, a great phenomenon and embodiment of achievements within his immediate environment and far beyond.
His story was that of a man who understood early in life that the true essence of wealth is achieved only when it is deployed to the service of humanity, especially the less privileged.
Balogun was a man of proven immense wealth who was highly regarded, and respected in the society.
The honour bestowed on Otunba Balogun does not, however, stem from the immensity of his wealth, but from the good use to which he had put this wealth for the service of humanity.
Over the years, he garnered many epithets and appellations which present him as a colossus bestriding every aspect of national life.
Apart from being the founder of FCMB Group, he was the Otunba Tunwase, the Olori Omo-oba of Ijebu; the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians, the Baba Oba of Ijebu-Ife and the Asalu-Oba of Ijebu Mushin.
Otunba Balogun was a baron of the Nigerian capital and money markets; doyen, pioneer and role model of entrepreneurial banking in Nigeria; a constructive philanthropist and a distinguished church leader who devoted a substantial part of his private resources towards the care and service of the less privileged.
A lover of children who built several institutions for the health care, welfare and survival of children, Otunba Balogun was also a distinguished author, opinion leader, writer and a respected community leader whose contributions for community welfare continue to expand as he grew older.
A business icon, a philanthropist par excellence and a strong adherent to the Christian religion faith, he was also a strong character with unwavering inner convictions to which his resounding successes in many spheres of life could be attributed.
“I have a very strong character. There is nothing that I did that I wish I had not done. I have no regret over any of my past actions,” he says.
He recalled when he wanted to set up First City Monument Bank (FCMB), a wholly Nigerian Bank which he singlehandedly established; he went ahead to define what the culture of excellence would be.
It was to his credit that he was the first to create a special dining room for banks and was also the first to insist on bank staff wearing dark suits.
Over the years, this icon of our time has distinguished himself with rare altruism—sleeping, waking and thinking about how to impact positively on communities and people, especially the less privileged in his society.
Philanthropy is almost always an interesting pastime for those who have the giving spirit and for Otunba Balogun, it went beyond a pastime to what could be seen as a creed, hence he set up the ‘Otunba Tunwase Foundation’ through which he ventilated his philanthropic spirit in services to the community.