The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order by company): Oreoluwa Adeyemi, HSBC

Oreoluwa Adeyemi is the perfect example of how a GCV Rising Star nomination can sometimes turn out to be a great push for someone’s career.

Nominated in 2016 as an investment director for HSBC’s Strategic Innovation Investments unit, the corporate venture capital (CVC) unit for the UK-based bank, Adeyemi has since been promoted to managing director and head of North American investments, a position that he described as “even more entrepreneurial”.

He said: “Transitioning from the UK to the US was a homecoming of sorts [originally from Nigeria, Adeyemi completed his MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management], and a clear message that HSBC is serious about its CVC activities, and willing to make an even stronger push in the US to further bolster its existing portfolio in the region.”

It has now been almost 12 years that the managing director joined HSBC, having spent most of that time in an investment capacity. Having started off as an associate on the investment banking/M&A team, Adeyemi subsequently spent six years as an investment director within HSBC Principal Investments (PI), HSBC’s private equity arm, where he primarily focused on direct investments in Africa, and led investments alongside global buyout firms in Europe and North America.

In 2014, he transferred into HSBC’s new CVC unit, where he served as investment director for three years before being promoted to his current role.

“I have been afforded a lot of opportunities within HSBC since I first joined in 2006,” Adeyemi said. “My new role is a welcome challenge to help build our US expansion, which comes with the strong support of group chief information officer Darryl West, of our head of unit, Remi Bourrette, and of the newly-appointed Hong Kong-based global head of innovation investments, Frank Tong [following Christophe Chazot’s sabbatical leave].”

In 2017, HSBC’s CVC unit closed a number of news deals, including as lead investor in a $3.3m series-A round for data analytics company Quantaxa, as co-investor in a $63m BNP Paribas-led round for cloud-based messaging platform Symphony, as lead investor of a $107m round for distributed ledger technology (DLT) developer R3, and as third-time co-investor for cloud-based treasury services platform Kyriba Corporation as part of a $45m series-E round.

Deals that Adeyemi led in his previous roles included a $6.3m round for screen sharing technology company Vizolution, a $23m series-D round for Kyriba, and a $10.5m series-B round for cognitive computing platform CustomerMatrix, which were all completed in 2016.

He added: “But the more fulfilling part has been seeing these companies increase their level of engagement with HSBC and other financial institutions. Or, in other words, achieving our strategic mandate. It has been a long journey but, equally, rewarding.”

In the future, the managing director would like to have a sustained impact and recognition as a leader and driver of innovation in the financial services sector, championing cross-vertical collaborations, and to increase his commitment to mentoring within the corporate venturing space, he said.

As for improvements that could be made in the CVC industry at large, Adeyemi said he would like to witness increased “vertical” collaborations: “We need an increased collaboration not just in specific verticals, but across verticals, for example, innovation in the supply chain cuts across financial services, consumer goods, and so on. CVCs in these sectors should collaborate to leverage their areas of expertise.”

Prior to joining HSBC, Adeyemi was a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, and had stints in technology and investing at Hewlett Packard, Agilent Technologies and the Dubai Development and Investment Authority (Dubai Holding).

Adeyemi also remains very involved and interested in helping the African continent develop. He said: “Given my background – born and raised in Nigeria – I am very passionate about Africa and the role of investments in building capacity and spurring growth in that part of the world, especially in the area of education and healthcare.”

He is currently on the advisory board of an Africa-focused healthcare investment fund, and a mentor for the London-based SwiftScale accelerator program, which has partnered PwC.

In his free time, Adeyemi enjoys spending time with his wife and three young girls, who he said have enthusiastically moved on from London’s city life to California’s suburban lifestyle, and have simultaneously helped him transition from “City lad” to “mini-van dad”. A badge that he now wears with pride.