“Everyone lost everything,” remembers Oni Chukwu. It was the late 1960s and Nigeria was embroiled in civil strife. During the three years of the Nigeria-Biafran War, more than one million people died. Oni and his family fled as refugees. “I still cannot fathom how all nine of us and my parents made it out alive and intact from a war that took such a savage toll,” Oni says.
With the horrors of war finally behind them, Oni’s parents set their children on a course of learning. “You can do anything and be anything if you get the right education,” they often told their children. Oni studied accountancy and technology, earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the Nigerian Institute of Management & Technology.
Following college he joined the international accounting firm of KPMG. From there, he moved to the United States and became Corporate Controller for the Towers Housing Corporation. At the same time, he began his MBA in finance and international business at the University of New Haven, where he now serves as a member of the Board of Governors.
All told, Oni has served as CFO and an operating executive for five enterprise software companies and has earned a distinguished reputation in the venture capital world. He has raised more than $2.5 billion in investor capital, facilitated significant value creation and led four enterprise software companies to successful public and private exits.
Oni oversaw global finance for Lexibridge Corporation before becoming Chief Financial Officer at Healthcare Software Synergies. Today, as Chief Financial Oªcer at Triple Point Technology, the dominant enterprise software provider for commodity management, he is responsible for global finance, mergers and acquisitions, treasury, tax, legal and investor relations, as well as worldwide administrative functions.
Now that Oni and his wife, Leslie—who have two daughters, Tyler, a Columbia University senior, and Elle, a high school sophomore—are in a position to give back, they have established the Africa Plan Foundation. “Our sole aim for the foundation is to help disadvantaged people and organizations around the world in tangible and measurable ways,” says Oni, who plans to retire soon and run the foundation full time. “My upbringing in Africa and our travels around the world have given us a unique perspective on the needs of people everywhere and the very recognizable impact a few dollars can make on the health and overall wellbeing of someone, especially young people.”
Posted Spring 2012