Tuesday, 6 May 2014, New York City
This dynamic and interactive, LP-GP closed-door event, led by Institutional Investor Forums and co-hosted by AVCA, brought together an extensive and influential collection of US institutional investors to examine how North American pension funds, endowments, and foundations can employ private equity investments in Africa to meet their investment objectives.
‘Private equity in Africa is an Alpha play’,
Joseph Boateng, Chief Investment Officer, Casey Family Programs
Michelle Kathryn Essomé, AVCA’s Chief Executive Officer, was joined by a range of prominent investors, including: Brookings Institution, Casey Family Programs, University of Illinois Foundation, Bucknell University, Washington State Investment Board, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, City of Hartford Municipal Employees’ Retirement Fund, GE Asset Management, and the Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association, amongst many others.
The multitude of opportunities within the African private equity landscape formed the basis for an in-depth, two-way discussion with industry leaders on whether Africa was ready for prime-time, on whether it encompassed sufficient deal flow and maintained attractive valuations, and how to best evaluate opportunities for investing in Africa.
On the first panel, Haydee Celaya of AVCA Member Avanz Capital discussed the underlying fundamentals of African private equity, and specifically focused on what is driving the consumer story in Africa, and why this will propel a great degree of growth for some time. She emphasised the increasing importance of Africa to global investors: ‘You can't say you're global if you're not in Africa,’ Haydee commented.
AVCA Member Investec Asset Management’s Gerben Dijkstra delivered a compelling presentation on why the mid-market is the veritable sweet spot when it comes to investment opportunities, including the fact that competition for investments of this size is far less than competition for larger investments (of $50m or more), of which there are very few outside the banking, primary resources and other high capital-intensive sectors.
Kevin Njiraini of the International Finance Corporation led a panel on Investors want managers who can add value – a sentiment that was roundly supported by Joseph Boateng, Chief Investment Officer of Casey Family Programs, who further claimed that, ‘LPs need to do more than provide capital. They also need to be involved in the value creation process.’
The full event programme can be read here.
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