AVCA’s Legal and Regulatory Committee Names New Leadership

20 Jun 2019

The African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Geoffrey P. Burgess, Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, and Cindy Valentine, Partner at Simmons & Simmons, as the new Co-Chairs of the AVCA Legal and Regulatory Committee. As Folake Elias-Adebowale, Partner at Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie, and Rafik Mzah, Chief Legal Officer at AfricInvest, end their three-year mandate.

Established in 2012, the Legal and Regulatory Committee is an advisory body to AVCA and its members, enabling the successful navigation of Africa’s complex legal and regulatory landscape. Under the leadership of Folake Elias-Adebowale and Rafik Mzah, the Committee completed its mandate to equip Africa’s private investment industry with significant legal and regulatory insights through its bulletin and the establishment of the AVCA Legal and Regulatory Nigerian Working Group.

Geoffrey P. Burgess brings to the Committee, a wealth of international experience working with his clients on private equity transactions, cross-broader mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and financial transitions. He has contributed greatly to the African private investment landscape, participating in several conferences and authoring various articles tackling significant industry issues including corporate governance, tax laws, Africa’s insurance merger and acquisition industry and the role of sustainable investing in Africa.

Cindy Valentine has extensive experience advising her clients in the diverse areas of private equity investment structuring, fundraising, co-investment arrangements, management buyouts, venture capital and alternative structures. She is deeply committed to Africa and has expertise working with investors targeting emerging markets, including several DFIs and US investors.

‘Tokunboh Ishamel, co-Founder and Managing Director at Althelia Capital and the Chair of the AVCA Board of Directors, noted: “I am delighted to welcome Geoffrey P. Burgess and Cindy Valentine as the new Co-Chairs of AVCA’s Legal and Regulatory Committee. I would also like to congratulate Folake Elias-Adebowale and Rafik Mzah on their successful tenure, expanding the reach of the Committee’s work and providing a platform for local legal professionals. I look forward to their continued support over the coming years.”

In a joint statement, Geoffrey P. Burgess and Cindy Valentine commented: “We are honoured to serve AVCA as co-chairs of the Legal and Regulatory Committee and build on the outstanding work of our predecessors. We look forward to working with the Committee to implement innovative and value-added initiatives to facilitate a better understanding of legal and regulatory practices in Africa.”

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