AVCA Board appoints Dara Owoyemi as Interim CEO

21 Jul 2020

London, United Kingdom: 21 July 2020: Today, the Board of Directors of the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) announce the appointment of Dara Owoyemi as Interim CEO, following the departure of Michelle Kathryn Essomé last month.

Ms. Dara Owoyemi

Ms. Owoyemi previously served as Board Member and Chief Operating Officer of AVCA, from 2011 to 2017. She was instrumental in re-building and re-vitalising the Association to deliver on its mandate - to create an enabling environment for private sector investment in Africa. During her previous tenure with the Association, AVCA grew to become a champion and effective change agent for the African private equity and venture capital industry, supporting over 130 members managing c.US$500bn in assets; delivering the most authoritative industry data; holding annual conferences; and training programmes for fund managers and institutional investors.

Ms. Owoyemi returns to support the AVCA Board and staff in driving the Association’s immediate priorities for the industry and navigating the new challenges that today’s global economic climate presents.

Ms. Owoyemi is Founder and Director of Integral Growth Partners, an advisory firm which supports and promotes sustainable private investment in businesses and countries globally. She previously worked as Special Adviser on Investments to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment in Nigeria and as an Investment banker in Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Finance teams at Lehman Brothers, Nomura, Renaissance Capital and Ondra Partners, covering clients and executing transactions in the UK and across Africa.

Ms. 'Tokunboh Ishmael, Chair of the AVCA Board, said, "As a Board we thank Michelle for her 9 years of service to the industry, leading and cementing AVCA’s reputation as an authoritative industry body and strengthening relationships with global stakeholders. Dara is the right person to lead the Association as it turns to a new chapter and seeks to appoint a permanent CEO. Her vast experience and deep understanding of our mission will be invaluable during this period of transition.”

Commenting on her appointment, Ms. Owoyemi remarked, "Africa's private investment industry has proven its resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic – the advocacy, research, events and training programmes that AVCA delivers, are more pertinent today than ever. I look forward to working with AVCA’s Board and staff in the interim to build on the success of the past 20 years."

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