Actis, an emerging markets-focused private equity firm, has appointed Ngozi Edozien as the new head of West Africa. Edozien joins Actis from her position as the founding CEO of the Equity Vehicle for Health in Africa, long-term risk capital to Africa’s under-served healthcare market, set up in association with the International Finance Corporation.
She replaces Simon Harford, who will move to Johannesburg as the Head of Actis’s growing Portfolio Group for Africa and Latin America focusing on the firm’s value-add to its portfolio of investee companies.
Edozien will be responsible for all aspects of Actis’s private equity business in West Africa including the day-to-day management of existing investments as well as the development of new opportunities in the region. Actis is currently invested in a number of companies in West Africa including Diamond Bank, Mouka Foam, UAC and Exoro (Seven Energy). In addition, the firm has real estate assets in Ghana and Nigeria as well as infrastructure interests throughout the region. Edozien will report to Peter Schmid, head of Actis’s Africa private equity business, based in Johannesburg.
Schmid said, “Ngozi brings exactly the right mix of experience, drive, insight and regional knowledge that Actis needs in West Africa. As a critical cornerstone of Actis’s pan-Africa network, we see considerable opportunity in this market for us to partner with successful, growing and sustainable private sector businesses in order to deliver benefits to local stakeholders. We are delighted that Ngozi has joined the team. She is ideally positioned to build on the great work done by Simon over the last three years.”
Edozien added, “With 60 years’ experience on the continent, Actis is clearly committed to West Africa and is one of the most respected private equity investors in the African market. I am very pleased to be joining such a well established and successful firm. I believe this appointment gives me a real opportunity to leverage all my previous experience and encourage the further development of the private sector throughout the region.”
Edozien started her professional career in investment banking with Solomon Brothers and JPMorgan in New York. She worked for McKinsey & Co from 1992 to 1999 in London and Paris, and then joined Pfizer in their US headquarters as vice president of strategic planning and business development from 1999 to 2004. She then moved to Lagos as Pfizer’s regional director for Anglophone East, West and Central Africa and managing director of Pfizer Nigeria from 2005 to 2008.
Actis is a private equity investor in emerging markets and, to date, has raised $7.3bn in funds. The growing portfolio of investments is in assets located in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the firm has $4.8bn in funds under management.
Actis closed its global emerging markets fund, Actis Emerging Markets 3, at the beginning of December on $2.9bn.
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