Actis strengthens its Africa team

Emerging markets firm Actis has bolstered its West African operations with the appointment of Kingdom Zephyr partner Mark Ransford as a director.

Mark Ransford has joined the emerging market specialists Actis to focus on the firm’s West African investment opportunities.

The former partner at African investment firm Kingdom Zephyr joins Actis’ London office as a director working closely with the firm’s African team in Lagos, Nigeria. 

The move was prompted by the quality of Actis’ African private equity team that has a very long-term future in West Africa, a source close to the move said.

“I believe demographic trends drive equity returns. This makes me pretty excited about identifying investment opportunities in West Africa and specifically in Nigeria, the most populous country on the continent,” said Ransford in a statement.

West Africa is currently one of the most interesting economic areas in the world. GDP is growing by as much as eight percent in places such as Ghana and seven percent in Nigeria. It is driven by a rising middle class and a young population in an entrepreneurial society.

The big investment sectors in West Africa are believed to be the consumer and financial services sectors. Actis’ third fund is currently investing in the area but the opportunities remain confidential.

Actis has $1.5 billion invested in Africa with ten investments within the West African region including oil and gas production company Seven Energy and foam products manufacturer Mouka in Nigeria.

Actis also invests in the emerging markets of Asia and Latin America with $5 billion funds under management.