CDC hires Africa funds team manager from Actis

Murray Grant, an Actis founding partner, will join CDC this month

UK-based development finance institution CDC has appointed Murray Grant as managing director for its Africa funds team, according to a statement from the organisation.

Grant will join CDC in January from emerging market specialist Actis and will manage the team responsible for investments in private equity funds across Africa.

He is replacing Rod Evison, who retired from the organisation in 2012. In the interim the Africa funds team has been led by Dolika Banda, according to CDC.

Grant became one of the founding partners of Actis in 2004 when the firm spun out from CDC and was responsible for the development of its Africa business and Africa team. During his time at Actis Grant was involved in the firm’s investments in Banque Commercial du Rwanda, Ugandan financial institution DFCU, and the $151 million buy-out of Vlisco, a fabric business based in Nigeria.

CDC, a long-term investor in Africa private equity, currently has $1.27 billion invested in African funds, with a further $726 million committed, and is committed to 55 funds investing in the continent.

“Although CDC now invests capital, both debt and equity, directly, a commitment to the African private equity market remains central to our investment strategy,” CDC chief executive Diana Noble said. “Our focus is on supporting businesses that are commercially successful and have a powerful development impact through the creation of jobs. Murray’s experience and knowledge of the market will allow CDC to continue to back those funds that help us deliver our mission.”

In October last year CDC allocated up to $40 million to two Africa-focused funds. The organisation committed up to €25 million to AfricInvest Fund III, which is seeking €200 million for investments across the continent, and up to $15 million to Synergy Private Equity Fund, the Lagos and Accra-based Synergy Managers’ debut vehicle, which has a target of $75 million. CDC announced its commitment to AFIII just days after AfricInvest held a first close on the funds of more than €154 million, PEI reported at the time.

Earlier in the year CDC allocated $40 million to Investec Africa Private Equity Fund II, which is seeking to raise $350 million, according to documentation from the International Finance Corporation, which committed up to $30 million to the vehicle.

In February 2014 CDC appointed Ritu Kumar, former director and senior advisor for responsible investment at Actis, as a director of environmental and social responsibility to focus on CDC’s direct equity investments.