CDC to expand partnerships and co-investments with ex-Stan Chart hire

Stephen Priestley will lead a team in developing permanent capital vehicles and sunset funds focused on Africa and South Asia investments.

UK development finance institution CDC Group plans to pursue risk-sharing partnerships, additional co-investment opportunities with its managers and tie-ups with financial and strategic sponsors via its new capital partnerships team.

Stephen Priestley

Stephen Priestley, who was most recently Standard Chartered’s regional head of global banking for Africa, Middle East and Pakistan, was named as managing director for funds and capital partnerships on Tuesday, according to a statement.

The team is tasked with continuing to develop “innovative intermediated structures” such as permanent capital vehicles and in sunset funds, – or funds that have struggled to wind down on schedule – alongside CDC’s existing intermediated equity team, a spokesman for CDC told Private Equity International.

The equity team sources, manages and develops fund investments in Africa and South Asia.

Since being given additional capital – up to £703 million ($924 million; €829 million) per year from 2017 until 2021 – by the UK government in 2017, CDC had said it would double its investment level over the five-year period, against the £3 billion invested in Africa and South Asia between 2012 and 2016.

Last autumn CDC decided to invest $4.5 billion in Africa over the next four years, a proportion of which will be made through Africa-focused funds, the spokesman said.

It is understood that investments are made through fund commitments, intermediate vehicles and direct investments.

CDC is one of the largest private equity investors in Africa and South Asia, with over $4.7 billion invested through 166 funds.

The investor’s recent fund commitments include $34.5 million to Myanmar-focused Anthem Asia and $72.5 million to African venture firm Novastar Ventures, according to PEI data. CDC also made its first commitment to a permanent capital vehicle in 2017, investing $20 million into Sierra Leone-based Solon Capital Holdings.

Priestley replaces Murray Grant, who retired at the end of last year. Prior to Standard Chartered Priestley spent 16 years at JPMorgan, where he held senior roles.