EMPEA chief joins Abraaj

Sarah Alexander has led the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association since its launch in 2004. The organisation is searching for a new chief executive.

The Abraaj Group has appointed Emerging Markets Private Equity Association founding president and chief executive officer Sarah Alexander to the position of managing director, the firm announced in a statement Wednesday. Alexander will start at the firm in February. 

EMPEA’s executive committee has requested that its board of directors appoint Jennifer Choi, currently EMPEA’s vice president of industry and external affairs, as interim CEO effective 1 February. The board will consider Choi’s interim appointment at its 17 January meeting in Hong Kong, according to an EMPEA statement.  

In addition to recommending Choi, the executive committee has also launched a search for a new executive. The committee did not set a timeline for that search. 

“I am grateful to EMPEA’s members for their collaboration and commitment as EMPEA has evolved into an integral industry organisation over the past eight years,” Alexander said in the EMPEA statement. “I look forward to remaining an active participant in the EMPEA network and supporting the organisation’s continued growth from my new role at the Abraaj Group.”

Alexander has led EMPEA since its launch in 2004. The organisation – which generates analysis, surveys, reports and statistics on emerging markets private equity – now boasts a membership of more than 300 firms that collectively manage more than $1 trillion in assets. 

At Abraaj, Alexander will provide the firm’s North American stakeholders “with fresh perspectives on global growth markets”, according to a statement from the firm. An Abraaj spokesperson could not be reached for further comment at press time. 

Prior to EMPEA, Alexander was a senior investment officer at emerging markets private equity firm EMP Global for five years, according to her LinkedIn profile. She has also worked with the World Bank Group and the US Department of State. 

Abraaj was founded in 2002 by Arif Naqvi. The firm manages $7.5 billion across 25 sector and country specific funds investing in private equity and real estate, according to a statement.