Standard Bank Private Equity opens in Lagos

The specialist emerging markets bank, whose private equity investments have until now focused on South Africa, is establishing a Nigerian private equity team to be headed up by Lloyd Onaghimon.

Standard Bank Private Equity, the captive direct investment business of the Standard Bank Group, has established an investment team in Lagos, Nigeria, with the appointment of Lloyd Onaghimon as its head.

The Standard Bank Group has had a retail and investment banking presence in Lagos since March 2008, when it acquired 51 percent of IBTC Chartered, which subsequently rebranded as Stanbic IBTC Bank.

Lagos: the logical next step

The group's private equity arm is looking to build a team of six professionals in the country and has so far appointed Onaghimon, an eight-year veteran of IBTC, and one other executive.

The move into Nigeria is a logical progression for Standard Bank Private Equity, which has so far concentrated its efforts on South Africa, Graham Thomas, global head of Standard Bank Private Equity, said in an interview. “South Africa and Nigeria between them represent more than 50 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa's GDP,” he said.

“We will look at deals in other African nations, but the bulk will come from these two countries,” he added.

Standard Bank Private Equity targets investments in consumer-related industries, such as branded goods, retail, media and telecoms:  sectors that in Nigeria are benefiting from a “secular trend” of increased wealth, urbanisation and consumer spending, said Thomas.

As well as consumer-related assets, the firm will also invest in infrastructure and natural resources, a process which will be overseen by a specialist global team based in London.

The Standard Bank Group is headquartered in London, but operates in emerging markets throughout the world. Its private equity arm, which invests off the bank's balance sheet, has funds under management of around $1 billion.