Advanced Finance & Investment Group (AFIG Funds), an African private equity fund manager, has appointed Thiaba Camara Sy as Chief Operating Officer and Olga Lawson as Director.
Camara Sy joins AFIG Funds from Deloitte Senegal, where she was Managing Partner.
A true entrepreneur, she founded the firm in 1990 and led its expansion to become one of Deloitte’s key operations in Francophone West Africa.
While she comes from the staid world of auditing, Camara Sy relishes the challenge of joining an entrepreneurial firm like AFIG Funds, where she will help lead the acceleration of its investment activities in Africa.
Lawson was most recently a Director for Deloitte Senegal, where she managed the HR function for over 100 employees across several departments and advised blue-chip African clients.
As Investment Director, she will bring best practices to AFIG Funds’ team as well as help improve the risk assessment of target and portfolio companies.
The addition of Camara Sy and Lawson to the AFIG Funds team will strengthen the firm’s already deep local networks, and add to its pan-African view.
Camara Sy and Lawson not only bring a stronger female voice to the senior decision-making team, but also tip the gender scale within AFIG Funds, which now counts more women than men in its permanent staff.
Papa Ndiaye, CEO of AFIG Funds, said: “Patrice Backer who has taken over the position of CIO and I are pleased to welcome Thiaba and Olga to the AFIG Funds family at this important time in the company’s growth. We have always believed that private equity in Africa needs people who have hands-on skills and can bring value in addition to financial know-how to the companies in which we invest.”
“Thiaba is one of the most respected leaders in the region and is trusted by her former clients across a broad section of businesses. The arrival of Thiaba and Olga will facilitate the implementation of our strategic plan which includes other recruitments, staff changes and organization improvements,” he said.
Camara Sy added: “AFIG Funds has a sterling reputation as a private equity fund management company in Africa and is backed by top quality African and international investors. Its commitment to developing promising as well as deserving local enterprises matches my passion for championing African businesses which has guided my career so far.”
“We have a tremendous opportunity to grow further and continue to support African companies with capital and advice anchored on strong business values to address the needs of our partners. Africa is at an exciting place in its development despite challenges. For this reason, it was important for me to join a team with an excellent track record and an even brighter future to write a new chapter in private equity in Africa,” she said.
The announcement comes after the company disclosed three completed investments: one in FSDH Merchant Bank, a financial services group in Nigeria; another one in First Atlantic Bank Limited of Ghana (FABL) and a third consisting in a follow-on investment in Primrose Properties Ghana (PPG), a real estate development company. Both FSDH and PPG are through the Atlantic Coast Regional Fund (ACRF) and FABL through AFIG Fund II.