Investment Opportunities in the African Frontier Markets

Investment Opportunities in the African Frontier Markets

Event Summary

Panel Event Series – Investment opportunities in the African Frontier Markets

Presented by Nixon Peabody LLP, LexNoir and PAN Africa Network. Sponsored By Nixon Peabody LLP and LexNoir.

It was an opportunity  to discuss the present state and the prospects of the African Frontier markets.

Keynote Speaker: Kendal Tyre, Corporate Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP and President of LexNoir

Additional Details Below

Event Details

Date June 6, 2013 Categories Location Nixon Peabody LLP

Additional Details

Panel Event Series – Investment opportunities in the African Frontier Markets

Presented by Nixon Peabody LLP, LexNoir and PAN Africa Network.

Sponsored By Nixon Peabody LLP and LexNoir.




It was an opportunity  to discuss the present state and the prospects of the African Frontier markets and its performance relative to the rest of the world over the past years.

We considered: How do investors adequately assess opportunities and risks? What are the challenges that the continent now faces in maintaining a positive trend and the policies that are necessary to ensure that growth is sustainable?

What is the role of private equity in the African growth story to date? What are the characteristics of key success stories?




Keynote Speaker: Kendal Tyre, Corporate Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP and President of LexNoir

International Private Equity in Africa (Case Study)




Panel Discussion:




We discussed the present state and the prospects of the African Frontier markets and its performance relative to the rest of the world over the past years.

Thomas Laryea Jeffrey R. Krilla, Partner, SNR Denton, Washington DC Principal, SNR Denton, Washington DC

Kwame Akonor Kwasi Twum-Ampofo, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Seton Hall University, New Jersey Co-Founder, CoolSky Multimedia Company Ghana Ltd, Accra

David J. Plate, Managing Partner, CEO, AGlobal Partners LLC, NYC

Todd Peterson, Emerging markets practice, Connecticut

Moderator: John Oriogun, Partner, Oriogun PLLC, NYC




Event’s highlighted Speakers:



Kendal Tyre, Corporate Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP, President of LexNoir, Washington DC



Kendal Tyre is a Corporate Partner at Nixon Peabody LLP in Washington DC. He counsels franchise companies, manufacturing, retail, and financial services companies on international business transactions. He represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital, joint ventures and strategic alliances, licensing and franchise matters as well as corporate law matters.


Kendal’s client base spans the United States (including Florida, New York, and California) and foreign countries, including South Africa, Kenya and the United Kingdom. He has extensive business law and transactional experience, advising on angel and venture capital financings, entity formation and maintenance, corporate reorganisations, securities law compliance and business divorce.


Kendal represented a Kenyan multinational corporation in its acquisition of a traffic cone manufacturer in the United States and a South African entity in the wine industry expanding its operations into the United States. Kendal was awarded the National Bar Association’s Presidential Award for the outstanding service to the organization during the 2003-2004 bar year for his service as chief-of-staff to the NBA president, Clyde E. Bailey, Sr.


He was also recognized as a “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times magazine. Kendal is co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Action Committee and its Africa Group.


Kendal holds a Juris Doctor (JD) from Minnesota Law School and he is a graduate of Brown University.



Thomas Laryea, Partner, SNR Denton, Washington DC



Thomas is a Public Policy and Regulation Partner at SNR Denton, the law firm with the largest presence in Africa.


Prior to SNR Denton, Thomas was Assistant General Counsel at the International Monetary Fund, where he was responsible for the IMF’s legal relations with each of its 187 member countries, capital markets legal work and sovereign and private debt restructuring.


Thomas possesses a sophisticated understanding of international finance, and offers specialized experience in counseling businesses and governments in their dealings with private and public counterparts. Thomas’s practice is centered around international public policy and government relations, with a focus on international legal and regulatory developments that impact financial and corporate clients. In his role at the IMF, he advised a number of high profile transactions and financial matters, including: China’s exchange rate policies; IMF financing packages and adjustment programs for Greece, Iceland, Latvia and Turkey, design of IMF instruments to support Nigeria’s debt restructuring with official sector creditors; IMF’s legal sanctions against Zimbabwe; admission of Montenegro as an IMF member country; international recognition of the change of government in Mauritania; responses to litigation against highly indebted low-income countries; and Argentina’s $100 billion debt restructuring and litigation with private sector creditors.


In addition, Thomas has been among the pioneers in the integration of capital markets legal work into the IMF’s law reform technical assistance program and into the IMF’s policy work. He recently was involved in advising the Nigerian and Ministry of Finance on restructuring the Nigerian banking sector.


Prior to the IMF, Thomas started his career at Sullivan & Cromwell in both their New York and London offices. His experience in private practice was largely focused on litigation, arbitration and government regulation, a capability that he then translated into work on restructuring of sovereign debt during his tenure at IMF.


Thomas is a Board member of OIC International, a US-based non-profit that delivers development projects in 18 countries in Africa. Thomas earned his S.J.D from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Essex in England.



Dr. Kwame Akonor, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Seton Hall University, New Jersey



Dr. Kwame Akonor teaches International Relations, Comparative Politics and African Political Economy. He directs the University’s Africana Center and is also director of the African Development Institute, a New York based think tank.



At Seton Hall University, he has also served as interim chair on separate occasions in both the Africana Studies Department as well as the Political Science & Public Affairs Department. Dr. Akonor is currently president emeritus of the New York State Africana Studies Association.



In addition to other publications, he is the author of two books: Africa and IMF Conditionality (Routledge, 2006) and African Economic Institutions (Routledge, 2009). Dr. Akonor was recently a post-doctoral fellow at Cambridge University (England).



Kwasi Twum-Ampofo, Co-founder, CoolSky Multimedia Company Ghana Ltd, Accra



CoolSky Multimedia Company Ghana Ltd is a registered Wireless Multimedia Company that provides affordable communication for the people of Ghana and its surrounding regions. Mr Twum-Ampofo has lived in New York for the past 23 years.


Mr Twum-Ampofo worked for The Doneger Group as a Systems Administrator for five years and also as a counselor for Human Development Services in Westchester County, while pursuing his Master’s degree in Information Systems at Mercy College (New York).


Upon completing his degree, Mr Twum-Ampofo started his own business. He currently trades in Caterpillar excavators and other heavy equipment. This venture enables him to sell and/or rent hydraulic excavators to local and multinational organisations in Ghana. His ultimate vision is to help modernisation endeavours of Ghana. Towards this end, he provides incentives that promote higher education and infrastructural projects; counselling to private equity and venture capital outfits; as well as lending overall direction on sound financial investment trend analysis in emerging economies.


Kwasi is also affiliated with Tiger Force Group Consulting Limited, a Ghanaian based private investigation firm that provides intelligence services for micro finance, debt consultancy, debt management, debt recovery for institutions and individuals in Ghana and the Western African region. With the Tiger Force Group, Mr Twum-Ampofo, aims to create the most safest and sound hub for keen capitalists and investors who wish to explore Ghana and the African developmental frontier.



David J. Plate, Managing Partner, CEO, AGlobal Partners LLC, NYC



David Plate is co-founder of AGlobal Partners LLC, an investment management and advisory firm that provides new sources of investment capital for infrastructure, social performance programs, and other investments in new and emerging markets. AGlobal develops projects and programs that promise significant benefits to the economic development of the host country, result in social-good outcomes, and can create positive social and environmental impact throughout the developing world. David is responsible for risk management and investment strategy at AGlobal. He brings over 25 years of risk, insurance and reinsurance underwriting, and international project finance experience to the firm.


David has spent most of his career with American International Group Inc. He served as Vice President of Financial Services for AIG’s European office in Paris and AIG’s Southeast Asian office in Hong Kong, where he spearheaded risk finance and risk mitigation initiatives while creating and managing the Project Finance and Captives units for Asia. Additionally, he served as the Director for the Southeast Asian office of HSBC where he created, developed and implemented the innovative Financial Services Market division, a consulting services group for institutional captive creation and project finance management.


David holds a Ph.D. in Risk Management and a M.S. in International Finance from the University of California, San Diego. He also speaks fluent Cantonese, with strong French, Spanish, Mandarin, Thai, and Bahasa skills. He possesses a thorough understanding of the nuances of many professional and interpersonal cultures, customs and formalities.



Todd Peterson, Emerging markets practice, Connecticut



Todd is a solo practioner, focusing almost exclusively on work for developers in emerging and frontier markets.  He is currently working on projects in Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania, as well as others in China, Jamaica, Malaysia, Pakistan and Peru.


In Africa, over the past 20 years, Todd’s work has included private equity fund transactions in Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Tunisia and South Africa; infrastructure projects in Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and The Gambia; establishing private equity funds in Mauritius, Nigeria and South Africa; and other private legal matters in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Namibia.


Todd is listed in the Legal Media Group Guides to both The World’s Leading Private Equity Lawyers and The World’s Leading Mergers and Acquisition Lawyers.  He has spoken on African legal issues at the American Bar Association, the Nigerian Bar Association, The Kuramo Conference and other events.  He has been a sponsor at Wharton’s annual African Business Conference, as well as at Africare.


Prior to going on his own, Todd gained his training at a handful of international law firms, including as a partner at Salans and Nixon Peabody and as counsel at White & Case (primarily in Poland, working from Estonia to Bulgaria and east to Uzbekistan). His academic training includes a J.D. from Columbia University and an M.Phil. from the University of Oxford.



John Oriogun, Founder and Partner, Oriogun PLLC, NYC


John Oriogun was called to the Bar of the State of New York in 1998 and to the Bar of England & Wales in 1993. Prior to founding Oriogun, PLLC in May 2008, John Oriogun had worked as internal counsel for a number of Investment Banks (such as but not limited to Nomura International PLC, Credit Agricole Lazard Financial Products Bank PLC and Dresdner Kleinwort). Additionally, John Oriogun was a senior associate at Schulte Roth& Zabel’s London and New York offices for a combined period of 4 and a half years (where he acted as external counsel to the largest U.S and U.K based investment management firms).


Prior to being transferred to the New York office of Schulte Roth & Zabel (“Schulte”), John Oriogun was the sole Derivatives lawyer in Schulte’s London office where he served as external counsel to Europe’s largest investment management firms.


With well over 13 years of combined legal experience in the U.S., English, and Asian derivatives legal markets, John Oriogun brings diverse experience of different regional derivatives market, product groups as well as an awareness of the various legal, credit and operational issues of various investment banking institutions. As a result, John Oriogun can anticipate the issues and roadblocks in moving transactions forward to completion.


John Oriogun’s practice encompasses all forms of derivatives transactions and the establishment and maintenance of trading relationships with all the prime brokers in the Asian, U.S. and English markets. John Oriogun’s experience covers the drafting, structuring and negotiation of New York and English law governed plain vanilla and structured OTC (ISDA) derivatives transactions, exchange traded derivatives, plain vanilla and structured master repurchase agreements, global master repurchase agreements, overseas securities lending agreements, prime brokerage and account opening agreements, terms of business agreements, IT contracts and Give-Up agreements.


John Oriogun’s deal experience includes structured master repurchase agreements, global master repurchase agreements, overseas security lending agreements, listed derivatives futures agreement, give-up agreements, terms of business agreements, prime brokerage agreements and account opening agreements, master netting agreements, master swap confirmations, commodity derivatives transactions, portable alpha transactions, equity derivative transactions (which includes equity index swaps, basket swaps, contracts for differences, master equity confirmations), interest rate swaps, currency swaps and non-deliverable forward transactions, credit derivatives, weather derivatives, total return swaps linked to bonds, loans, equity, hedge fund and fund of fund shares, interest rate derivatives and currency derivatives transactions linked to project finance transactions, principle protected swap transactions (or CPPI Transactions) with related investment guidelines agreement and information agreement, bond option transactions, callable asset swaps, lock-up agreements, New York and English law governed ISDA Master Agreements backed by Credit Support Annex (New York and English law governed), Guarantees, letters of credit, comfort letters, letters of undertaking, charge over shares agreement, pledge agreements. John Oriogun has also worked on MTN programmes, pricing supplements, fixed rate notes, knock-in notes, knock-out notes, credit-linked notes and IT service contracts. These experiences provide for a very unique perspective, placing John Oriogun at the cutting edge in the ever changing derivatives market and providing him with the relevant, incisive, and analytical tools for drafting and negotiating miscellaneous transactions. Consequently, John Oriogun is uniquely equipped to resolve some of today’s most difficult derivatives issues.



Richard Remy, Investment banking, Halcyon Cabot Partners, NYC


Richard Remy, originally from Martinique in the West Indies, works currently for an investment banking firm based in NYC.


He has over 8 years international experience in Finance, Engineering, Project management and Business Development/Sales. His previous experience was working as an investment manager for the Asia Pacific market. Prior to that, Richard worked in a variety of industries including the Energy (Electricity, Oil and Gas) and Commodities (Sugar) within the emerging markets and frontier markets.


Richard holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Lyon University in France, a Diploma in Business Management from University of London. He speaks fluent English, French and intermediate Spanish and has worked and lived in France, Norway, the UK, China and the US.


Outside of work, Richard is a passionate about meeting and bringing together people from across the Diaspora. His longstanding interest and passion for African development came after spending some time in Sudan, as well as some involvement with various countries of West Africa, working in business development and project management in the commodity industry.


He thrives on helping people and organizations to rise to their full potential. In 2012, Richard combined his love of networking and commitment to the African and Caribbean development agenda to create PAN Africa Network. Hopefully this fantastic initiative with quarterly panel events will be a global network spanning Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and US, and with its talented membership aims to provide an exclusive platform for organizations and individuals with significant interest in capacity development in Africa and the Caribbean. Richard is keen to meet others in the Diaspora to establish shared common ground and answer any queries they may have about PAN Africa Network.