Value Creation for Investors in the African Frontier Market

Event Summary

Keynote Speaker: Eliot Pence – Director, McLarty Associates. Private equity – Value Creation during the Holding Period

Zain Latif – Principal, TLG capital, Ezana Bocresion – CIO, Copia Agribusiness – Africa Focused Agribusiness Investment Fund, Dana Reed – CEO, PanAfrican Investment Co, Alberto Olympio – CEO, Axxend group, Tom Speechley  – Partner, The Abraaj group.

Additional Details Below

Event Details

Date May 8, 2014 Categories Location Deloitte

Additional Details

Keynote Speaker: Eliot Pence – Director, McLarty Associates

Panel Discussion:

Theme: “Private equity – Value Creation during the Holding Period”


  • Zain Latif – Principal, TLG capital
  • Ezana Bocresion – CIO, Copia Agribusiness – Africa Focused Agribusiness Investment Fund
  • Dana Reed – CEO, PanAfrican Investment Co
  • Alberto Olympio – CEO, Axxend group
  • Tom Speechley  – Partner, The Abraaj group


Yann Pambou – Co-Founding Managing Partner, Africa Bridge Capital



The objective of the panel was to discuss the value creation during the Holding period, the lessons on deploying patient capital.  How PE investors plan for the longer term in the African market.


Eliot Pence leads the Africa Practice at McLarty Associates, a global corporate strategy firm. Founded in 1999, McLarty Associates has served more than 250 clients in every region of the world. He is the founder of Upstream Analytics, a software start-up focused on helping companies acquire, manage and analyze supply chain data in frontier markets.  Prior to joining McLarty, Eliot was a director at the Whitaker Group, a corporate and government advisory firm focused on sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, Eliot worked in Nairobi for Africa’s first online university, the Africa Virtual University, helping develop a strategy to address Africa’s higher education deficit through VSAT-based educational modules. He has been an advisor to several African governments and has lived in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Kenya. He has written extensively on doing business in Africa in outlets including The New York Times, Brookings Institute, Reuters, CNN, Yahoo! Finance, Financial Times and The National Interest. In 2012, Diplomatic Courier recognized him as one of the “Top 99 under 33” foreign policy professionals. Eliot holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria and a master’s from Yale University.


Zain Latif is the founder of TLG. Prior to founding TLG in 2009, Mr. Latif was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs in the New Markets division focusing on sub-Saharan Africa across all products. He joined Goldman Sachs from Merrill Lynch where he was involved in originating and executing a number of ground breaking emerging markets transactions in Africa. Before joining Merrill Lynch, Mr. Latif was involved in spear-heading the special situations African effort at HSBC which culminated in a widely reported inaugural debt/equity hybrid structure for a leading Nigerian financial institution. He also holds a Masters degree in Finance from Cass Business School and currently sits on a number of TLG’s investee companies’ boards.


Ezana Bocresion is Chief Investment Officer of Copia Agribusiness, LLC. In 2013, Mr. Bocresion co-founded Copia Agribusiness, an investment fund focused on investing across the value chain in select Sub-Saharan African countries. Prior to co-founding Copia, Mr. Bocresion was the Managing Partner of Aeneas Holdings, LLC, an Investment and Advisory firm focused on Africa and Latin America and on assisting institutional investors, hedge funds, and private equity firms on transactions in agribusiness, metals and mining, real estate and lodging, oil, gas, chemicals, and basic industries in these emerging markets. Between 2003 and 2008, Mr. Bocresion was a Managing Director and Partner with Atlas Advisors, LLC, a boutique investment-banking firm focused on M&A and advisory transactions. At Atlas, he covered a variety of industries including agribusiness, chemicals, industrials, consumer products, technology, media and business services. He worked with a global client base and originated and completed transactions valued in excess of $10 billion. Prior to founding Atlas, Mr. Bocresion worked at Merrill Lynch in New York and London. He was the head of the Chemicals M&A business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and led M&A and advisory transactions in the chemicals/fertilizers/agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, and basic industries. Prior to moving to London, he covered the chemical industry, including the agribusiness and fertilizer sectors, globally from New York. While at Merrill Lynch, Mr. Bocresion originated and completed transactions in excess of $54 billion in value. While at Merrill Lynch he worked extensively throughout Western and Eastern Europe, MEA, Asia, and the Americas. Prior to Merrill Lynch, Mr. Bocresion spent six years at J.P. Morgan & Co., where he originated and executed transactions in the chemicals industry, including the agribusiness and fertilizer sectors, and general industrials sectors in the Americas based in New York, but focused mainly on the North American, Brazilian and Mexican markets. From 1986 to 1991, Mr. Bocresion worked at KPMG Peat Marwick and Laventhol & Horwath in New York as a CPA and Engagement Manager most recently at KPMG Peat Marwick.


Dana Reed is the CEO of PanAfrican Investment Co. and is responsible for managing the business day to day as well as overseeing all investment decisions. Prior to joining PIC, she was a Managing Director at Semper Capital (formerly named UCM Partners) where her responsibilities included marketing, product development, and strategic growth of the firm. She previously served as a Vice President of Institutional Equity Sales at Friedman Billings Ramsey and was also a Vice President in the Investment Banking Group at FBR. Prior to that Dana was in the Investment Banking Groups of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.


Dana began her career as a Fellow at the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. She received her BBA in International Business with minors in Marketing and Spanish from Howard University and her MBA from Howard University. Dana was appointed by New York Governor Paterson to serve as a Director of the Harlem Community Development Corp. and still serves in that capacity today. She is also on the Board of Directors of Trunity Holdings, PrePex and Shea Yeleen and Mobius Motors. She is an active member of the Metro-Manhattan Links, Inc. and Jack & Jill of America. Dana lives in Harlem with her seven year old twin boys.


Alberto Olympio is a systems architect and software engineer with over 20 years of extensive industry experience for leading North American, European, and African Multinational Corporations. He has ranked consistently among the top Microsoft certification holders world-wide. Before co-founding Axxend Corporation, Alberto was Software Architect with Borland International, Consultant for Onboard Software Quality for Aerospatiale (France), Infrastructure Architect for Avanade and more recently, Senior Consultant for Microsoft Consulting Services.

Alberto is the CEO of Axxend, a Microsoft Gold Partner, is a business technology services provider dedicated to using the Microsoft platform and SAP technologies to help enterprises achieve profitable growth. Through proven solutions that extend Microsoft products, Axxend helps enterprises increase revenue, reduce costs, and reinvest in innovation to gain competitive advantage.


Tom Speechley has worked in the private equity industry for almost 20 years. He joined The Abraaj Group in 2006 and, in addition to direct responsibility for several investments, has overseen investment teams operating in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Mr Speechley spent several years as a member of the firm’s main Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Investment Committee. In 2013, he established and leads the firm’s presence in North America and is based in New York focusing on institutional investor engagement across the Americas.

Mr. Speechley is a member of the Board of Directors of EMPEA, the leading private equity association for emerging markets. He is also a Senior Advisor to Endeavor, a global organization dedicated to supporting high impact entrepreneurs across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Mr. Speechley initially trained in law and worked for several years with leading law firms in London and New York focusing on private equity transactions. He is the author of a leading text on acquisition finance and holds a First-Class Honors degree in Law from the University of Sheffield.


Yann Pambou is a Co-Founding Managing Partner at Africa Bridge Capital (ABC), a middle market private equity fund, headquartered in Nigeria. Prior to founding ABC in 2013, Yann was an Investment Principal at Actis, Lagos Office. At Actis, Yann headed the business services sector and was in charge of origination and execution of private equity transactions in Francophone Africa. For more than 3 years, Yann was a director on the board of Mouka Foam, the second largest manufacturer of foam and mattresses in Nigeria, and was very active in the audit, governance, remuneration, and project committees. Prior to joining Actis, Yann was a Senior Consultant at Bearingpoint, formerly KPMG Consulting, for more than 5 years, in New York office.

Yann is a Gabonese and US citizen. He was born and raised in Gabon prior to completing his studies in France.

Yann has an MBA from The Wharton Business School, in Philadelphia, and an Engineering degree from Ecole Centrale de Paris, in France.