Frontier Markets Fund Managers leads expansion of GuarantCo in Africa with two senior hires


Frontier Markets Fund Managers (FMFM) has recruited two senior professionals to lead a rapid expansion of GuarantCo in Africa.


FMFM is the adviser to GuarantCo and is responsible for originating, structuring and negotiating transactions, the selection and recommendation of investments, monitoring GuarantCo’s portfolio and the development of products.


GuarantCo has recently received a significant capital increase from its European government backers which will see the equity base triple in size by mid-2014 and guarantee issuing capacity for local currency infrastructure financings rise towards US$ 1 bn. The fast growing African market is expected to represent at least 50% of GuarantCo’s future business.


Jules Samain has joined FMFM as Regional Director, West and Central Francophone Africa. He has over 15 years’ experience at the forefront of Francophone African Commercial and Investment Banking. Prior to joining FMFM, Jules was Managing Director of Ecobank Capital for Central African Countries where he led major financings in the Oil & Gas, Power, Agriculture, Real Estate and Telecommunication sectors. Subsequently he led the corporate banking business of leading regional lender BGFIBank in Cameroon.


Joining as Regional Director East, Central and Southern Africa is Irungu Nyakera, who will spearhead GuarantCo’s business in those regions. Previously, Irungu was the Managing Director of NIC Capital, a regional investment bank headquartered in Nairobi where he led some of the most groundbreaking transactions of recent years, including the region’s first Equity Linked Note for a listed company and the region’s largest housing bond. Prior to NIC Capital, Irungu was a member of Citigroup Investment Bank’s team in London where he focused on sub-Saharan Africa Mergers, Acquisitions and Capital raising.


GuarantCo recently increased its maximum guarantee amount to US$ 30m per project with an anticipated further increase to US$50m over the next two years. In addition, GuarantCo now has greater flexibility to offer US$ denominated guarantees for financings in more fragile states.


Chris Vermont, Head of Debt Capital Markets at FMFM said: “The appointment of two new senior professionals highlights GuarantCo’s commitment to expansion in Africa. Infrastructure is crucial to the development of Africa, and we are excited to have Jules and Irungu join us as this market continues to grow, providing new and exciting investment opportunities.”


Andrew Bainbridge, Chairman of GuarantCo said: "I am delighted that the promise and potential of GuarantCo enables us to attract such senior and capable colleagues. The commitment of our backers, combined with the broader mandate of the business, give us the capability to do much more across Africa and that excites us all".