• Thursday, February 29, 2024
businessday logo


Old Mutual drives investment expansion into Sub-Sahara Africa


Old Mutual’s has made an expansion drive into Sub-Sahara where it intends to deploy $500 million of investments in, asset management, insurance with acquisitions in Nigeria and Ghana.

To this end, Old Mutual plc has appointed Adiba Ighodaro, UK based Nigerian and partner with Actis a non-executive director in the 168 year old organization.

Also joining the board is Zoe Cruz, former co-president for Institutional Securities and Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley.

Patrick O’Sullivan, chairman of Old Mutual Plc, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Zoe and Adiba to our Board. Zoe’s extensive experience of international financial markets and asset management will provide us with additional insight into these important areas of the Group’s business, while Adiba’s deep knowledge of investing and operating in sub-Saharan Africa will widen the Board’s ability to evaluate opportunities as we pursue our strategy of expanding further into this region.

“With these appointments, we now have a Board which reflects substantial diversity in terms of skills, experience, geography and gender. The composition of the Board has been structured so as to match and support the evolution and focus of the Group’s strategy.”

Adiba Ighodaro responding to her appointment said “No other group of its kind is better positioned to expand its activities across rapidly growing markets in the rest of Africa. Joining the Board at this juncture and contributing what I can to solidifying this growth will be a privilege.”

Adiba is currently a Partner with Actis, an emerging markets investment firm. Adiba obtained a law degree in London, and was called to the UK Bar before moving to Nigeria, where she also qualified at the Nigerian Bar and worked initially in private practice. She then joined the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) in 1991, first in London, and later in Lagos, with a remit to establish CDC’s Nigerian business. In 1995 she moved her focus to the Caribbean as a Senior Investment Executive and Investment Manager of CDC, helping to obtain investment for and dispose of some of the company’s interests in Africa and the Caribbean. Later she became CDC’s Country Manager for Nigeria. She also became Head of West Africa, with responsibility for building the investment business of its Actis unit across the region.

Actis was spun out of CDC in 2004, resulting in Adiba’s role changing primarily to raising investment funding including for Actis’s $3 billion Global Emerging Markets Fund and $1.2 billion Infrastructure Fund.

Adiba was a founding Board Director and Investment Committee member of Capital Alliance Private Equity Limited, Nigeria. She has also contributed extensively to various think tanks, including the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, the Privatisation Committee and the Nigerian-South African Business Council. She has an LLB from Kings College University of London and a Certified Diploma in Accounting & Finance (ACCA).

Old Mutual provides life assurance, asset management, banking and general insurance to more than 14 million customers in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. Originating in South Africa in 1845, Old Mutual has been listed on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges, among others, since 1999.

In the year ended 31 December 2012, the Group reported adjusted operating profit before tax of £1.6 billion (on an IFRS basis) and had £262 billion of funds under management from core operations.

By: Modestus Anaesoronye