Following the announcement in August last year of plans by a consortium made up of European development finance institutions and lenders to pool their financial services assets in Africa to create Arise, a $660 million private equity investment company, the new company was officially launched in Cape Town last week.
FMO, Norfund and Rabobank are backing the company with their stakes in financial services companies in 10 countries on the continent. The new strategy is to use the new platform as a launch pad to take minority stakes in additional companies in the sector and eventually expand the new company’s asset base to more than $1 billion in size.
“The main objective of establishing this company was to strengthen and develop effective, inclusive financial systems in Africa in order to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction,” said Arise’s CEO, Deepak Malik. “Arise will take and manage minority stakes in Sub-Saharan African Financial Service Providers with the core aim of building strong and stable institutions that will serve retail, Small and Medium Enterprises, the rural sector, and clients who have not previously had access to financial services.
All the partners in the consortium have been involved in the financial services sector in Africa for many years. As well as capital, Arise will provide its investee companies with technical assistance and management services in the fields of management, governance, marketing, innovation, compliance and risk management.