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GEF hires new African investment MD

The alternatives fund management firm has hired Koome Imathiu to invest across agri-related logistics and bio-energy as well as other renewable energy and resource efficiency assets.

Global Environment Fund (GEF), the alternatives fund management firm, has hired Koome Imathiu as managing director on the African investment team, a new role for the company.

Imathiu joins Sulanji Siwale, who has been a member of the Africa investment team since 2012. Together they will oversee the company’s private equity investments into clean and renewable energy, resource efficiency and logistics in sub-Saharan Africa as part of the Africa Growth Fund team.

“Agri-related logistics and bio-energy are excellent examples of investments in the agri-related sector,” George McPherson, managing director for GEF, told Agri Investor.

Imathiu has experience investing in the region while a principal at Helios Investment Partners, where he focused on energy, transportation, agri-processing and technology. He has also worked for Goldman Sachs in the past undertaking principal investments and investment banking advisory in food processing, telecommunications and power generation.

McPherson would not comment on the status of the Africa Growth Fund citing Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, although US agency Overseas Private Investment Corporation committed $50 million to the fund in 2012 through a loan, according to the OPIC website. OPIC also detailed that GEF is targeting $150 million for this fund.

GEF’s Africa Sustainable Forestry Fund team is currently fundraising for the $200 million African Sustainable Forestry Fund II, which is targeting $200 million. The company expects to announce a first close this month, George McPherson, GEF’s managing director told Agri Investor in November.