Quantum hiring for Angolan SWF’s Africa timber, agri mandate

The Swiss investment management firm is hiring to handle a mandate from the $5 billion Angola sovereign wealth fund, which includes timber and agriculture.

Quantum Global, the Swiss investment management firm, is hiring analysts and associates to handle a mandate from the $5 billion Angola sovereign wealth fund to invest in sub-Saharan African timber, agriculture, mining and healthcare.

The size of the mandate was not disclosed, although some $250 million will be invested into agriculture alone, Agri Investor learned.

The firm is advertising various roles on its website to work on the mandate including timberland investment manager, a vice-president with experience in any of the targeted sectors, a junior investment controller and a private equity analyst.

Depending on the mandate’s ultimate investment strategy, more hires could be made at a later date, Ulrich Otto, managing director at Quantum Global Alternative Investments, told Agri Investor.

Quantum has already hired some senior figures to handle the mandate.

Esben Brandi joined the firm in February as head of timberland to head up the “recently-closed” Africa dedicated Timberland Fund. His LinkedIn page describes it as ‘”the biggest private equity fund to date dedicated to African timberland investments”. The fund will invest in sustainably-run natural forest companies, greenfield plantation projects, established timber plantation companies and brownfield plantation projects in sub-Saharan Africa. This is the last remaining frontier timberland investment region, according to Brandi.

Brandi joined Quantum from The International Woodland Company, an institutional timberland funds manager, where he worked as senior investment manager.

Quantum has also hired an agriculture investment professional, according to Otto, but he would not disclose who it was. “We have people on our team that have been investing into African agriculture for the last 10 years but we also have extensive private equity deal experience that we can leverage from our other African investment activities,” said Otto.

On the agriculture side, Quantum will buy existing agricultural operations or create new farming businesses in partnership with local operators that know the sector but have a shortage of equity, according to Otto. The firm will also invest into other value-adding opportunities such as logistics and transportation, he added.

“We are interested in value-adding businesses on the African continent,” said Otto. “For example logistics chains, silos, transportation, food processing facilities. Putting these together with primary production and creating an integrated operator model will provide interesting exit opportunities for strategic buyers.”