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CDC makes senior hires

Africa Global Funds
Feb. 27, 2018, 5:13 p.m.
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CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, has appointed Tenbite Ermias as its new Head of Africa and Chris Coles as its new Chief Investment Officer.

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CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, has appointed Tenbite Ermias as its new Head of Africa and Chris Coles as its new Chief Investment Officer.

Ermias joins CDC from McKinsey where he has been a Partner for three years, prior to which he was with the Boston Consulting Group for over thirteen years. 

He is an experienced management consultant having worked in global roles from South Africa to the US, and the UAE to Kenya. 

At CDC, Ermias will be responsible for leading the development of CDC’s business in Africa.

He has significant experience in working with public and private sector organisations on economic development, health and infrastructure, as well as private equity clients covering the consumer, industrial goods and agriculture sectors in various parts of Africa. 

He was a member of McKinsey’s Africa People Committee that focused on recruiting and developing the continent’s best talent. 

From late summer 2018, Ermias will be based in Nairobi, from where he will lead CDC’s Africa operations. 

He will sit on CDC’s Executive Committee.

Coles’s role as CIO will focus on overseeing CDC’s overall investment strategy, the financial performance of its portfolio and the allocation of capital across CDC’s target geographies of Africa and South Asia. 

He will chair CDC’s Investment Committees and will sit on CDC’s Executive Committee.

Coles has over 25 years of investment experience and joins CDC from Actis, where his previous roles included Chairman of the Executive Committee, Chief Operating Officer and a Board Director of Actis.

Prior to joining Actis, he was a Managing Director and Head of Leveraged Finance at Barclays Capital, a Director at SG Warburg, and European and Group Treasurer at the WPP Group. 

Coles replaces Frances Reid, who takes on a new role at CDC as Managing Director, covering Investment Risk, Policy, and Analytics.

Nick O’Donohoe, CDC’s CEO, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Chris and Tenbite to CDC. Chris brings a wealth of experience and a deeply-held commitment to the role that the private sector can play in development.” 

“As CDC grows and plans to invest more than ever in its history, Chris will play a key role in ensuring we continue to get the right type of capital to those businesses that make the most impact,” he said.
 
“Tenbite’s appointment will help CDC expand the reach of our capital in Africa and strengthen our relationships with our investee companies, fellow investors, governments and other stakeholders. As CDC expands its presence on the ground in a number of African countries, Tenbite will provide the leadership needed to maintain CDC’s reputation as one of the leading investors in Africa’s private sector,” he added.

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