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Yeelen Financial Fund raises €30m

Africa Global Funds
July 12, 2017, midnight

Word count: 433

Yeelen Financial Fund, a private equity fund dedicated to the financial sector within the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), has raised over €30m at the end of an initial closing.

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Yeelen Financial Fund, a private equity fund dedicated to the financial sector within the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), has raised over €30m at the end of an initial closing.

Investors in the Fund comprise a wide group of African regional institutions, including on the one hand historical investors such as BOAD, Atlantic Group and SGI Togo, and on the other hand new investors such as the government pension fund of Cote d’Ivoire as well as insurance companies and family offices like SONAVIE Mali and the Sanchez family in Senegal.

Christian Adovelande, President of the BOAD, said that the establishment of this Fund "will respond to the needs of modernization and restructuring of the WAEMU financial sector, which is facing issues and challenges of a growing demand for specialised financial services and an improvement of the competitiveness of the players in the banking and financial sector while respecting the regulatory constraints ".

The Fund's target size is €150m (100bn CFA francs) by the end of 2018, with a first closing of €75m at the end of 2017. 

With this initial closing, the Fund plans to initiate immediately its investment activities. 

The Fund is managed by Yeelen Capital initiated by Cauris Management.

Yeelen Financial Fund, which has been sponsored by the West African Development Bank (BOAD), aims to support the growth and development of banking, insurance, microfinance, financial technology and other type of financial services institutions. 

The Fund will invest between €2m and €15m in equity and quasi-equity per company. 

Paul Derreumaux, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Yeelen Capital, said: "The WAEMU region needs significant capital to meet the requirements of its economic growth and the strong regulatory development in the banking and insurance sectors. This creates attractive opportunities for funds such as Yeelen which combines the experience of a strong team and deep local roots.”

Cauris Management has made available to Yeelen Capital a dedicated team led by Benjamin Kouakou, who has over 25 years of experience in the African financial sector including positions at Citibank (Regional Director of Corporate Finance for West & Central Africa), Orabank Chad (Chief Executive Officer) and Diamond Bank (Regional Director for Francophone Africa). 

Cauris Management will also provide Yeelen Capital with ESG, reporting and back-office support services.

Noël Yawo Eklo, CEO of Cauris Management, said: “Developping a sectorial financial fund such as Yeelen is a natural evolution of Cauris Management, leveraging on its experience of generalist fund manager, on its expertise and its success in supporting and financing SMEs and financial activities in Francophone West Africa.”

 

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