Actis Boosts Africa Team

Pan-emerging markets private equity firm Actis has appointed Mark Ransford as a director focusing on opportunities in West Africa. Ransford will be based in London with regular trips to Lagos; he takes up his post with immediate effect.


Actis, the pan-emerging markets private equity firm, today announced the appointment of Mark Ransford as a Director focusing on opportunities in West Africa. Mark will be based in London with regular trips to Lagos; he takes up his post with immediate effect.

Africa is core to Actis’s business with US$1.5bn currently invested on the continent. Mark’s appointment further strengthens the team there; he brings extensive experience of transaction origination and execution, as well as a raft of high level contacts.

Mark was formerly a Partner at Kingdom Zephyr. Prior to that he was a Principal at Apax Partners where he worked on transactions across Europe and in the United States. Mark has a doctorate in genetics from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from INSEAD.

John van Wyk, Actis co-Head of Africa said: “Actis has always led the way in Africa; our insight into consumer trends and investment opportunities on the continent is unmatched. With his deep understanding of private equity and his prior experience in West Africa, Mark is a welcome addition to the team.”

Mark Ransford commented: “I believe demographic trends drive equity returns. This makes me pretty excited about identifying investment opportunities in West Africa and specifically in Nigeria, the most populous country on the continent. I look forward to working with my new colleagues in Lagos and Africa; drawing on their pan-emerging markets experience.”

Actis has ten investments in West Africa. In Nigeria: Diamond Bank; oil and gas production company Seven Energy; foam products manufacturer, Mouka; and real estate developments Ikeja City Mall and Heritage Place. In Ghana: office and retail development, One Airport Square. In Côte d’Ivoire, power plant Azito. In Senegal: Mineral Deposits and Teranga. Actis portfolio company, Vlisco, the fashion textile brand, is marketed across the region along with its sister brands, Uniwax, GTP and Woodin.

About Actis
Actis invests exclusively in the emerging markets with a growing portfolio of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America; it currently has US$5bn funds under management. With over 120 investment professionals on the ground in nine offices worldwide, Actis is proud to actively and positively grow the value of those companies in which it invests.