Njeri Rionge is one of East Africa's most successful serial entrepreneurs, as described by Forbes. Njeri is one of the very few women pioneers in the ICT sector on the African continent. She co-founded internet service provider Wananchi Online that has since been transformed into Wananchi Group Holdings - one of east Africa's leading providers of pay-tv, broadband internet and VoIP services. In 2011 alone the company raised US$57.5 million in growth capital, and to date a total of US$238m from groups of international investors. Following the success of Wananchi Online, Njeri founded Ignite Consulting & Investment Limited in 2006, an executive coaching and skills training business specializing in improving organizational effectiveness. Ignite also has a subsidiary focused on hyper spectral imaging natural resources in Kenya. In 2008 she was asked to oversee the restructuring of Telkom Kenya, a previously state owned corporation soon after the merger with France Telecom, and was instrumental in the retail brand launch of the Orange brand into the country and the iPhone 3G was her super product launch. She is a frequent speaker at MIT, UBC, and Strathmore on Entrepreneurship, Governance and Leadership.
Njeri has also held board positions with Unilever Tea (Brook Bond Kenya), Institute of Directors (IOD) Kenya, Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), Ambulance Air Rescue (AAR) Holdings, Wananchi Nominees Limited and Wananchi Online Ltd now Wananchi Group. She is a current Advisory Committee member of Sports as a Service to Humanity at the Vatican.
A cornerstone to Njeri's success is good corporate governance and creating value and not only profits.
Njeri is now bringing her knowledge and expertise on the African markets to North America and to open up investment banking and capital markets and facilitate investment opportunities on the African Continent.
John Hogan has worked for the United Nations for over fourteen years. He has expertise in the areas of urban management, local economic development, community‐based strategic planning and local government financial management. He has worked in over 100 countries with a wide range of national governments, local authorities, NGOs, and the private sector. Working as part of the Training and Capacity Building Branch, he has overseen the developing of a wide range of training materials and programs which are of used by a wide range of urban professionals.
Ainos Ngadya is a Chartered Investment Manager with broad experience in all aspects of treasury, mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance and private equity. He has direct and in depth experience within commercial real estate, not‐for‐profit, banking, and telecommunication organizations. His deep knowledge of global treasury management comes from working with US and other multinationals as a banking practitioner designing financing solutions, global cash pooling, business acquisitions, privatizations and restructuring. Mr. Ngadya has been engaged by a fast growing NYSE/TSX listed diversified environmental services company as the Head of Corporate Finance, responsible for M&A, financial model development, and strategic initiatives. Previously he was an Associate Vice President of Treasury for Brookfield Asset Management serving more than 5 Global Real Estate Entities in Europe, APAC and North America.
Paige Backman is a partner with the firm's Corporate/Commercial Group. Paige is also Chair of the firm’s Privacy Team, Co‐Chair of the Sports & Media Team and Co‐Chair of the Technology Group. Paige practises in the area of corporate/commercial law. She has extensive experience in corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing, divestitures and joint ventures. Paige has led groups in some of the largest transactions in Canada and extensively counsels both multinationals and domestic entities in corporate transactions and commercial relationships. Over the years, Paige has developed expertise in privacy, technology and sports‐related matters and is a prominent legal practitioner in these fields.
Since 2000, Steve has been the President of Lifework Leadership. Lifework is known by executives for its Christian worldview training and its level of program excellence. It regularly serves leaders from companies such as Walt Disney World, Darden Restaurants (including Red Lobster and Olive Garden), Florida Hospital, Orlando Healthcare, CNL Financial Group and numerous non‐profit organizations. Under his leadership, Lifework has grown from a group of 153 leaders in Orlando to a leadership community of over 1,900 in Atlanta, Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa Bay.
Ms. Danielle Kayembe is a seasoned business professional with experience in international consulting and finance in New York and sub‐Saharan Africa. As part of Bank of America's Leveraged Finance team, Ms. Kayembe worked on over $3 billion of transactions for private equity firms and companies in various industries. She later worked for HSBC's General Industrials Group, where she developed $4.5 billion in leveraged acquisition finance opportunities for multi‐national companies in their portfolio.
Following her work at HSBC, Ms. Kayembe has advised firms such as Helios Towers, McCann Global Health,Kingdom Zephyr, and Vodacom in DR Congo. Ms. Kayembe graduated from Stanford University with a BA and MA in Organizations (Graduate School of Business and School of Sociology). She is originally from DR Congo and speaks fluent French.
Lise Birikundavyi has a passion for innovative and sustainable investments in emerging markets,especially in the African continent.She has extensive international experience in deal sourcing, market research and due diligence. Ms. Birikundavyi co‐founded E.M. Genesis, a service provider in the impact investing space that bridges the gap between investors and impactful companies in East Africa. Lise Birikundavyi began her career at Innocap Investment Management (BNP Paribas & National Bank of Canada) before pursuing an MBA at theShanghai Advanced Institute of Finance.
She subsequently went on to provide services tothe Africa Impact Group, a firm that has pioneered impact investing in Sub‐Saharan Africa, with a specific focus on Francophone Africa. In 2014 Ms. Birikundavyi worked with Sarona Asset Management Inc., a private equity firm focused on emerging markets and based in Kitchener Ontario
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