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PEOPLE - Investors with Grit
Postelection violence has sent Kenya into convulsions — with more than 900 people killed and another 250,000 displaced — but some of the country’s boosters continue to hold out hope for the future.
Postelection violence has sent Kenya into convulsions with more than 900 people killed and another 250,000 displaced but some of the countrys boosters continue to hold out hope for the future. Among them: Temitope Lawani and Babatunde Soyoye, the Nigerian-born founders of four-year-old, London-based Helios Investment Partners, sub-Saharan Africas largest private equity fund, with more than $575 million in assets. Helios, which claims a 45 percent annualized return on more than a dozen investments stretching from Namibia to Nigeria, closed an 11 billion Kenyan shilling ($168 million) purchase of a 24.99 percent stake in Kenyas Equity Bank on December 21, seven days before street battles broke out over charges of presidential election fraud. Violence has been confined to Nairobi and the Rift Valley, so we remain optimistic about Kenyas prospects, says Lawani, 37. He and Soyoye, 39, were partners at U.S. private equity firm TPG in London before starting Helios. Says Lawani, We are prepared to invest through tough times.