Emilio Cattaneo has joined the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, as its first Executive Director.
Mr Cattaneo's background is in investment banking. He has deep experience of emerging markets and the infrastructure sector, equity and debt products and of managing financial services businesses.
His core primary responsibilities at EAIF include implementing the fund's growth strategy, securing deeper penetration of the sectors EAIF lends to, providing strategic advice to the board and strengthening and widening relations with donor governments, banks, advisers and key audiences in Africa and Europe. Other duties include the supervision of EAIF's sub-contracted fund managers and other third party service providers to the fund, and matters of compliance, governance and business efficiency. Mr Cattaneo will be the principal spokesperson for EAIF and be an ambassador for the fund.
EAIF's chairman, Mr David White, says that Mr Cattaneo was the outstanding candidate for the post. Mr White stated:
"He has the blend of intellectual weight, professional background and engaging personality needed to be a success in boardrooms and government offices in Africa and Europe."
Commenting his new role, Mr Cattaneo says:
"Over nearly 15 years, EAIF has established its reputation as a valued component in economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. We want to build on our success in traditional infrastructure, broaden our portfolio across the infrastructure spectrum and have greater penetration into new economy areas, particularly in digital infrastructure and allied systems, in order to meet the needs of rapidly changing African markets. I am delighted to be to bringing my professional abilities to bear on work that builds Africa's stock of infrastructure assets and helps promote development and combat poverty."
In addition to English and Italian, Mr Cattaneo speaks Portuguese, French and Spanish. He attended Hertford College, University of Oxford, graduating in biochemistry with economics. He spent close to 20 years with HSBC in the UK and abroad.
Subsequently he worked in a number of smaller firms, including an advisory M&A boutique that he founded and ran for 7 years and in a commodity brokerage firm focused on emerging markets, including Africa. Most recently, he was Director, Asset Management at Climate Change Capital, a London-based fund manager, where he was closely involved in the development of an African private equity agri-business and renewable energy fund.