Private Equity

Enko Africa Private Equity Fund (EAPEF) is a private equity fund established for the purpose of investing in growth companies in Africa across a broad range of economic sectors. It successfully reached a US$48.25 million first closing in April 2014 and is currently fundraising for its final close in 2015.


Africa presents a high growth potential with seven of the ten fastest growing economies in the next three years being in Africa. With its natural resources reserves, large consumer market, agricultural potential, increased investments and strong demography, Africa is an attractive investment destination. Its capital markets yet remain underdeveloped and EAPEF sees substantial merit in assisting its portfolio companies towards a listing on an adequate African stock exchange, thereby deepening the capital markets while offering a mutually-beneficial exit route.

Investment Approach

EAPEF provides expansion, refinancing or acquisition capital in the form of equity or quasi-equity. It focuses on entrepreneur-led, mid-sized companies with a shared vision for a future stock market listing.

In addition to its financing, Enko brings a close involvement in the strategic management of portfolio companies, with a view to building a true partnership with the sponsors and adding value through various levers, including:

  • Strategic support to regional expansion strategies,
  • Assistance in capital raising to fund the growth of the business,
  • Improvement in corporate governance and standards of compliance, thereby creating the conditions to allow for a successful listing,
  • Hands-on support and insight in preparation for listing, leveraging our knowledge of the process and investor relations.


Cyrille Nkontchou

Cyrille is Co-founding Partner of Enko Capital Managers (“ECM”), management company of the Enko Africa Private Equity Fund. He is responsible for deal origination and processing, fundraising, investor relations and portfolio management of EAPEF. Prior to starting the firm, Cyrille was Managing Director and Founder of LiquidAfrica Holdings Limited, a pan-African investment bank specializing in capital raising and trading in all African markets. Before starting LiquidAfrica in 2000, he was the head of Sub-Saharan research at Merrill Lynch & Co. in London, where he was ranked in the Financial Mail 1999 Analyst Survey as one of the best research analysts on the continent. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Cyrille was a manager at Accenture in Paris, specializing in financial markets. Cyrille was nominated as Young Global Leader 2006 by the World Economic Forum. He holds a BA in Economics from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Ralph Gilchrist

Ralph is Co-founding Partner of Enko Capital Managers (“ECM”). He is responsible for deal origination and processing, investment negotiation and documentation, investor relations and portfolio management of EAPEF. He has been involved in investment in Africa for over 27 years, firstly with the Commonwealth Development Corporation, and more recently with private equity houses based in southern Africa. He was CEO of the Comafin Investment Fund, which invested throughout sub-Saharan Africa, was a member of Sasfin Bank’s private equity team focused on mid-cap transactions in South Africa and lead African Alliance’s private equity business investing in mid-cap companies in sub-Saharan Africa. Ralph holds an MA in Law from Cambridge University and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a qualified Barrister.

Claude Ayo

Claude is Vice President at ECM. He is in charge of finance, investments assessment and monitoring. Claude has more than twenty years of experience in audit, corporate finance, investments management, venture capital and private equity. He holds a CPA degree and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Alix Pinel

Alix is Senior Investment Officer at ECM since early 2014. Prior to ECM, she was Investment Officer in the Private Equity Division of Proparco (AFD Group), driving appraisal, structuring and execution of direct and fund investments in Africa, Brazil and South East Asia. She has a 7 year-experience in investing and carrying out operational improvement in developing and emerging countries. Alix had previously worked for the French Development Agency (AFD), based in Johannesburg and Paris. Prior to this, she held operational positions in internal control for the AXA Group (insurance sector) in Latin America. She holds a Masters in Science (MSc) in Entrepreneurship from HEC Paris School of Management and a BA in Law from University of Paris XI.

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