Saad Aouad, Co-founding Partner, Chairman & Chief Investment Officer
Saad started his career in 2004 in JP Morgan’s London M&A Middle East team, moving to the TMT team in 2005 where he helped execute several transactions including : (i) Advising leading regional telecom operators in their international expansion – namely Orascom, Qtel and Etisalat (incl. its $2.9 billion acquisition of Egypt’s third mobile license). (ii) Advising French media group Lagardere on its acquisition of a 20% stake in Canal+ Group (€1.5 billion+), and KKR on its acquisition of Pages Jaunes (€6 billion+). In 2008, Saad joined Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management (KZAM) the leading pan-African private equity fund at the time. At KZAM, Saad sourced, executed, managed and exited multiple transactions including the full exit from CNIA Saada in Morocco (insurance company), where he led the successful IPO. He also worked on a number of transactions that became a success in the Africa PE space, namely OSEAD Mining, IHS Towers, Banque Atlantique and GTA (insurance).
In 2011 he moved to London based asset manager Duet Group where he co-founded and managed its Africa private equity platform. At Duet, he led the origination and execution of the second largest private equity transaction in Ethiopia to date ($90 million in Dashen Brewery; the second largest brewery in the country) as well as investments into QCIL in Uganda.
Saad graduated from EM Lyon with an MSc in Finance. He is a native Arabic and French speaker, and is fluent in English.
Emmanuel Couteau, Co-founding Partner, Chief Operating Officer
Emmanuel helped set up 54 Capital. He started his career at Arthur Andersen Luxembourg in 2000 in the Business Risk Consulting & Assurance practice. In 2001, he joined a start-up company as Sales Executive Europe, and signed major deals for a business segment he initiated. Following his consulting and entrepreneurial experience, Emmanuel moved to investment banking in London in 2004. He joined Societe Generale as VP Hedge Fund Credit Sales and soon became one of the top producers in Europe. In 2007, he moved to Royal Bank of Scotland as a Director in the Hedge Fund Credit Sales team and ranked again among the top performers. In 2009, Emmanuel joined the Credit Derivatives Sales team at ICAP, the inter-dealer broker, and helped multiply the desk revenues fivefold.
Emmanuel holds an MSc in Business Risk Management and in Finance from SKEMA Business School. He is a French native speaker and is fluent in English.
Yassine Benjelloun, Partner, Investments
Yassine started his career at Morgan Stanley in London in 1994 as a trader in the Fixed Income Division. He moved to Goldman Sachs in 2003 as an Executive Director in the Fixed Income trading division. In 2006, Yassine helped to launch an Africa-focused Corporate and Investment Bank, Medicapital Bank (MCB), based in London. As one of the 3 founding partners, Yassine set up and led the Treasury and Capital Markets division. MCB was the first FSA licensed bank with an African sponsor ex-South Africa (BMCE Group in Morocco).
In 2011, Yassine joined Macquarie Bank in London, as Head of Africa for the Commodity and Financial Markets division. He worked on and helped originate transactions for various teams in the bank, from investment banking to structured commodity finance, physical commodity trading and structured credit.
Yassine graduated from Ecole Polytechnique (Paris), and holds an MSc from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chausses (Paris). He is a native speaker in Arabic and French, and is fluent in English.
Simon Jamieson, Investment Advisor
Simon spent the majority of his career at Robert Fleming Holdings and subsequently at Fleming Family & Partners where he focused mainly on Private Equity. He started his career at a California based Venture Capital Manager before joining the Investment team of Flemings in New York .
In 2000, he joined Fleming Family & Partners Asset Management and was responsible for US$500 million of Private Equity investments. Since leaving FF&P in 2013, Simon devotes the majority of his time to 54 Capital and a US family office, where he serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee. He is also a Director of Foresight Venture Capital Trust 4.
Jerome Carle, Head of Portfolio Operations
Jerome is the Head of Portfolio Operations at 54 Capital. Prior to joining 54 Capital, Jerome served as the Chief Executive Officer of Julphar, one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor in Middle East & Africa. He joined the Company in 2017 as Corporate CFO, before being appointed General Manager and CEO. He has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry and during his 20-year-plus career, he has served in a variety of senior management positions. He began his career in financial operations with Peugeot and Ford and spent 17 years with Sanofi, where he had multiple global assignments including the role of Chief Finance Officer in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Jerome holds a Master’s degree in Economy and Management from the Bordeaux Business School in France, completed by Executive Education programs at Harvard Business School and INSEAD. He has been involved with several Think Tanks and as an active member of the European Investors Council and Pharma Manufacturers Associations. He is also a Board Member of joint-ventures with Julphar’s partners in Africa, Asia and Middle East. Jerome has been recognized by Forbes as “Top 50 CEO in Middle East” in 2019.
Radia Benboubker, Head of Investor Relations
Radia started her career at Deutshe Bank covering French corporates on rates derivatives. After her graduation, she joined Citigroup in London in 2008 where she helped develop the middle east franchise. During her time there, Radia covered financial institutions in the region offering them a range of products. She worked on and executed multiple structured financing transactions, hedging solutions including rates, credit, FX and commodities and asset side trades. In 2017, Radia joined Nomura in their Dubai office as an executive director in a similar function covering fixed income derivatives and structured products. She went on to join 54 Capital in 2019 as the Head of Investor Relations.
Radia graduated from ESCP Europe with a MSc in Management. She is a native Arabic and French speaker and is fluent in English.
Vera Doljenkova, Finance & Operations Manager
Vera is Finance & Operations Manager at 54 Capital. Prior to joining 54 Capital she worked in Samena Capital principal investment group focusing on Subcontinent, Asia, Middle East and North Africa where she was responsible for operations of Special Situation Funds, financial reporting of funds, co-investments and SPVs as well as regulatory reporting. Vera spent 7 years in VR Capital Group multibillion alternative asset manager focused primarily on distressed securities and event-driven/special situations investments where she was responsible for accuracy of NAV reporting for flagship fund and corporate reporting of VR subsidiaries and SPVs.
Vera is Fellow Member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and CFA Level III candidate. She holds Bachelor in Accounting and Audit from Tashkent State University of Economics. A fluent in English and native Russian speaker.
Nathalie Bennett, Investment Professional
Nathalie joined 54 Capital at inception. She started her career at TLG Capital in 2009, a private equity fund focused on frontier markets, where she worked on various transactions in the healthcare and FMCG sectors. She joined the Duet Group’s Africa Private Equity team (founded and led by Saad) in 2011, where she worked on the Dashen transaction. She has been involved in closing UPM and the FMCG deals in Ethiopia within 54 Capital.
Nathalie holds a BA in History from the School of African and Oriental Studies, and an MSc in History of Empires from the London School of Economics. She is an English native speaker.
Mohamed El Agroudy, Investment Professional
Mohamed started his career with The Abraaj Group’s Middle East and North Africa team, where he analyzed investment opportunities across the Education, Healthcare, Consumer and Retail sectors; supported portfolio companies in enhancing governance, optimizing operations, and identifying accretive add-on acquisitions; and assisted in execution of 3 portfolio company exits. He moved to FIM Partners in 2018 where he monitored and managed investments of a MENA focused permanent capital vehicle before joining 54 Capital in 2019.
Mohamed holds a MSc in Management from London Business School, UK, and a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the American University in Cairo. He is a native Arabic speaker and is fluent in English.
Abdelwali Ali El Himma, Investment Professional
Abdelwali started his career at Attijari Finance Corp, the Investment Banking division of Attijariwafa Bank where he supported the execution of M&A transactions. Previous to his banking experience, Abdelwali did a brief stint at Upline Group Securities in Casablanca, where he monitored public equities and conducted research.
Abdelwali holds a BA in Business Administration from IE Business School in Spain. He is a French and Arabic native speaker, fluent in English and conversational in Spanish.