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Our team

Saad Aouad

Founder & Chief Investment Officer

Saad Aouad

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

Chief Operating Officer

Emmanuel Couteau

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

Portfolio Management

Yassine Benjelloun

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.

David Kleiterp


David Kleiterp

David started his career with The Abraaj Group in 2012. Over a six-year period, he worked on investments in FMCG, Financial Services, Industrials and the Healthcare sector, across the EMEA and Latin America regions. 

David was part of the team that successfully invested growth capital in Ghana Home Loans, transforming the company into the leading online retail and corporate bank in the country.

During his time at Abraaj he also helped create, execute and monitor the value creation and annual business plan of Fan Milk International, a market leader in fresh and frozen milk and juice products in West Africa. In addition, he carried out extensive analyses of the different business units, evaluated M&A and share buy-back opportunities. He also completed a competitive landscape analysis and successfully managed investor and stakeholder relations.

David also assisted with the creation of the Latin American and Sub-Saharan African Opportunity and Fund pitch book presentations for The Abraaj Group. The funds raised US $500 million and US $990 million, respectively.

David holds a Master of Science in Economics and Finance from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Science in International Economics and Business from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. He is currently pursuing his CFA level II exam.

 A native Dutch speaker, he is fluent in English and proficient in Spanish.

Nathalie Bennett

Investment Professional

Nathalie Bennett

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.

Nathalie has been involved in all the execution of all transactions executed by 54 Capital since inception, and also is involved in investment reporting and preparation for board meetings.

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.

Abdelwali Ali  Elhimma

Investment Professional

Abdelwali Ali Elhimma

Abdelwali started his career at Attijari Finance Corp, the Investment Banking division of Attijariwafa Bank where he supported the execution of M&A transactions by performing valuation and sectoral market analyses.

Previous to his banking experience, Abdelwali did a brief stint at Upline Group Securities in Casablanca, where he monitored stocks listed on the Moroccan Stock Exchange and performed research. He recently joined 54 Capital’s Portfolio Management team.

Abdelwali is a graduate of IE Business School (Madrid, Spain) where he earned a Bachelor in Business Administration. He is a French and Arabic native speaker, fluent in English and conversational in Spanish.