Our Team

James Pockney, Chairman

James is an experienced investor in the emerging markets, having started his career on the Far Eastern Equities desk at Swiss Bank Corporation (now UBS) before setting up General & Oriental Investments Limited, a private investment company, in 1995.

In 2004, he co-founded and built Baltic Petroleum Limited, a Russian-focused oil business which listed on AIM in 2006 as Baltic Oil Terminals Plc. In 2007, James co-founded and developed Indian Energy Limited, an independent power producer that develops, owns and operates wind farms in India and listed on AIM in 2009.

James has extensive experience of investing and operating in Africa, having co-founded and built ABN, a Pan-African television network and by investing in various mining ventures. In 2010, he launched APC and partnered with the Industrial Development Group of South Africa (IDG) to develop the 500-700MW Sounda Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme in Republic of Congo which is intended to provide baseload power to the proposed iron ore mines and other wholesale power customers in the region.

Robb Kirchner, Chief Operating Officer

Robb has spent almost 30 years involved in the energy industry, having spent a significant time in a series of senior roles at Exxon Mobil. Since 2001, Robb has been Board Adviser to NET Power Europe, CEO of AIM-listed First Africa Oil and Deputy CEO of AIM-listed Sibir Energy. To date, Robb has raised equity and debt financing totaling more than US$700 million for a range of businesses.

Robb has a BA from the College of William and Mary; a diploma in International Economics from the London School of Economics; and an MBA from Colombia Business School.

Julian Rennie, Investment Director

Julian is a senior investment banker with significant telecoms, emerging market and developed market knowledge. Having started his career at Arthur Andersen, Julian spent much of his career at Standard Bank before joining Commonwealth Bank of Australia as a Senior Vice President.  He is a specialist in identifying, structuring and arranging new equity, mezzanine and debt opportunities across multiple industries, whilst ensuring risks are appropriately managed.

Julian graduated from University of KwaZulu Natal with a degree in Tax and Accounting and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Andrew Griffith, Head of Human Resources

Andrew is an HR professional with over 25 years’ international experience, specialising in the emerging markets, where he has worked for both multinationals, independent companies & start-ups. His career has included multiple assignments in the UK, Middle East, North Africa and Asia.  Andrew’s experience includes setting up the HR function for Bechtel on the Sidi Krir Power Station in Egypt; and establishing an HR practice for Pfizer across the Middle East and North Africa.

Andrew graduated from University of Liverpool with a BA Hons in Geography and is a member of the CIPD.

 

Barbara Lyayi, Business Development Director

Based in the UAE, Barbara was formerly looking after Regional M&A and Investments for Atlas Mara, the investment vehicle focused on African financial institutions. Barbara was responsible for investment in Union Bank of Nigeria, BRD Commercial and Banque Populaire du Rwanda.

Barbara was previously based in New York where she was Vice President, Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan, handling M&A, equity, debt and private placement transactions for a number of global private equity firms and corporations.

Barbara has a BSc in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Colombia University, NY and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Baillie Pratt, Accountant & Company Secretary

Baillie was previously part of Lord Rothschild’s Private Office where he was responsible for transferring ‘in-house’ all investment management and reporting processes for the Personal, Family and Charitable Trusts & Settlements with funds under management of £1.5 billion. Prior to that, Baillie was Finance and Compliance Officer and Company Secretary for hedge fund Thames River Capital (UK) Ltd.

Baillie started his career with Deloitte Haskins & Sells, during which time he spent six years in Johannesburg, before moving on to be Chief Accountant of Williams de Broë, a London based stockbroking firm.

Mutuma Marangu, Non-Executive Director

Based in Nairobi, Mutuma is an investor in forestry, agriculture, non–renewable and renewable energy companies and real estate across sub–Saharan Africa.

Mutuma has been involved in the physical commodity sector in Africa for more than 20 years, having worked at Glencore AG for 12 years as a Physical Trader. Prior to this, he worked as a Financial Analyst at Morgan Stanley and Commodity Trader at Philipp Brothers in New York.

Mutuma is a Director and substantial shareholder in Green Resources AS, the largest afforestation company in Africa. He is a senior adviser to the Chairman of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, and played a leading role in its successful pre-IPO investment from Mercuria Capital Partners and its landmark dual listing IPO on the London Stock Exchange and Nigerian Stock Exchanges.

Mutuma sits on the Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA)’s Capital Markets Master Plan Steering Committee (CMMPSC), the Africa Advisory Board of the London Stock Exchange and the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa.

Mutuma has a BA in Economics from Vassar College, NY, USA; an MPhil in Economics and Politics of Development from Cambridge University, UK, and an MBA in Finance from Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA.

Rotimi Oyekan, Non-Executive Director

Based in Lagos, Rotimi is a finance and management professional with over 25 years of investment banking, public & business consulting and public service experience in Nigeria. Prior to founding Phoenix Global Capital, Rotimi was Commissioner of Finance for Lagos State, Managing Director of LAGBUS Asset Management Limited (1st Mass Transit Bus Service in Africa) and Head of Investment Banking at Stanbic Bank Nigeria.

As Commissioner of Finance in Lagos State, Rotimi’s notable achievements included establishing the first debt issuance programme for sub-national governments in Nigeria, and securing the first-ever African sub-national Development Policy Operation from the World Bank.

Rotimi holds a degree in Economics from the University of Benin, Nigeria and had professional training at the New York Institute of Finance, Wall Street, New York. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers of Nigeria.

Kay Ellen Consolver, Non-Executive Director

Ms Consolver has 20 years experience as a senior global executive at ExxonMobil with extensive experience in Africa. Kay Ellen specialises in corporate governance and has global expertise in audit, finance, law, operations and risk management.

Kay Ellen currently sits on the Supervisory Board of Thyssen Petroleum, a privately held oil company, with offices in Houston and Alaska for its properties in the United States and in Monaco, London, Amman and Islamabad to oversee acquisition and development of properties in the Middle East.

Previously, she served on the Board of Russian Platinum Plc, headquartered in Moscow, with platinum mining operations in eastern Siberia and licences to develop properties in Norilsk.

In 2015, Cranfield University School of Management selected her as one of “100 Women to Watch” in their ‘Female FTSE Board Report’ and Brummell magazine honoured her in 2013 as one of 30 inspirational women on Boards in London.

Jyrki Koskelo, Senior Adviser

Jyrki brings 30 years’ global experience of investing in emerging markets, including overseeing a US$29 billion portfolio of private equity and debt investments as Vice President, Global Industries at IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.

During his 24 years at IFC, Jyrki worked as Chief Investment Officer covering multiple sectors, including financial markets and infrastructure; supervised IFC’s restructuring Department during the Argentina and Asia crisis; and was promoted to be Vice President of Africa, Central Europe and eventually Vice President Global Industries. Jyrki’s key achievements included overseeing the decentralization of IFC’s operations and the introduction of new products and operational models to Africa, which were instrumental in allowing IFC to increase its activities more than tenfold.

Since retiring from IFC in 2011, Jyrki has undertaken a number of board and advisory positions, with a particular focus on Africa. These include Chairman of RSwitch in Rwanda, a national electronic payment platform; and a Board member of Botswana’s African Banking Corporation.  He is currently a Board member of the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund, a debt fund focused on improving food security and providing additional employment and income to farmers in Africa; and a Senior Adviser to MyBucks, a virtual micro-bank network operating across 12 counties in Africa.

Martin Edge, Adviser

Based in Johannesburg, Martin brings a wealth of experience gained from a financial career focused on both Africa and the telecommunications sector. Martin has practiced as a corporate finance advisor since 1985, working in London and Johannesburg, advising on some of the largest corporate finance transactions in Africa and serving on many private company boards in Africa.

Martin was a Founder of First Africa, which became Africa’s leading independent M&A franchise and was subsequently sold to Standard Chartered, where he worked for several years. Prior to this, he worked at HSBC.

Martin graduated with an Honours Degree in PPE from the University of Oxford, and is a UK Chartered Accountant.

Peter Barlow, Adviser

Peter was previously Director of Corporate Finance at International Power plc where he was responsible for Corporate and Project finance, Treasury, and was also Chairman of the Joint Venture with Mitsui. He was also Chairman of Thai National Power. During his 12 years with International Power, Peter was responsible for the funding of all of International Power's projects, for its corporate funding, and for a number of important relationships with partners.

Prior to Peter's role with International Power, he was involved in Infrastructure Finance and Project Finance at a number of international banks, such as Nomura, Bank of America and Wardley in Europe and Asia. During this time, he executed both advisory and lending activities involving both private Sector and Government sponsors.

Peter is a Non-Executive Director of Infraco Africa, a multi-government funded, privately managed company providing early stage development capital and expertise to develop infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa. He is also a Non-Executive Director of a finance company subsidiary of Octopus Investments, a fund manager, and has a number of charitable appointments.

Ben Morton, Adviser

Ben is a communications and investor relations professional with over 20 years' international experience, having been Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications for various multinational organisations, including Carlsberg and Heathrow Airport.

Ben has extensive experience in the financial sector and in emerging markets, including over ten years focused on Africa. He spent four years in South Africa, helping to establish one of the country’s leading communications agencies before becoming Communications Director for the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), supporting the creation of Actis, Globeleq and Aureos.

Ben graduated from London University with a BSc Hons in Economics and French.

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