Russell Reynolds Associates Leading Searches for Africa50

July 13, 2017 – Russell Reynolds Associates has been tapped by Africa50 to lead its search for a general counsel as well as a chief financial officer.

Sara Vermeir, a consultant in the firm’s Belgium office, is leading both assignments. Ms. Vermeir is a member of Russell Reynolds’ global development and consumer practices. She conducts international executive search assignments for multilateral institutions and impact investment firms as well as search assignments in the Belgian consumer goods and retail sector.

Africa50 is a specialized international financial institution created at the initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and capitalized thus far by the AfDB, 23 African countries and two African central banks. The organization, which has a mandate to operate commercially, aims to help accelerate infrastructure development in Africa leveraging the strong support of its government shareholders and the AfDB.

General Counsel

The organization is looking for a general counsel who will protect the interest of Africa50 from legal liability and, as necessary, provide legal defense in cases brought against or by Africa50. The general counsel reports directly to the CEO and is expected to provide legal support, advice and services to the board, to the senior leadership team, as well as to the investment team of Africa50.

The right candidate, the group said, will have strong experience directing the legal and compliance activities of a fund or financial institution, including ensuring that the business complies with legal and regulatory requirements.

The position requires at least 15 years of proven leadership and relevant experience. An advanced degree in a related field of study or a relevant bachelor degree with considerable experience in senior management levels in public/ private/ multilateral sectors is also required, as is fluency in English and/or French.

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Africa50 said it wants a CFO who will be a key member of the senior leadership team. The executive supervises the finance unit and is the chief financial spokesperson for the organization.

The CFO is expected to assist the CEO on all strategic and tactical matters as they relate to budget management, cost benefit analysis, forecasting needs and the securing of sufficient funding. The person will also work with other members of the senior leadership team in developing and implementing the strategies for Africa50.

The ideal candidate will have strong experience in supervising the financial activities of a fund or a finance unit of a major investment vehicle and in being the chief financial spokesperson for the organization, bringing strong expertise in budget management, financial control, cost benefit analysis, forecasting and in securing sufficient funding, ideally both from public and private sectors.

The role requires a minimum of 15 years of proven leadership and relevant experience and an advanced degree in a related field of study or a relevant bachelor degree with considerable experience in senior management levels in public/ private/ multilateral sectors. Similar to the other position, fluency in English and/ or French is required.

The positions will both be based in Casablanca, Morocco.

Recent Search Activity

Russell Reynolds Associates’ public sector, trade and associations practice group serves a wide variety of public sector and not-for-profit organizations, related public bodies, regulators, and government-owned companies. It also fills the executive leadership needs of global charities, healthcare providers, and local government and trade associations.

The search firm has been active serving non-profits in recent months.

Just recently, Russell Reynolds tapped Michael E. Hill as the 18th president of The Chautauqua Institution. The search was led by the firm’s Washington, D.C., and Boston offices. Mr. Hill previously served as president and chief executive officer of Youth For Understanding USA. He is an experienced leader of arts, cultural and social service organizations 

The firm also recently recruited Kevin Watkins as CEO of Save the Children International (SCI). Mr. Watkins joined Save the Children after a three year term as executive director of the influential U.K. think tank Overseas Development Institute. Prior to that role, he was with the United Nations for seven years.

Russell Reynolds also recently placed Melanie Waters as CEO of Help for Heroes, one of the best known charities in the U.K. In addition, the firm is currently leading searches for other U.K. charities, including Care Quality Commission, the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBH), and the U.K. Export Finance (UKEF).

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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