Our people

Corporate Team

DEBORAH ADEYEMO
Senior Human Resources Manager

Deborah Adeyemo, Senior HR Manager is responsible for the implementation and management of strategic and operational HR. Before joining AgDevCo, Deborah was HR Manager at Africa Practice, dealing with multiple teams across sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to this, Deborah worked in various HR and project roles for the British Museum’s Learning and Audiences department. Deborah has a BA Hons degree in Business Law and Management and an advanced CIPD qualification in Human Resources Management. 

Joined AgDevCo: 2015
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Laura Cramphorn
Responsible Investment Specialist

Laura has joined the London team working alongside Alec Martin (Head of ESG). She has spent a lot of time on the ground in Africa, particularly in Sierra Leone and Kenya. Laura has worked in social performance, social impact and local content with rural and agricultural communities affected by the oil and gas and mining sectors for a number of years. Laura holds an MSc in NGOs and Development from London School of Economics.

Joined AgDevCo: 2018
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Kevin Cripps
Strategic HR Advisor

Kevin is the Strategic HR Advisor providing support on company-wide strategic HR. He brings a wealth of experience spanning over 35 years working for international, finance and investment companies such as BNP Paribas, Oikocredit and Pfizer in Head of HR and HR Director Positions. Over the last 10 years, he has supported several companies as an independent consultant. He specialises in strategic international HR, organisational development and planning.

Joined AgDevCo: 2018
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Victoria Crisp
Investment Manager

Victoria supports both the SDU and Platforms teams in projects across AgDevCo geographies. Before joining AgDevCo Victoria worked at the Soros Economic Development Fund, executing and managing program related investments in sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on financial inclusion and alleviation of poverty. Prior to this Victoria spent three years at Standard Chartered Bank, based out of Johannesburg working as an analyst in the M&A and corporate banking teams. Victoria graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Business Science degree specialising in finance and accounting and is a CFA.

Joined AgDevCo: 2017
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CHARLOTTE Dubois
Senior Investment Manager

Charlotte focuses predominantly on AgDevCo’s Malawi portfolio. Charlotte is an investment professional with over ten years’ experience, working for corporate, investment management and professional services firms across Europe and the Middle East.  In roles prior to joining AgDevCo, she was integral in expanding Etihad Airways and also worked as part of the private equity team for a Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund .  Charlotte qualified as a chartered accountant at Deloitte in London and spent two years at PwC in Paris in their transaction advisory practice. Charlotte has a BA in Mathematics and French from the University of Leeds.

Joined AgDevCo: 2015
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SARAH FORREST
Group Investment Finance and Strategy Manager

Sarah maintains the debt and equity accounts of AgDevCo’s investees, provides financial support to the investment teams and supervises the accounting function of a number of country finance teams. Sarah qualified as a chartered accountant at Ernst & Young in London, before moving to the Sydney office where she worked as an audit manager. Sarah then moved into the international development sector, working in France for an agricultural research NGO and at BBC Media Action, before moving to AgDevCo UK.

Joined AgDevCo: 2015
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Kaylyn Fraser
SDU Investment Manager

Kaylyn supports AgDevCo’s Smallholder Development Unit (SDU). Prior to joining AgDevCo, Kaylyn spent nearly seven years at Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA) – a London-based economic and financial policy advisory firm. At CEPA, Kaylyn worked as a Senior Consultant across the Agriculture, Global Health and International Infrastructure practices. She advised clients including the World Bank and International Finance Corporation, DFID, the Gates Foundation, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, amongst others. Kaylyn has supported project work across Africa and Asia, in both English and French. She holds two postgraduate degrees – a Master of Science in Economic History from the London School of Economics in the UK and a Master of Economics and Public Policy from Sciences Po in France – in addition to a Bachelors of Arts in Economics from Dalhousie University in Canada.

Joined AgDevCo: 2018
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Chris Fuller
Financial Controller

Chris is responsible for financial reporting, audit and tax matters across the group.  Chris is a Chartered Certified Accountant with over 10 years’ experience in the investment management industry. He qualified with Ernst & Young before holding senior finance positions with Octopus Investments, Apax Partners and the private investment office of an UHNWI. Chris also spent 3 months volunteering in Cambodia, supporting the finance function of a social enterprise involved in recycling.  Chris has a BSc in Economics from York University.

Joined AgDevCo: 2016
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Rob Fuller
Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist

Rob is responsible for monitoring, evaluation and learning within the Smallholder Development Unit. He has experience of studying the effectiveness of rural development programmes and microfinance schemes in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Prior to joining AgDevCo, he spent several years with Oxfam, leading quasi-experimental impact evaluations and synthesising their findings. He has a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics from Birkbeck College, University of London, and an MSc in Economics from the University of Edinburgh. 

Joined AgDevCo: 2017
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RICHARD GERRARD
Legal Counsel

Richard works with the in-house legal team, supporting all portfolio projects. Before joining AgDevCo Richard spent over four years at Michelmores LLP, where he advised on a range of domestic and cross-border private client matters. Richard is qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales. He obtained his LLB from the College of Law in London and has a MA in Modern History from the University of East Anglia, with a particular focus on International Relations.

Joined AgDevCo: 2015
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MARIANA GRACA
Investment Manager

Mariana, a native Portuguese speaker, leads AgDevCo’s investments in West Africa. She has 5+ years’ experience in deal execution and portfolio management in a Sub-Saharan African context, in both East and West Africa. Before joining AgDevCo Mariana was a consultant for the United Nations and worked in rural Rwanda to help implement a self-sufficient school model. Prior to that Mariana worked as business intelligence and ESG researcher for Arachnys and Vigeo EIRIS, respectively. As a student, Mariana interned at a Human Rights office in Cape Town and at the United Nations. Mariana has an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and holds qualifications in finance.

Joined AgDevCo: 2012
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Sam Hayley
Analyst

Sam works as an Analyst supporting the Rwanda, Uganda and Malawi investment teams. Before joining AgDevCo, Sam spent three years at a Birmingham based venture capital firm. He worked on investing regional development funds into small and medium-sized enterprises across the West Midlands with a particular emphasis on early stage and technology businesses. Sam has a BSc in Economics from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Joined AgDevCo: 2017
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Charlotte Haynes
Operations Administrator

Charlotte supports the Operations and HR departments. She supports projects, helps streamline processes and provides administrative support for both functions. Charlotte is an experienced Office Manager, PA and Team Assistant with a wealth of experience in the creative industries, having worked across Film, PR, advertising, and social media. She has predominantly worked within in-house Finance teams supporting month-end processes, as well as PA to numerous senior Directors and managing an office. Charlotte has a degree in Mass Communications (BA Hons) as well as a year in Film and TV Production. 

Joined AgDevCo: 2017
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Jasmin Hidanovic
Associate

Jasmin is a member of the West Africa regional investment team with a specific focus on Ghana and francophone West Africa (previously also having covered Zambia extensively). He also coordinates AgDevCo’s efforts to promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment through its investments. Jasmin has five years of work experience in the fields of corporate finance/M&A, real estate, and social impact investment. He worked at Ernst & Young in the Transaction Advisory Services practice and has done internships at KPMG Advisory and ABN AMRO Bank. He is a graduate from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, with an MSc in Finance & Investments and a BSc in International Business Administration. He also spent a year on exchange at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and the Wharton Business School in the US. Jasmin passed the CFA Level III Exam and is pursuing the CFA designation. 

Joined AgDevCo: 2016
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Peter James
Senior Investment Manager

Peter has 12 years of experience in the investment and banking sector and has worked in both the private and public sectors. Since 2015, Peter has lead AgDevCo’s infrastructure and renewable energy platform which seeks to create sustainable agribusiness by providing infrastructure and energy solutions. Prior to joining AgDevCo, Peter worked with CPCS Transcom for 3 years where he held Key Expert Financial positions on a variety of projects in infrastructure sectors such as energy, rail, marine and transport. At Export Development Canada, he led the management of an extractives A/R portfolio of more than USD $1.5 Billion in exposure through the global financial downturn.

 

His management resulted in no material losses, despite continuous debtor restructurings and insolvency scenarios. He then worked as a Senior Associate completing syndicate and bilateral loan facilities totalling more than USD $100 Million for EDC. During the years 2005 – 2009, Peter held progressive roles at the Bank of Nova Scotia in commercial banking. He has led and participated in transactions and trade meetings throughout Africa, Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia. Peter holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa, is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and completed a “Renewable Energy Expert Certificate” by European Energy Centre in 2015.

Joined AgDevCo: 2015
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Mollie Liesner
Impact Manager

Mollie manages AgDevCo’s impact work to ensure our investments boost prosperity and improve food security for farmers, their households, and communities. She is an economic development specialist, with primary experience in market system development and women’s economic empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa. Mollie has lived in seven different African countries and advised on the monitoring and evaluation of DFID funded programmes in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, the DRC, and Ethiopia. Prior to working at AgDevCo, Mollie lived in Ghana and worked as a Monitoring, Learning and Dissemination Specialist for outgrower schemes in the rice, vegetables and groundnut sectors.  Mollie holds an MPhil in Development Economics from the University of Cambridge.

 

Joined AgDevCo: 2018
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Melissa Manzo
General Counsel

Melissa heads up AgDevCo’s legal team and has a background in international debt financing. Melissa and her team advise on the structuring and documentation of AgDevCo’s investments, on regulatory, compliance and governance matters applicable to AgDevCo in the UK and in its countries of operation in sub-Saharan Africa, and on the development of AgDevCo’s policies and procedures. Melissa sits on AgDevCo’s Executive Committee, is the Chair of AgDevCo’s Smallholder Development Unit subcommittee, and is the director representative for AgDevCo’s gender programme. Prior to joining AgDevCo, Melissa worked at the international law firm Allen & Overy LLP for 12 years, where she advised on cross-border banking and restructuring transactions. Whilst at Allen & Overy, Melissa founded and managed its microfinance and social investment group and worked on a number of pro bono matters. She has also spent time on secondment to the emerging markets desk at Citigroup. Melissa has a BA in Oriental Studies from Oxford University and a postgraduate diploma in law from BPP Law School.

Joined AgDevCo: 2016
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Alec Martin
Head of ESG

Alec joined AgDevCo in late 2016 bringing over 15 years’ experience in ESG in international project development and investment. Prior to this Alec spent 5 years at global sustainability consultancy ERM as a Principal Consultant focussing on ESG and Responsible Investment. Alec previously spent ten years at the international engineering consultant Halcrow where we was Technical Leader for Environmental Water Quality and a Principal Scientist. For a number of years Alec also helped run a small Malawi based Water and Sanitation NGO in a voluntary capacity.

Joined AgDevCo: 2016
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Aiste Mazeikaite
Group Financial Accountant

Aiste is responsible for group audit and tax matters, as well as looking after UK accounting and will be involved in assisting and supervising local finance teams. She is a qualified accountant with ACCA and have many years of accounting experience in different sectors. Before joining AgDevCo she spent the last three years working in Datalogic managing accounts for all EMEA branches.

 

Joined AgDevCo: 2016
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JAMES MEDCALF
Associate

James is an Investment Associate for the Rwanda and Tanzania portfolios. He has four years’ experience in deal execution, portfolio management and investment modelling in a Sub-Saharan African context, in particular East Africa. James holds a MSc in Investments from Birmingham Business School, were he researched responsible investments and renewable energy. He also holds a BSc in Economics with German from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Joined AgDevCo: 2014
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Dr Julia Mensink
Impact Manager

Julia leads AgDevCo’s impact work and the monitoring and evaluation of the Smallholder Development Unit. She has over ten years of experience in international development and economic research. Julia started her career in academia and subsequently worked for the international charity VSO where she managed global results and data frameworks in over 30 countries across Africa and Asia, and developed and implemented strategies on evaluations, evidence based case studies, value for money, knowledge sharing and capacity building. Julia holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and an MSc in Economics from the University of Amsterdam.

 

Joined AgDevCo: 2016
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Shiloh Olatoye
SDU Finance Manager

Shiloh is responsible for the financial and management accounts of the Smallholder Development Unit (SDU) while also supporting the unit with project analysis and reporting. He has worked in three continents in various sectors ranging from consulting to food manufacturing to oil and gas. He is a Chartered Certified Accountant with an MBA in Project Management. 

 

 

Joined AgDevCo: 2016
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HANNAH RATCLIFFE
Head of Enterprise Development Team

Hannah heads the Enterprise Development Team which provides technical assistance to AgDevCo investees. The Enterprise Development Team works across the AgDevCo portfolio to provide tailored technical advice to develop commercially sustainable businesses. Hannah has more than 6 years’ experience working with African businesses and specialises in unique challenges faced by agri-businesses on the continent. Previously she held the position of Group Management Accountant for AgDevCo being the key interface for financial reporting to major donors and managing the Group’s global audit and tax matters. Having studied Spanish and Business Studies at Newcastle University, Hannah later joined BDO LLP in London and Argentina and earned an ACA. Prior to University, she spent 18 months as a volunteer in Lagos, Nigeria.

Joined AgDevCo: 2013
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Roberta Spina
Analyst

Before joining AgDevCo, Roberta worked in an Italian Asset Management Company as an analyst in the Private Debt Fund focused on SMEs. Prior to that she had undertaken internships at Ernst & Young and Accenture. Roberta is a graduate from Bocconi University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a MSc in Accounting, Financial Management and Control. She also spent a year on exchange at The University of Western Australia and at Koç University in Turkey. 

Joined AgDevCo: 2017
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Andrew Tillery
Managing Director

Andrew is responsible for the review and quality control of all investments across the business. He oversees the Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique regions within AgDevCo. He has 30 years of experience in agribusiness including as CEO of greenfield start-ups in Africa and as investment director of a large private equity firm based in Nairobi. He holds two Masters degrees from Oxford University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Andrew serves as a non-executive director on 3 African agribusiness boards and is a former adviser to several agribusiness investment funds in sub-Saharan Africa. 

 

Joined AgDevCo: 2016
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Susan Tissiman
SDU Investment Associate

Susan is an investment associate for AgDevCo’s SDU. She has experience as an investment analyst at Skybound Capital, a global wealth management business, where she focused on alternative investments in Africa and Globally. Susan also worked as a research associate for Coalition Development, a data analytics company. Susan is South African and holds a first Class Honours degree in Economics from the University of Cape Town and an MSc in Economics from the LSE, where she wrote her dissertation on the coffee industry.

Joined AgDevCo: 2017
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Chanelle Tong
Legal Counsel

Before joining AgDevCo, Chanelle spent one year at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP in the London office as a Corporate lawyer. Prior to that, Chanelle was based in Perth, Western Australia where she provided transactional and regulatory advice on a variety of cross-border public and private corporate/M&A matters. Chanelle is an Australian qualified lawyer, admitted to practise in Western Australia after having obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a Bachelor of Economics (BEc) (International Business Economics major) at the University of Western Australia.

Joined AgDevCo: 2018
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Svet Varadzhakov
Associate Director

Svet brings more than 10 years of emerging market private equity and equity research experience, gained in London, New York and Beijing. Prior to joining AgDevCo, Svet was a Partner at Collabrium Capital, an emerging market investment house, where he was responsible for the origination and execution of private equity and corporate finance transactions in Asia (infrastructure, alternative energy, financial services and industrials), Africa (agriculture and natural resources) and the Middle East (financial services). Before Collabrium Capital, Svet worked for the Equity Advisory department of NM Rothschild & Sons. Svet holds an MBA degree from the University of Oxford. He has graduated from the Harvard Business School Executive Management Program in Private Equity and has served as a Research Fellow with the Development Studies department of the University of Cambridge.

Joined AgDevCo: 2017
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SANYA VILUS-COOPER
PA To The Chairman

Alongside PA work, Sanya co-ordinates the administration for all Board and Committee meetings and updates the corporate website.  She is also responsible for administration in Enterprise for Development, a charity founded by Keith Palmer. Sanya has worked in various roles for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Trade and Investment in Croatia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UK.  She was also the Knowledge Transfer Partnership project assistant at the University of Portsmouth. Sanya has a degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Economics in Zagreb, Croatia.

Joined AgDevCo: 2013
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