Managing Partner of Cauris management in Lomé (Togo), Jean-Marc Savi de Tové gives his insight on the African investment scene.
Leaders League. Cauris Management is an investment fund dedicated to SMEs. What is its strategy?
Jean-Marc Savi de Tové. We have the very first team established in francophone West Africa with offices in Lomé (Togo) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast). We manage about €75 million. Cauris Management targets medium-sized SMEs and besides the invested capital, aims at creating value for the supported company. That is why we really pay particular attention to the strengthening of strategic thinking, as to the adoption of higher standards of governance and the enhancement of competences.
Leaders League. What is the impact of Ohada law – notably the new provisions of the Uniform Act on corporate law, on the implementation and functioning of investment funds in West Africa?
J.-M. S. de T. The Ohada law reform confirmed the validity of shareholders’ agreements, a tool that is very often used by private equity companies, in order to organize the power within the shareholders, to define the criteria of private equity companies’ exit, and to facilitate the resolution of potential disputes. The new Uniform Act is much more flexible on the intervention tools, therefore facilitating the fund’s formation. Though there is still much to do, especially in order to create an ecosystem favorable to the implementation and management of funds.
Leaders League. Many Africans return to Africa those days. What effect has the so called “returnees phenomenon” had on the economy?
J.-M. S. de T. An attractive environment attracts more talent and the more talent the more attractive the environment is! It is true the African continent offers good opportunities nowadays. The executives of anglophone countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya...) have been the first to return to their country of origin, whereas the returnees in francophone Africa settle back at a slower pace.