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Africa fund hires Cattaneo as executive director

Former Climate Change Capital director Emilio Cattaneo has stepped into a senior role at the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.

Emilio Cattaneo has joined Sub-Saharan debt fund manager Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) as its first executive director.

Cattaneo has previously had a wide range of roles in investment banking, emerging markets infrastructure, equity, debt and financial services.

Most recently, he was a director of asset management at Climate Change Capital from January 2013 to May this year. Much of his earlier career was spent with HSBC in corporate finance.

At EAIF, Cattaneo will implement a growth strategy, aiming at deeper penetration into the sectors the firm lends to, as well as providing strategic advice to the board and strengthening and widening relationships with donor governments, banks, advisers and others in Africa and Europe.

He will also supervise EAIF’s sub-contracted fund managers and other third-party service providers plus take responsibility for compliance, governance and business efficiency.

“He has the blend of intellectual weight, professional background and engaging personality needed to be a success in boardrooms and government offices in Africa and Europe,” said David White, EAIF chairman, in a statement.

Established in January 2002, EAIF is a $587 million debt fund which aims to address the lack of availability of long-term foreign exchange debt finance in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The fund lends for refurbishments, upgrades or capacity expansion in sectors such as energy, telecoms, transport, water and mining, with loans having a tenor of up to 15 years. It aims to support projects that promote economic growth and reduce poverty.

EAIF is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), a multi-donor trust which mobilises private investment in infrastructure in frontier markets. EAIF is funded by four of PIDG’s seven donor-members: DFID (UK), SECO (Switzerland), DGIS (Netherlands) and SIDA (Sweden).