• Frank Kennedy

    Frank Kennedy

    Managing Director, Equator Capital Partners

    Since January 2008, Frank has led the Fund Manager. As Managing Director, he also chairs the Investment Committees of SCI (a position he has held since its inception in 2003) and Equator. Frank is the past President and CEO of HSBC Equator Bank plc, a U.K. registered and regulated bank which did business exclusively in sub Saharan Africa. During his twenty-six years as an executive manager at HSBC Equator, Frank was involved in merchant and investment banking, fund management and trade and project financing in approximately thirty-five countries in Africa. He has served on numerous U.S. government committees and private sector boards related to development in Africa. He also served on the board of HSBC’s Asian investment bank, Wardley Limited, and chaired the board of their South African securities and investment company. He continues to serve on the boards of various African financial services companies including the African Export Import Bank, a bank dedicated to growing Africa's exports and intra-African trade. Frank also currently serves on the Boards of TransAfrica Holdings Limited, CDH Investment Bank (Malawi), FBC Holdings (Zimbabwe), and ShoreCap International Limited and ShoreCap II Limited.

    Frank began his banking career with the Royal Bank of Canada. He received an Honors degree in Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

  • Stephen Brown

    Stephen Brown

    Director of Finance and Administration

    Since the company’s inception, Stephen has served as the company’s treasurer and chief financial officer. Stephen also held controller positions with various ShoreBank Corporation subsidiaries after joining ShoreBank in 1997. Previously, Stephen was Regional Project Accounting Manager for ASC Services LLC, a start-up real estate construction management company (currently a division of Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.).

    Stephen, a licensed Certified Public Accountant and member of the Indiana CPA Society, received his BS in financial management from Valparaiso University and his MBA from Loyola University Chicago. He is a Director of the Board of Equator Capital Partners.

  • Leslie Davis

    Leslie Davis

    Director of Portfolio Management

    Leslie is responsible for financial, social and environmental performance monitoring and investor reporting for Equator’s managed portfolios and serves on Equator’s investment committee. She joined Equator in 2008, and was previously co-founder and partner of SB Partners, a private equity fund that invested in companies owned by ethnic minorities and/or women. Leslie brings over 20 years of fund investment, portfolio management and banking experience. Prior to SB Partners, she was a Senior Vice President at ShoreBank, where she directed the bank’s small business banking division. Leslie also served as an investment professional at National Community Investment Fund, a fund managed by ShoreBank that made equity investments in US based community development financial institutions. Previously, she was a corporate lender at Continental Bank and held various marketing positions at IBM Corporation.

    Leslie is a Director of the Board of Equator Capital Partners. She holds a BA in Economics from Brown University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Nathalie Gabala

    Nathalie Gabala

    Director of Investments, Africa

    Nathalie is an investment officer for Africa. Prior to joining Equator in 2010, Nathalie spent 10 years with Standard Chartered Bank - Africa where she held different positions as Head of Financial Markets and Regional head in the Africa regional office. Prior to Standard Chartered Bank, Nathalie worked with Citibank in Cameroon and Cote D’Ivoire, with earlier experience drawn from Credit Lyonnais in Paris, France.

    Nathalie serves on the Boards of Atlantique Finance Group (Cote d’ Ivoire), Banque Atlantique Benin, Banque Atlantique Cote D’Ivoire and Banque Atlantique Mali. She has a Master in Management from Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP) in France and a Master in finance and accounting (MSTCF) from the University of Abidjan in Cote D’Ivoire.

  • Phil Hopkins

    Phil Hopkins

    Director of Investments, Africa

    Phil joined Equator in 2013 bringing considerable international lending experience. Since 2005, Phil had managed marketing, underwriting, closing, collections and portfolio management of emerging market long term loans under U.S. Government agency guarantees at World Business Capital. He specialized in banks, leasing companies, and microfinance institutions with broad exposure to Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. From 1997–2004, Phil was a Vice President at HSBC Equator Bank performing business development and credit risk assessment of correspondent banks and other counterparties in twenty countries in Africa. Previously he held various positions in financial services and consulting.

    Phil serves on the Board of Madison Finance Company Limited (Zambia) and Microplan (Zimbabwe) and is a candidate for the CFA Level III. He has a BA in International Economics from Long Island University.

  • Constant Kouamé-Kra

    Constant Kouame-Kra

    Director of Investments, Africa

    Constant is an Investment Officer for Africa. He brought experience in private equity, investing and auditing when he joined Equator in 2016. Previously, he spent 7 years at private equity fund Cauris Management, where he held the position of Vice President. At Cauris, Constant invested in key growth industries including financial services, consumer/retail, hospitality and agribusiness in West Africa. Prior to that, Constant was a Senior Auditor at E&Y Cote d’Ivoire, where he was responsible for reviewing procedures, performing financial audits, and analyses of banks, insurers and leasing companies.

    Constant holds a Master in Management from Université Paris Dauphine in France and a MSc. in International Finance from Westminster Business School, United Kingdom.

  • Laura Christman

    Administrative Assistant

    Laura Christman joined Equator Capital Partners in 2015 and provides accounting and administrative support.  She has a varied professional background that includes work in publishing, editing, teaching, and the service sector.  Laura has a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.