African private equity fund manager, CardinalStone Capital Advisers (CCA), has appointed Shirley Somuah as a Partner to lead its expansion into Ghana.
CardinalStone Capital Advisers (CCA) is a leading West-Africa focused private equity fund manager. CCA partners with high potential growth-stage businesses - providing capital and serving as a thought partner on their journey of scale.
This will be CCA’s first physical presence in Ghana, and will support the fund manager’s current portfolio, as well as deepen relationships with entrepreneurs in the country. Somuah joins current Partners Yomi Jemibewon and Femi Ogunjimi, as the company takes an important additional step towards institutionalisation by strengthening its leadership bench.
Somuah has over a decade of experience spanning management consulting and investing, and has been integral to the firm’s activities in both Nigeria and Ghana during her tenure at CCA. Since CCA’s inception in 2016, she has been part of the investment team managing the $64m CCA Growth Fund (CCAGF), which targets growth stage SMEs in Nigeria and Ghana.
CCA Growth Fund has made four investments to-date and portfolio companies include i-Fitness, Quality Foods Africa, and Afya Care. The fund also made its first institutional investment into fintech in 2021, leading on the $10M Series A round for Nigerian fintech software provider, Appzone.
The CCA team will now look to double down on leveraging and embedding innovative technologies for its real sector portfolio companies, as it looks to see how tech can help these businesses scale and improve operational efficiencies while also creating tangible impact.
Speaking on her new role as Partner at CCA, Shirley Somuah says, “This new role is incredibly exciting for me, and I am thrilled to be joining Yomi and Femi as a Partner at CCA. I am passionate about transformational impact at scale, and look forward to working with more growth stage companies in the coming years.
We’ve always considered ourselves as entrepreneurs and venture-builders as investors, and we are not afraid to roll-up our sleeves for more challenging businesses - this model and unique approach to PE investing has delivered significant results for CCA.
“I am also proud of CCA’s commitment to gender balance in the PE and investment space in Africa; we have one of the more gender balanced leadership teams, with 30% of partners and 30% of the overall leadership team being women.”
“We are delighted to be confirming Shirley in her role as a Partner at CCA," Femi Ogunjimi of CCA said. "Her track record when it comes to sourcing, analysing and executing deals is peerless and thanks to her wealth of experience in the West African market, she has a unique perspective on the entrepreneurial and investment landscape we operate in.”
In addition, Yomi Jemibewon commented “Shirley’s role at CCA extends beyond her strengths as an investment professional. She was one of our earliest team members in our Principal Investments days, and an integral part of our transition to private equity. Her leadership and mentorship have contributed significantly to building the team and institution we have today.”
Prior to CCA, Shirley was a Vice President on the Principal Investments team at CardinalStone Partners, and before that was a management consultant with Oliver Wyman, serving clients in North America, the Middle East and Africa from the New York and Dubai offices.
She holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BSc. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. She chairs the Board of the non-profit West Africa Vocational Education.
CCA currently manages the $64m, sector-agnostic CCA Growth Fund, from which it makes investments of $5 - $10m in entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Ghana. Over the next 12 months, the CCA Growth Fund expects to make 2-3 new investments across Nigeria and Ghana.