Meet Kenyan Woman Calling Shots at Ksh15 Trillion Company

Genevieve Sangudi is not a name that might ring a bell to many Kenyans but her portfolio shows the epitome of women in leadership in the country.

Genevieve who was born in Mombasa is currently a managing director and partner at The Carlyle Group, one of the largest global asset management companies in the world with Ksh14.7 trillion in assets under management.

Ventures Africa reported on November 24, 2012, that Genevieve, who was described as one of “the continent’s most venerable female dealmakers and one of the most powerful women in African private equity”, managed Ksh50 billion in private equity capital.

Genevieve Sangudi

She was born in Mombasa, Kenya but grew up in Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and the United States.

Genevieve went to the United States at the age of 14 as a refugee from Liberia during the civil war, where she acquired a degree in communications from Macalester College in 1997 and then an MBA in finance and strategy from Columbia Business School as well as a masters in international affairs from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. 

She started her career in JP Morgan as a senior associate and then gained significant experience in the fast-moving consumer goods sector, as the marketing manager for Procter & Gamble in Boston, Massachusetts, where she worked on market strategies for several multi-billion dollar global brands.

In 2004, Genevieve Sangudi joined Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), a private equity group with over Ksh180 billion in management; this was where she really made her mark in private equity.

In her role as partner and founding director of the Nigerian arm of ECP, where the largest proportion of the firm’s capital was deployed, Sangudi was active in deal sourcing, execution and value creation for companies in the financial services, oil and gas as well as the petrochemicals sector.

Her status as a ‘veteran dealmaker’ made her the top choice for many jobs as a director. 

She served as the director of Continental Reinsurance PLC in 2008 and Blue Financial Services Limited from May 2008 to September 2009. Genevieve joined oil and gas giant, Oando PLC as a director from January 2010 to November 2011 before moving to The Carlyle Group in 2011.

Genevieve is a part of the leadership team of Carlyle's Sub-Saharan Africa Fund (CSSAF) that was launched in the same year.

This made Carlyle the first global private equity firm to set up operations in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Her focus in this important role is on buyout and growth capital investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular emphasis on West African markets.

At her current role, she advises on buyout and growth opportunities in the region.

She also serves as a non-executive director at oil exploration company Tullow Oil where she is a member of the Remuneration and Audit Committees.

 Genevieve also holds Tanzanian citizenship.

A screen grab of Genevieve Sangudi's profile photo from the Tullow oil website