The board of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a non-profit organisation dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing around the world, has unanimously appointed investor Sam Nwanze as its first African member.
Nwanze, who is the Chief Investment Officer at Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu’s proprietary investment company, expressed delight at joining the GIIN board as the first African to be so elected to the global body.
Nwanze said that his appointment signifies the “rising importance of impact investing in Africa, and is a welcome development, in light of Heirs Holdings and the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s activities in the sector.”
He added that “Heirs Holdings has always ensured that our investments have a clear commercial opportunity alongside the potential to create positive, catalytic impact, socially and for the environment. We are pleased to be able to align with an organisation like GIIN for the perpetuation of these principles.”
Luther M. Ragin, the CEO of GIIN and a member of the board said that the group was very pleased to welcome Sam to the GIIN board, adding that the “impact investing market across Africa has attracted interest from many investors globally, and Sam’s expert investor perspective on this market is integral for our work going forward.”
Impact investments are made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to measurably resolve social and environmental challenges while generating a financial return.
GIIN builds critical infrastructure and supports activities, education, and research that help accelerate the development of a coherent impact investing industry.
GIIN and Heirs Holdings have worked on joint projects such as a case study on the Tanzania-based Mtanga Farms, which will increase local farmer incomes through the cultivation of a high-yielding seed potato crops, among other activities.
Mtanga has generated considerable investment in the East African agriculture sector. Additionally, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is a member of the GIIN Investors’ Council, an invitation-only leadership group comprised of large-scale impact investors.
At Heirs Holdings, Nwanze is responsible for the administration and management of the Group’s overall financial activities, strategy and investment programmes.
He has also served in various capacities in the banking industry, which include heading group treasury, strategy and performance management; functioning as Financial Controller; and managing corporate execution.
Nwanze has also led a number of green and brownfield investments/projects covering oil & gas, power, agriculture, real estate, hospitality, healthcare, technology, financial services and impact investing.
Most of his work has been done in various African markets but he has been involved in other projects in the United States, United Kingdom and India.