European lenders join forces to create African investment firm Arise

05 Aug 2016
Financial Nigeria


The key ambition for Arise is to build African financial firms that will serve clients who have not previously had access to financial services.

Kjell Roland, Chief Executive Officer, Norfund

Three European financial firms, Norfund, the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries; FMO, the Dutch development bank; and Rabobank, a Dutch cooperative bank, have joined forces to create an investment vehicle that invests in African banks.
The companies said they are pooling their stakes in several financial firms in Sub-Saharan Africa to form an investment company called Arise. (Banco Montepio, a Portuguese bank, is also expected to join the consortium of investors).

Arise will start with a presence in over 20 African countries with $660 million in assets that are expected to grow to $1 billion, according to a statement released on Thursday.

“The establishment of Arise will contribute to the development of the financial sector in Africa on a scale which is far beyond what Norfund can achieve by itself,” said Kjell Roland, Norfund’s CEO. “By partnering with experienced, like-minded investors such as FMO and Rabobank, we will ensure that Arise benefits from excellent banking, technical and managerial expertise.”

Through Arise, the European lenders said they will support the growth and development of African financial firms by providing investment, technical assistance, and management services in the field of governance, management, marketing, innovation, compliance, and risk management.

The key ambition for Arise is to build strong and stable African financial firms that will serve retail, SMEs, the rural sector, and clients who have not previously had access to financial services.

“Arise can leverage the extensive banking knowledge and valuable agri-banking expertise of its founding partners,” said Nanno Kleiterp, FMO’s CEO. “This partnership will increase the availability of financial services to small and medium enterprises. Above all it will allow the people in Sub-Saharan Africa to empower themselves by getting bank accounts and taking loans and thus building a better life for their families.”

Arise will commence operations in January 1st, 2017.

Other Photos/Videos