Norfund, FMO and Rabobank have partnered to launch a new investment company focused on investing in, and supporting, African financial service providers (FSPs).
Known as Arise, the company’s aim is to build strong and stable FSPs to serve retail, SMEs, the rural sector, and clients without prior access to financial services.
Arise will take and manage minority stakes in African FSPs, and also provide them technical assistance and management services in the field of governance, management, marketing, innovation, compliance and risk management.
“…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. By partnering with experienced, like-minded investors such as FMO and Rabobank, will ensure that Arise benefits from excellent banking, technical and managerial expertise,” said Kjell Roland, CEO at Norfund.
Arise will have presence in over 20 countries and US$660 million in assets, which is anticipated to grow to US$1 billion. It became operational on January 1, 2017.
Through Arise, the partners are reaffirming their long-term commitment to Africa’s future development, growth potential and the local financial sector. They all currently hold stakes in several FSPs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Portugal’s Banco Montepio, which has banking investments in Africa, will join the partnership in the near future.
CEO at Banco Montepio, José Morgado said, “We are very happy that we will become a part of the new company, Arise, in the near future. Africa has always been an important market for us and being involved in a company with this type of network and focus really represents added value. With this partnership we are executing another step in our Strategic Plan.”