Baobab is committed to leading by example, with rock-solid governance held to the very highest standards of competency, diversity and integrity.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board
With over 30 years’ experience in African and international banking, Arnold Ekpe is well known for the key role he played in building and transforming Africa’s banking industry. As two-time CEO of the Ecobank Group, he was responsible for growing the bank from 5 to 36 countries and the balance sheet from USD2bn to USD20bn. Arnold Ekpe is currently the Chairman of the Business Council for Africa and a non-executive director of Crown Agents bank, one of the leading providers of FX and payments in frontier and emerging markets. He is a non-executive directorate chair of the audit and risk committee of Aavishkaar Group, one of India’s leading impact platforms; and a non-executive Director of the Dangote Group, African leading industrial group. Arnold was formerly CEO of United Bank for Africa and Chairman of Atlas Mara. He also served as Chairman of Wari, the largest privately owned mobile digital payment platform and agent network in West Africa. Arnold holds a First-Class Honours Degree in Engineering from Manchester University (1976) and an MBA from Manchester Business School (1979).
Chairman of the Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee
François Robinet serves as Managing Director of AXA Strategic Ventures, the startup-focused investment team of the AXA Group. He has dedicated the majority of his career to AXA Group, gaining extensive experience in risk management, asset management, and life insurance. Notably, he held the position of CEO at the quantitative asset management firm AXA Rosenberg and later served as the Chief Risk Officer for AXA Group.
François also holds the position of CEO at AXA Life Invest, a company specializing in the design, manufacture, and distribution of non-traditional life insurance products.
François Robinet holds a Master’s degree from Stanford University in California, a degree from the National School of Statistics and Administration (ENSAE), and alumni status from the Center for Advanced Studies in Insurance. François is also a certified actuary, holding a diploma from the French Institute of Actuaries.
He serves on the Board of Directors for several AXA Group companies. François is also a member of the strategic council at FTV Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm specializing in financial technology.
Erick Decker has been a member of the AXA Group since 1999, currently holding the position of Chief Investment Officer for AXA Southern Europe & International and New Markets countries since 2006. His professional journey began in the 1980s as a financial analyst in the US Savings & Loans sector. He later joined industry regulatory bodies to oversee members’ investment activities.
Upon returning to Europe, Erick Decker joined BNP Paribas as part of a new ALM (Asset and Liability Management) team within the group, where he was responsible for interest rate risk management. In addition to his investment responsibilities, he plays an active role in the group’s responsible investment governance and coordinates implementation phases with asset managers.
Erick holds a degree in finance from California State University, Fresno, as well as a Master’s in Financial Sciences from Texas Tech University.
Chairman of the Strategy Committee
Chairman of the ESG Committee
Kasper Svarrer started his career at Maj Invest in 2009 and works at the Maj Invest office in Copenhagen. Kasper has been developing Maj Invest’s international private equity business in Latin America, Asia, and Africa and has more than 15 years of experience in investments in frontier and emerging markets. He now leads the team managing the two financial inclusion funds, Danish Microfinance Partners K/S and Maj Invest Financial Inclusion Fund II K/S. Previously, Kasper worked for the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and The Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU). Kasper represents the fund DMP on the board of directors in the portfolio company BaobabHolding. He holds an MSc in Forestry and has an Executive MBA from Henley Business School, Reading University, UK. In addition, he holds a diploma in Business Management from Georgetown University, USA.
Chairman of the HR Committee
Norway-based Thomas Klungsøyr has been Investment Director at Abler Nordic—a public-private partnership investing in and building up financial institutions in Africa and Asia—since 2019.
Prior to joining Abler Nordic, Thomas was Investment Director at Alliance Microfinance and Chairman of Banco D-Miro in Ecuador. In addition, he has over 10 years of banking experience within M&A, credit and risk assessments, and the management of a turn-around of under-performing banks in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Thomas holds an MSc BA in Finance from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) as well as an master’s from CEMS with leadership as a concentration.
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