Mr. Lawani, a Nigerian national, is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Helios Investment Partners (“Helios”) and has more than 23 years of principal investment experience. Helios is an Africa-focused private investment firm operating a family of funds, and their related co-investment entities, aggregating more than $3 billion in capital commitments. Helios pursues a full range of investment types, including business formations, growth equity investments, structured investments in listed entities and large leveraged acquisitions across Africa. Prior to forming Helios, he was a Principal in the San Francisco and London offices of TPG Capital, a leading global private equity firm. At TPG Mr. Lawani had a lead role in the execution of over $10 billion worth of closed venture capital and leveraged buyout investments, including the acquisitions of Burger King Corp., Debenhams plc., J. Crew Group, and Scottish & Newcastle Retail. He began his career as a Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Development Analyst at the Walt Disney Company.
Mr. Lawani serves on the Boards of Directors of Bayport Management Limited, Helios Towers Africa Limited, Mall for Africa, Off Grid Electric, Vivo Energy, OVH Energy, and Axxela. He also serves as a member of the Harvard Law School Dean’s Advisory Board, the MIT School of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council, and the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) board of directors. He has previously served on the Overseers’ Visiting Committee of the Harvard Business School and the MIT OpenCourseWare Advisory Board. Mr. Lawani received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Juris Doctorate (cum laude) from Harvard Law School and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is fluent in Yoruba, a widely spoken West African language.