IMF investment head quits to join Nigerian asset fund

*Gary Steinberg joins CBO.

*Gary Steinberg joins CBO.

15 November 2015, Lagos – The head of investments for the International Monetary Fund is stepping down to join a Nigerian asset manager that is planning to launch a fund to support small West African businesses.

A report by The Telegraph, a British online publication on Saturday said Gary Steinberg, who has spent nearly six years as the head of the IMF’s $20bn investment unit in Washington DC, will return to the UK to join the advisory team at CBO Investment Management.

Before his move to the United States, Mr Steinberg ran investments for the Wellcome Trust and BP’s pension plan.

At CBO, he will be joining a team led by Bex Nwawadu, formerly of BGC Partners, Chuka Mordi from Société Générale and Joanne Yoo, who previously helped to run New York State’s $175bn retirement fund.

The Lagos-headquartered firm, which already invests in project finance in Nigeria, plans to spread its reach to small companies across West Africa. Its first $150m fund will be launched shortly, with $18.75m-worth of support from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the United States government’s development finance body.

“I am delighted to be joining CBO IM at this exciting stage of their development. I look forward to helping them, and their clients achieve their investment objectives in one of the most dynamic areas of the global economy,” said Mr Steinberg.

The IMF has recently cut its growth forecasts for Nigeria, but nevertheless expects the economy to expand four per cent this year.

Vice president,Yemi Osinbajo, has proposed a $25bn state fund to build infrastructure and counteract the effects of the tumbling price of oil, which currently accounts for more than 10 per cent of economic output, and the threat of the jihadi group Boko Haram.

The IMF offered the country a loan in the 1980s as an oil boom gave way to a painful recession, but Nigeria’s military leadership turned down assistance.

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