In the early 2000s, Paul Boynton would feel very lonely at conferences.
“The first private equity conference I attended internationally was in Berlin,” says the co-CEO of Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI), Africa’s largest alternatives manager. “I was on the panel for a breakaway session focused on Africa, and there were more people on the panel than in the audience. For someone who comes from Africa [Boynton is a South African native], it was a very chilling experience to find so little interest in what’s going on where you come from.
“But that’s a very different story today. Now there’s a lot of interest.”
OMAI is part of Old Mutual, a major insurance company headquartered in Cape Town, managing $70bn across Africa. OMAI, which Boynton built from scratch starting in 2004, manages $3.4bn and seeks to generate 20% gross, dollar-denominated returns. Its portfolio spans infrastructure, private equity, fund of funds and impact invest…