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People in Finance Magazine

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Latyr Diop


Country and community. These two words have driven Latyr Diop throughout his two decades as a leader in corporate and investment banking and across roles with international financial institutions, including managing director of corporate and investment banking at Bank of Africa United Kingdom and Ecobank Capital. His determination to make a positive impact on both the institutions and clients for whom he works and those they serve is manifest in a career marked with extraordinary accomplishments. Latyr spearheaded the biggest M&A deal with the $1.2B USD merger between Stanbic and IBTC, and the largest equity transaction with the $850M USD GDRs of GTBank on the London Stock Exchange. He led Ecobank to triple awards for Best Investment Bank in Francophone West Africa by the EMEA Finance (2011-2014), and piloted the largest syndication deal in Ghana on the $500M USD financing for Ghana Airport two years later.


Born in Senegal, Latyr was spurred by the desire to contribute more to the development and economic growth of Africa. In 2020, he founded Arthemis Capital Ltd. in London, U.K., to do precisely that. Arthemis Capital is an advisory boutique offering M&A, financial, strategic advisory, and capital raising services to clients across Africa and Europe, covering a wide swath of industries: infrastructure and energy, financial institutions, private equity firms, heavy industries, fast-moving consumer goods, agri-business, natural resources, and real estate. With a focus on serving top-tier and middle-tier financial institutions and pan-African banks that have a presence across countries in Africa, London, Madrid, the Middle East, and the U.S., Latyr specializes in M&A, debt raising for sovereigns, state-owned enterprises, and financial institutions, equity raising for regional corporations, and trade finance, with a particular strength in syndicated loans. In just its first two years, Arthemis has raised $350 million for sovereign states and banks and $100 million for the state of Cote d’lvoire to build teachers’ schools across the country.


We spoke with Latyr to learn more about his career, his commitment to helping Africa thrive, and what it takes to be a leader.


Why did you choose to focus your entire career on serving Africa-based financial institutions?


I started my investment banking career in M&A for Africa Financial Institutions Group (“FIG”). I advised bank CEOs and board members on how to grow their business through M&A. We closed the biggest deals in Nigeria during the phase of banking consolidation in the 2000s and successfully advised Nigerian banks to expand into Francophone countries. I moved from M&A boutiques to leading the investment banking subsidiaries of three Pan-African banks. This enabled me to build a strong network in the banking industry across Africa.


Syndicated loans are a particular strength of Arthemis. Tell us just briefly about your expertise in this area.


Since its inception in December 2020, Arthemis Capital has arranged $400M EUR in syndicated loans, of which, half were for sovereign states to finance the construction of universities, schools, and roads, and a third for banks. Thanks to this track record, we are solicited regularly by our clients and have a deals pipeline in excess of $1B EUR.


What inspired you start Arthemis Capital?


My job consisted of leveraging the bank’s balance sheet to originate and distribute. In most cases, my bank’s participation was less than 10%, and sometimes less than that in the case of strong oversubscription, meaning we could close deals without its support. Furthermore, I built solid relationships with my clients, whom I was sure would support me in my new venture. Those factors triggered the set-up of Arthemis Capital.


What are the three most important traits of a good leader?


Vision, resiliency, and empathy.


Who has inspired you the most? Why?


Barack Obama. He climbed the ladder from community organizer to become the first African American president of the USA and won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.


What do you enjoy most about your work, Latyr?


I like working on projects that have a developmental impact on the country and community, such as the construction and renovation of schools, hospitals, roads, ports, and airports. This is my contribution to the development and economic growth of Africa.


Latyr holds an MSc in finance and a BSc in mathematics and computer science.


Latyr Diop

CEO and Founder — Arthemis Capital Ltd


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