Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes is the Founder and Managing Partner of Aruwa Capital Management, one of the few women owned and led private equity funds in Africa investing into untapped investment opportunities in West Africa in the small to lower mid-market. Adesuwa launched Aruwa Capital Management with her own money in Lagos in July 2019, and left the comforts of a six figure salary, in order to make an impact in society with her skills and track record and change the narrative for women and small businesses across Africa. Adesuwa is an entrepreneur, CEO, mother, investor and women’s empowerment advocate.
Adesuwa has over 12 years of investment banking and private equity experience from top global institutions. Prior to founding Aruwa Capital Management, she spent five years as Managing Partner of Syntaxis Capital Africa, a provider of growth capital to SMEs in Nigeria and across SubSaharan Africa. Syntaxis Africa was part of Syntaxis Capital, a private equity fund active in other emerging markets with $300 million in AUM from global institutional investors. At Syntaxis Africa, she led transactions totalling more than $200 million across SSA. Prior to co-founding Syntaxis Africa in 2014, Adesuwa was in the Leveraged Finance and M&A teams at J.P. Morgan in London, where she was involved in $5.6 billion worth of
transactions across emerging markets including Nigeria.
Prior to J.P. Morgan, Adesuwa worked in Africa-focused PE fund, TLG Capital as an Investment Professional, involved in transactions across Anglophone Africa including a very successful investment in Uganda, where she personally invested and generated a very attractive return which enabled her to launch her own investment fund. She was named as an Agent of Impact in 2019 by Impact Alpha and also recognised as one of the Top 35 Women Moving Africa Forward for her commitment to gender equality in private equity and across the society through Aruwa Capital’s investments.
She started her career at Lehman Brothers and holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Bristol. She currently sits on a number of boards in Nigeria across agriculture, manufacturing and hospitality sectors. She is married with a son and enjoys cooking, tennis and travelling.