Team – Ascent-Africa (2022)

David Owino

From friends and family to client relationships, I am passionate and deliberate about making a positive impact in the lives of everyone I interact with.
I spent more than 12 years at Centum, a leading East African investment company, and quickly rose to Company Secretary, acting Managing Director and Head of the Private Equity division, overseeing a portfolio of over $150m.
I’m a proud citizen and resident of Kenya and a graduate of United States International University – Africa and have an MBA from Strathmore Business School. I’m a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Public Secretary. I enjoy philosophy and learning the Latin language.

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I care deeply about the enterprises we work with. As an African entrepreneur, I am excited to contribute to the development of a robust private sector across the region. I gain energy from the opportunity to make a positive impact.
I’ve spent the last 12 years starting and growing Health, Telecom, Trading and Construction businesses in Ethiopia. I started my career in IT services and then project management before returning to Ethiopia in 2003. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado, USA.
In addition to my appreciation of developing ambitious enterprises, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, reading and watching NFL football.

Lucas Kranck

I have a passion for helping entrepreneurs achieve success and I believe the African business environment holds an enormous amount of talent and potential. Prior to Ascent, I worked in Eastern Africa, first as General Manager, Nokia East Africa and then as an entrepreneur.
I’ve spent 12 years in senior emerging markets roles with Nokia in China, Latin America and Africa. I lived in Ethiopia in 2004-2006 and have been a resident of Kenya since 2007. I hold a law degree from the University of Helsinki and an MBA from INSEAD.
Outside of spending quality time with family and friends, there is nothing I enjoy more than contributing to the ultimate success of entrepreneurs across this region.

Catherine Oluoch

I am passionate about learning and helping businesses achieve their vision. Over the past 7 years, I have worked in different sectors and roles, and nurtured skills to work and manage diverse cultures.
As Office Manager at Ascent, I manage many facets of the day to day business operations and I am the face that greets you at our Kenya office. I work closely with our Ethiopia and Uganda offices. I am committed to the highest level of professional and personal excellence.
I am a graduate of commerce from Kenyatta University and an aspiring Certified Public Accountant.

Koome Imathiu

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I am passionate about playing an active role in the growth of Africa based businesses as an engine for socio-economic development. A challenging goal yet with gratifying, impactful and self-sustaining outcomes.
For the past 14 years, I have worked in the investment industry with entrepreneurs across Africa on both small and large transactions, as an investment advisor and an equity capital provider.
I am a citizen of Kenya, a graduate of Vassar College and Harvard Business School. Outside of work, I enjoy squash, cycling and chess.

Florian Pape

I’ve been working in private equity for more than 17 years and I truly enjoy the process of developing promising businesses into thriving, world-class enterprises.
I was a founding partner of Orlando Management, a leading European private equity fund manager. I hold a Diploma in Mechanical and Process Engineering from the University of Hannover, an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a MBA from Stanford University.
I believe Africa is full of future Enterprise Champions and I’m always excited to help take them to the next level.

As an experienced Ugandan entrepreneur, I have seen the many difficulties faced by African entrepreneurs and I believe that hard work combined with the correct team leads to business success.
I have spent over 14 years building businesses across varying sectors, including FMCG, Services and Real Estate in Uganda. With this experience I am well equipped to tackle the many facets of business development in this region. I am a graduate of University of North Florida, USA.
I welcome the challenge and excitement of assisting entrepreneurs in developing their businesses into thriving Enterprise Champions across the region.

Beth Mwaniki

I am passionate about people and working on roles that create opportunities for growth, accomplish high quality and performance standards and foster good relations.
Over the past 8 years, I have worked in various HR and Administration roles where I have been instrumental in development and implementation of business strategies. I hold a professional diploma in HR Management from the College of HR Management, and I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in HR Management.
Outside of work I enjoy fitness activities, alone time with nature and spending time with family and loved ones.

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Gaym Asmelash

It is my belief that genuine entrepreneurs are the engines of sustainable economic growth and innovation in African nations. With the right support they can make a pivotal contribution to the socio-economic development of the continent. One of my greatest passions in life is supporting indigenous African businesses to become world-class enterprises that can not only survive, but thrive in the future.
I have several years of experience in directly managing and providing strategic consultancy services to small, medium and large scale companies operating in diverse sectors. Having the experience of starting and running my own business, I also have a good understanding of the deep emotional ties an entrepreneur has to her/his business, as well as what businesses need to swiftly move through the different stages of their development. I hold a BA degree in Management and an MA in Human Resource Management from Addis Ababa University.
Outside of work, I cherish nothing more than spending quality time with my family and friends.

Aisha Kayongo

I am part of a team of ambitious and enthusiastic people working towards bringing a difference in the lives of entrepreneurs in my country and Africa as a whole.
I have worked as an Accountant for the past 5 years in different sectors which has nurtured my skills in handling diverse people and cultures. As Office Manager in Uganda, I believe it all starts with a well set up team and environment.
I am a graduate of commerce from Makerere University.
Outside work, I love travelling and watching soccer.

Astuti Sharma

I am passionate about supporting entrepreneurs in their journey to establish sustainable ventures. This stems from being part of my family business early on, which taught me to appreciate the challenges and journey of building value within an enterprise.
I’ve spent the last 4 years in Private Equity at Fanisi Capital, and during this time I had the pleasure of interacting with dynamic entrepreneurs, which further instilled a sense of critical thinking and problem solving that helps me drive my efforts in serving businesses.
I hold a B.Com (Hons) degree in Finance, I am an ACCA affiliate and an aspiring Chartered Financial Analyst. In my spare time, I relish creating forms of art, exploring countries, cultures and activities such as scuba and sky diving.

Peter Stower

Over 9 years, I have had the privilege of working in companies keen on environmental and Social Sustainability. I started out as an Environmentalist in East Africa’s best design, engineering and management consultancy firms (GIBB international) working on projects funded by International Finance Institutions such as IFC, World Bank, JICA, EIB, AfDB etc. After 6 years, I moved to Kenya`s leading motor vehicle spring, bolt and harness manufacturer Auto Springs E.A as the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Manager for 1.5 years. I later moved to supervise the construction of Kenya`s largest 80MW solar power project as the Environmental and Social supervisor for 14 months year after which I moved to Metro Concepts E.A as the ESG Manager for 1 year.
I hold a BSc. in Environmental Health from Moi University and a Master`s degree in Environmental Planning and Management from Kenyatta University. I`m a registered member of Environmental Institute of Kenya (EIK), Member of Public Health Officers of Kenya (APHO-K) and a registered Lead EIA Expert with National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).
Outside of work I have a passion for hockey, football and community outreach programs.

Agatha Asiimwe

My career has so far entailed creating business linkages between SMEs in the COMESA region, analyzing the credit risk profiles of prospective loan clients and making recommendations to SMEs that ought to be financed by debt, developing financial models and business plans for SMEs, identifying and assessing investment opportunities for businesses and development partners. This experience nurtured in me a passion to support SMEs, brimming with potential, to gain access to affordable capital. My passion led me to join Ascent and I am excited to see what contribution we can make to regional SMEs. I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree (Hons) from Makerere University and I am currently pursuing CFA Level III. Outside of work I enjoy writing and reading fiction, exploring all forms of storytelling, listening to music, and travelling

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Grace Njuguna

Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the African economies and I am delighted in assisting them solve the challenges they encounter in their journey and supporting their businesses achieve their maximumpotential and impact.

For the last 3 years I have worked in different departments of the Asset Management Unit at Britam. I understand and appreciate the role each function plays and the importance of all functionsworking together to achieve Business objectives.

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Engineering from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Scienceand Technology. I am an ACCA Affiliate and a CFA Candidate.
Outside of work, I enjoy outdoor activities.

Isaac Kamau

I am passionate about improving the lives of those around me by faciliatating the allocation of capital to enterprises that foster human prosperity in both financial and other ways.

Before joining Ascent, I spent 1.5 years the Investment Manager at Madison Investment Managers. In this role, I oversaw the day-to-day management of $100 Mn worth of funds invested in publicly listed securities and private debt instruments. Prior to that I worked at Nabo Capital and Barium Capital (both subsidiaries of the Centum Group) for 4.5 years in various roles involving publicly listed securities and private debt instruments.

I am a CFA Charterholder and hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Economics from Strathmore University. I am curently pursuing an MBA from Imperial College London.

Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, studying history and playing probabilistic games.

Kushant Mahadooa

Having had a Compliance background so far, I have worked across many sectors namely Online Gambling, E-Commerce, Offshore, Banking and Private Equity. As an approved officer of the Financial Services Commission (“FSC”), I held the statutory role of Compliance Officer and Money Laundering Reporting Officer (“MLRO”) in various entities operating in different jurisdictions. Owing to that I got acquainted to the Asian, Middle East, European and African market in terms of their Compliance, Anti Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Sanction requirements. In addition, this gave me the opportunity to deal with the respective jurisdictional regulators and correspondent banks. After office hours, I am a Business Ethics and Economic Crime Management lecturer for UMT university and HELP university based in Malaysia. I hold an LLB with honours from the Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom and completing a Masters in Financial Crime Compliance from the Financial Services Institute in Mauritius.

Apart from my passion for my work, I love adventures in nature and spending time with my family.

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