Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, B.A (double), J.D

Global Managing Director & Chief Frontier Markets Analyst

Sebastian Spio-Garbrah has been adjudged one of the world’s leading frontier markets analysts, and was voted among the ‘Top 30 under 30 Analysts’ by New York’s Institutional Investor Magazine in 2006. Sebastian helped establish the Africa risk research practice at leading global political risk consultancy firm, Eurasia Group LLC in New York, London (UK) and Tokyo, and concurrently served as a sovereign risk analyst on Sub-Saharan Africa’s two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa for a novel global stability index developed by Eurasia Group with Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank, and subsequently, with Citigroup between 2005 and 2010. Since 2010, Sebastian has been Global Managing Director & Chief Frontier Markets Analyst at DaMina Advisors where he advises the boards, CEOs and portfolio managers of many of the world’s leading multinationals and largest institutional investors on Africa. A prolific writer and an ambidextrous thinker, Sebastian has been quoted extensively by the international media.  

Previously, Sebastian led debt capital markets surveillance unit at Thompson Reuters in New York. Sebastian also advised former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission on Africa.  Sebastian sits on the board of Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, African Business Media, Canada – Africa Chamber of Business and Jewish Heart for Africa – Innovation Africa. Sebastian is a member of Toronto’s High Park and Parkdale Rotary Club and a Fellow at the Washington Center for the Study of the Presidency. Sebastian holds a B.A (double) in Economics and Political Science from Middlebury College, Vermont and a Juris Doctor (J.D) in law from Rutgers University, New Jersey.

Nicole E. Kearse, B.A., M.A., M.A./J.D.

External Legal Risks Advisor (Former Deputy Managing Director)

Nicole has over a decade of international legal and regulatory transactional knowledge. She was for five years deputy managing director at DaMina Advisors and is currently co-founder of KRescent Consulting LLP, a capacity building platform for lawfirms in Africa. Nicole successfully practiced corporate law with top global firms Shearman & Sterling, Baker & McKenzie and Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. Nicole has advised on dozens of multimillion dollar cross-border corporate transactions and has provided valuable counsel to several Fortune 500 clients. In addition to her professional involvement in Africa, Nicole also has a strong academic background in the subject as, in addition to receiving her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Georgetown University Law Center, she has obtained a master`s degree (M.A.) from Columbia University where she focused on francophone African culture and a master`s degree (M.A.L.D.) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy where she focused on business development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Stephanie Dei, B.A, M.A

Non-Executive Director, Corporate Affairs & Corporate Governance

Stephanie is a Non-Executive Director, where she oversees governance issues for the company`s global corporate platform across four continents. Stephanie has also worked extensively within the Canadian government and with various Africa-focused development organizations in Canada. Stephanie has a wealth of experience helping organize high profile events for various international organizations and NGOs in North America, Europe and Africa. She recently assisted with the planning and organization of the Internet Governance Forum which hosted over 2,000 delegates in Nairobi, Kenya. Stephanie is the co-founder of the Africa Development Forum at The University of London, School of Africa and Oriental Studies; Co-founder of Re-Connect Ghana, a platform for connecting youth in Ghana with peers in the Ghanaian diaspora; and Executive Director of the Gordon Guggisberg Ghana-Jewish Friendship Foundation. Stephanie holds a B.A Honors in Political Science and Law from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and a M.A in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS, University of London.

Yaw Oduro-Frempong, BSc

Associate Director, Special Projects, M&A Transactions and Commodities

Yaw serves as DaMina Advisors Associate Director of Special Projects, M&A Transactions and Commodities working directly with the Global Managing Director on M&A. Yaw applies his extensive high level global network and knowledge of the global commodities markets to DaMinas research and consulting platform. He began his business career at the A&C Development Company during the construction of the first ultra-modern shopping mall in Accra, Ghana, West Africa, and has since advised on several global transactions in the commodities space. Yaw attended Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island where he served on the President’s Senior Advisory Council, whilst pursuing a degree in Applied Actuarial Mathematics, with a concentration in Economics and a minor in Business Administration.

Mark Willms, B.A., LL.B., LL.M.

Co-Head, Advisory Services; Associate Partner (Global)

Mark has spent the majority of his life living and working on the African continent. His living and work experiences in Africa began with the Salama SHIELD Foundation, an organization founded by his father in 1992. In Uganda, Mark was a legal intern at ABMAK Associates, a business focused law firm specializing in oil, gas, energy, mining and infrastructure transactions. Most recently Mark graduated from Duke University Law School where he focused on “Africa and the Law” and “International Law”. He is currently the co-founder of a coffee and travel company called MBUNTU, which conducts business within Uganda. The company was named a “notable” Canadian company of 2015. Mark was a Canadian Millennium Scholar, and holds a B.A. in Global Studies and Business from Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, a bachelor of laws degree (LL.B.) from the University of Exeter, U.K., and a Masters of Laws degree (LL.M.) from Duke University, U.S.A.

Francis Mensah, MSc

Advisory Partner - UK & The British Isles spv

Francis Mensah is a Partner at DaMina Advisors covering UK and the British Isles. Francis is also an independent management consultant with fifteen years of experience in the financial services industry mainly focusing on large complex change projects and business operating model development. Francis’ clients include HSBC, Barclays Bank, Santander and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Prior to becoming an independent consultant Francis worked for Accenture, Deloitte Consulting, and Arthur Andersen Business Consulting. Francis is also an independent investor and has a keen interest in spread trading global stocks and taking long term positions in African equities.  Francis has an MSc in information systems from the London School of Economics.

Paul Henderson, LL.B

Advisory Partner - Eurasia, Central Asia & Silk Road Markets

Paul's 11 year career has included a eclectic mix of roles across a diverse range of sectors and geographies. The overarching theme that has connected each to the other has always and continues to be frontier and emerging markets, both geographically and technologically defined. From 2006 to 2010 he co-founded and managed a private equity and advisory business in Azerbaijan. From 2011 Paul worked closely with a leading investment manager focused on the markets of the New Silk Road including Iran. This advisory role included expanding the managers strategy and product portfolio, securing institutional capital commitments through design and implementation of a global distribution strategy, and sourcing and screening private equity opportunities in the markets of focus.Concurrently he founded and developed Optionality Global as a capital raising and advisory business working with founders, fund managers and executives of companies based in or focusing on frontier and emerging geographical and technology markets.

Paul has spent time in most of the countries along the Silk Road in Central Asia and the Caucasus and maintains an active network of commercial, political and personal contacts across the region. Paul continues to head up Optionality Global as well as acting as co-founding principal and partner in a premium beef cattle and agri-product and ecotourism business in Republic of Georgia and a global wholesale telecoms company developing and applying blockchain, AI and big data analytics technologies headquartered in Singapore. Paul was awarded the Irwin Mitchell Scholarship and holds an LL.B Law (Solicitors Exempting) Degree from Northumbria University in Newcastle, United Kingdom. He spends his time between London, United Kingdom and Barcelona, Spain and travels frequently to Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. 

Lars Henriksson, B.A; CISI, SPS

Advisory Partner - Southeast Asia & Frontier Asian Economies

Lars is an investment professional who haven been involved in Asian frontier markets for more than two decades. He has held a number of senior positions on the sell- and buy-side (including portfolio manager, head of research, head of foreign institutional sales and independent adviser) in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, London and Stockholm.

He has built a track record providing invaluable insights on the region, which is helped by his command of five languages, including two Asian – Thai and Malay. His comments have been published in Financial Times and interviews/quotes appeared in Bloomberg, Reuters and a number of other international publications. Lars has also acted as expert speaker at investment forums and continuous professional development courses in Asia.

For nearly four years, Lars acted as the editor and strategist for the well known and popular Profit Hunter (premium investment newsletter dedicated to unearth the best thematic investment ideas in frontier markets) and The New World (free investment letter tasked to come up with the hottest investment ideas in Asian frontier markets) in London.

Lars writes on Asian financial markets for Myanmar Business Today, the leading weekly business newspaper in Yangon, Myanmar, home to the world’s youngest frontier stock market (Yangon Stock Exchange, founded in Oct 2015).

Lars holds a BA in East & Southeast Asian Studies (major in Thai language) and studied politics, economics at Lund University, the highest ranked university in Sweden in the QS ranking in 2018. He is an associate member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CISI, London) and the certification of Statement of Professional Standing (SPS).

Lars lives in Asia but regularly spends extended periods in London, which serves as the external hub for several Asian frontier markets he focuses on. 

Colonel (Rtd) James Hall, MBE MDA FCMI, (former UK Defense Attache in Nigeria)

Col (Rtd) James Hall was until recently the British Defence Adviser at the UK High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria. Now retired from the UK Armed Forces after three decades of service he provides strategic analysis and security advice, specializing in Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) through his advisory company Sandwick Advisers Ltd, security consultants to DaMina Advisors clients.

Captain (Rtd) Ogwuegbu-Stephens, BA, MPP, (former US Counter Insurgency Intel Analyst, Afghanistan, Iraq)

Capt (Rtd) Ogwuegbu-Stephens is a Captain in the United States Army Reserve. He recently left active duty service after spending almost a decade as an intelligence analyst in the US Special Forces and the 82nd All American Airborne Unit. He is currently working towards his law degree and provides strategic security analysis and advice specializing on Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States. Born in the southwest city of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.