Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes
Founder & Managing Partner
Aruwa Capital Management
Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes is currently the Founder and Managing Partner of Aruwa Capital Management, one of the few growth equity and gender lens funds in Africa closing gender gaps across society. She has more than 14 years of investment banking and private equity experience in developed and emerging markets from global institutions.
Adesuwa spent 5 years as Managing Partner of Syntaxis Capital Africa, a provider of growth capital to SMEs in Nigeria and across Sub Saharan 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. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her commitment to gender equality in private equity and across the society through Aruwa Capital’s investments.
She was named as an Agent of Impact in 2019 by Impact Alpha, recognised as one of the Top 35 Women Moving Africa Forward in 2020. In 2021, she was named as one of the Top 100 global leaders combining profit and purpose by Meaningful Business. In 2022, Adesuwa was named as one of Top 100 African leaders under the age of 40 by the Institut Choiseul, set to play a major role in the economic development of the African continent and also recognized as one of the Top 50 Inspiring Women in Nigeria by BusinessDay.
She started her career at Lehman Brothers and holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Bristol. She currently sits on seven boards in Nigeria across healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture renewable energy and hospitality sectors. She is married with a son and enjoys travelling, tennis and cooking.
About Aruwa Capital Management
Aruwa Capital Management, a Lagos based female founded and led early-stage growth equity and gender lens investment fund, is pleased to announce the successful close of its first institutional fund, which was oversubscribed, surpassing its target of $20 million in December. Aruwa Capital Management was founded in 2019 by Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes who has leveraged more than a decade of investment banking and private equity experience from leading global organisations such as J.P.Morgan. Adesuwa started Aruwa to address the investment gap that women-led enterprises face in Africa. They comprise 40% of all small and medium enterprises (SMEs),yet receive only 1% of startup capital due to the lack of female capital allocators in the region. Through its investment strategy, the Fund aims to create more sustainable and scalable pathways for economic growth and inclusion in the region. Aruwa invests in innovative businesses, poised for scale, that provide essential goods and services to the rapidly expanding female economy, and businesses that are founded or led by women or have gender diverse teams.
Interested in connecting with other women in the industry?
See how a membership at 100WF can help propel your career and make a difference in the presence of women in the financial world.