Ex-Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond has a rival: Spanish billionaire Alberto Cortina, who is building a banking presence in West Africa to take advantage of demand from sovereign and corporate clients.
Cortina is conducting due diligence on a retail bank in Senegal after his Banque de Dakar investment bank started operations in the West African nation this month, he said in an interview in Madrid. He’s also planning to set up an investment banking unit in Ivory Coast to the East by the end of the year.
Africa is attracting investor interest as growth outstrips that of many developed countries. Diamond and Ugandan entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar set up Atlas Mara Ltd. to acquire African financial service companies and is in talks to invest in Banque Populaire du Rwanda. David Bonderman’s TPG Capital is also looking at deals, and said last week it partnered with billionaire philanthropist Mo Ibrahim’s Satya Capital to invest in African healthcare, consumer and financial services.