Speaker > Biography
J. Eric Wright, WG’92
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Africa Venture Partners
Mr. James Eric Wright has extensive experience in venture capital, private equity, M&A, corporate finance, capital markets and leverage boyouts in Africa and the USA. Prior to forming AVP, Mr. Wright was the head of private equity and venture capital for Citigroup in South Africa. His responsibilities included originating, structuring, negotiating and monitoring private equity investments on behalf of the fund. In addition, he sat on the bank’s investment, credit and senior management committees and represented the bank’s interest on the board of directors of portfolio companies. In addition to private equity, Mr. Wright was involved in cross-boarder corporate finance and capital markets transactions totalling several billions of dollars for African issuers. In this regard, he has advised companies on Euro-loan syndications, future export receivable securitisations, commercial paper and international convertible bond offerings. Mr. Wright currently sits on the South African National Empowerment Fund’s investment committee. Over the past fifteen years Mr. Wright has developed an extensive network of business and government contacts in Africa.
Prior to working for Citibank, Mr. Wright gained experience in management consulting, corporate finance, M&A and leverage buyouts in the US at Security Pacific Merchant Bank, Coopers & Lybrand and Union Bank. In this capacity, Mr. Wright was also involved in structuring value enhancing debt strategies for Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Wright is also the co-founder of Gold Coast Securities Ltd., an investment bank in Accra, Ghana where in lived 1992 and 1993.
Mr. Wright has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Southern California and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an American citizen and been living in Africa since 1992.