Active Strategies for Value Creation in Emerging Markets Private Equity

Join Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Professor Roger Leeds and our panel of expert private equity practitioners for the next EMPEA Professional Development Webcast as they discuss how to actively create value in emerging markets private equity.


Key topics to be discussed include:

  • As the fundraising environment becomes increasingly competitive, what must GPs do to convincingly demonstrate they have deep value creation expertise?
  • How do you identify and evaluate value creation opportunities during the due diligence phase? 
  • What are the tools that private equity investors use to create value in their portfolio companies? How to best prepare for exits?
  • When taking a minority investment position, how do you gain agreement from management on your value creation strategy before finalizing the shareholder agreement?

EMPEA Members: Log in to access the full webcast recording and presentation.

Speakers Include


Roger Leeds
Director of the Center for International Business and Public Policy, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and Founding Chairman, EMPEA

Roger S. Leeds is a Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University and Director of the School’s Center for International Business and Public Policy. Dr. Leeds also has taught in the MBA programs at Wharton, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University Business School. In addition, he served as founding Chairman of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA), a global industry association that conducts research on private equity investing in developing countries. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins faculty, Dr. Leeds was an international finance practitioner for 25 years, including positions as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, a senior staff member of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank), a partner at KPMG in charge of the firm’s global privatization practice, and a managing director at a private equity firm in New York. His international career began in Brazil, where he served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Since then he has worked in more than 100 developing countries.

Dr. Leeds’ publications include Financing Small Enterprises in Developing Countries (2004), Private Equity Investing in Emerging Markets (February 2015), and more than 30 articles. He has lectured at numerous universities around the world, been a guest commentator on various radio and television programs, including CNN, Bloomberg News, CBS News, CNBC, and National Public Radio, and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and his M.A. and PhD from SAIS.


Scott MacLeod
Managing Partner, Investment Committee Member for Emerging Markets, United States, Asia, Africa and Forestry, Global Environment Fund

Scott MacLeod joined GEF in 1998 and has over 40 years of experience in international finance and investment focused on establishing, acquiring, restructuring, privatizing, and expanding private-sector companies and projects in emerging markets. He is a Board Member of GEF and serves as Vice Chairman of the investment committees. Prior to joining GEF, Mr. MacLeod served for 20 years in various capacities at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). He has worked in more than 30 countries in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America with corporate executives and senior-level government officials on the execution of private-sector transactions. Mr. MacLeod has a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.


Tom Speechley
Partner, The Abraaj Group and CEO, Abraaj North America, LLC.

Tom Speechley is a Partner with The Abraaj Group based in New York, where he is the Chief Executive Officer of Abraaj North America, LLC. Mr. Speechley joined the firm in 2006 as investment director and since then has been responsible for several investments in a number of countries across the growth markets. In addition to overseeing various parts of the firm’s investment activities, Mr. Speechley has been a member of the main board of Abraaj, its management executive committee and its investment committee. Mr. Speechley has also been responsible for overseeing the creation of new Funds and has led the expansion of Abraaj into several new growth markets. In 2012, as Chief Executive of Aureos Capital, Mr. Speechley co-led the integration of Aureos into The Abraaj Group. In 2013 Mr. Speechley moved to the US to establish and lead the Group’s activities in North America, from where he oversees the firm’s institutional investor program.

Mr. Speechley is a Senior Advisor to Endeavor, a global organization dedicated to supporting high impact entrepreneurs across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Mr. Speechley is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) and a Board member of JA Worldwide, a global organization which invests in young people to help them develop essential workplace skills.

Mr. Speechley has a First Class Honours degree in Law from the University of Sheffield, UK, where he was a Falconer Prizeman.


Graham Stokoe
Associate Director, Transaction Advisory Services, EY

Graham leads EY’s Private Equity sector across Africa. He joined EY’s Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) team in London in 2004 and then returned to South Africa in 2007.

Graham has over 10 years of TAS experience with a core focus on buy-side and sell-side due diligence and also has experience in M&A, working capital reports for stock exchange purposes, profit forecasts, exit readiness, as well as advisory and support in respect to IPOs. He has worked on transactions throughout Southern, East and West Africa, as well as a number of cross-border global transactions. He has worked with leading PE firms across Africa and globally.

Graham led the EY team who together with AVCA prepared the Africa PE Value Creation thought leadership reports (2013 and 2014) having researched over 200 Africa PE exits and interviews with PE firms covering over 100 PE exits between 2007 and 2013.

Graham is a CA(SA) and holds a BCom and BCom Honours from the University of Pretoria.