CAREER PATH: Carolyn Campbell joined the Africa-focused Emerging Capital Partners upon its founding in 2000, from the law firm White & Case where she focused on corporate finance, capital markets, private equity, and M&A transactions in Warsaw, London and Washington. ?Having just completed a doctorate at Oxford with a focus on economics, I was choosing between an entrepreneurial opportunity and private equity, and chose the latter because it allowed me to use a broader range of skills, from transaction-based skills to managing portfolio investments on a day to day basis.? Campbell says. The firm offered her the chance to be both a director and senior counsel, allowing her to become an investor as well. She was eventually named managing director and general counsel in 2005.
DEALMAKER BY DAY: Campbell's current responsibilities include those of a typical general partner: sourcing deals, executing transactions and guiding firms to exit. As GC, she reviews term sheets, negotiates deal terms and manages outside counsel. ?The two roles really complement each other as my legal experience makes me all the more informed when reviewing terms as an investor,? says Campbell. She credits her experience in Poland with White & Case for her ability to juggle both roles now. ?In Warsaw, I was more involved with business development, with the entrepreneurial side of the firm, than I would have been in the New York office.?
ENLIGHTENED CONSUMER: She also employs her experience with White & Case in managing outside counsel. ?I've got plenty of experience with transactions, so I know how many lawyers are required for a given deal,? says Campbell. ?I'm looking for efficiency in our counsel and I know when I'm getting it.?
AFRICAN APPEAL: ECP focuses on deal opportunities across Africa, a region Campbell has grown all the more bullish about during her years investing there. ?I was in Algiers a month ago and I saw brand new bridges and buildings and I was reminded of Poland in the 90s ? this place is coming of age,? she says. Noting that the continent represents 23 percent of the world's land mass, she argues that as fuel and food needs rise, Africa is bound to be a vital player in the global economy. Campbell explains that much of the continent's arable land isn't developed yet, so it has the capacity to meet these rising needs. Specifically as the firm's GC, Africa has another attraction. ?Despite the sheer size of the continent, most of the region is governed by either English or French law, which naturally lends simplicity to the legal issues,? says Campbell.