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Scipion Capital unveils new advisory council

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Scipion Capital (Scipion), the international commodity trade finance investment manager has appointed a new high level Advisory Council, chaired by the Right Honourable Sir Desmond de Silva.

The council will support the company with its business strategies and push into the international institutional investment market. The Advisory Council also welcomes the specialist private equity investor Michael Naylor and Eoin Brophy, co-founder of international communications firm Hume Brophy.

The role of the new Council will be to provide advice and to make recommendations to the company in relation to its business activities and strategic priorities. The Council will meet with Scipion’s executive body three times a year.

Sir Desmond, an international lawyer with over 45 years’ experience in providing counsel for governments, international leaders and senior military and political figures on the global stage, will be leading the work of the Council. Sir Desmond, who helped draft constitutions for a number of African states, is acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading criminal Queen's Counsel’s. In 2005, Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, personally appointed him Chief Prosecutor of the War Crimes Tribunal in Sierra Leone, in which capacity, Sir Desmond had President Charles Taylor of Liberia arrested and ultimately sentenced. In recognition of his significant contribution to international law, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007. He was sworn in as a Member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in 2011.

Michael Naylor, a board member and private investor in a number of successful Africa focused businesses, brings high level private equity experience with board roles at the USD1.3 billion Actis Energy III fund with a focus on Africa power and energy investments, and the USD400m Toronto based XPV Capital LLP, where he is responsible for supporting portfolio companies and specifically their entry into broader African markets. Michael is also a Non-Executive Director of the London FTSE – listed Jupiter Green Investment Trust plc, where he is Chairman of the Audit Committee. In 2013 Michael was appointed board member of University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
Eoin Brophy, an international communications counsel and board-level adviser, completes the membership of the Council. He brings 20 years’ worth of global investment industry expertise. Hume Brophy, the company he co-founded in 2005, is one of the fastest growing international communications and public affairs boutiques, advising many of the world's leading international financial and corporate institutions – from across its operations in London, Brussels, Paris, Singapore and Dublin.

The Council’s appointment comes during a period of significant growth for Scipion. The growing recognition of commodity trade finance as an investment strategy, and increasing recognition of Africa as a leading source of commodities for developed and emerging nations, including US and China.

Nicolas Clavel, CIO and Founder of Scipion, says: “Scipion has experienced rapid growth in the last few years, as the track record of our fund, and a growing global appreciation for the CTF opportunity has driven interest in our business. As a result, we have moved to strengthen our business in all areas, bringing an institutional approach to our operations and adding high calibre appointments to our middle office and investment teams.”

“At this crucial juncture for Scipion, we wanted to ensure that the firm’s direction and strategy was as strong as its day to day operations. We are therefore delighted to welcome Sir Desmond, Michael and Eoin, who will become great assets to Scipion’s development. Their experience and leadership of their industries will prove invaluable, as we continue to establish our international presence”.

Sir Desmond says: “It is a great honour and opportunity for this council to be able to contribute to Scipion’s ambitious plans. This is an exciting time for the company, and Commodity trade finance is a strategy that has captured the attention of the institutional investment community. Scipion are at the forefront of that rise in popularity, and the experience and expertise of Nicolas and his team are unmatched in the African commodities space. We look forward to helping Scipion build on its successful track record, and take its thriving business forward.”

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