Olduvai Gorge is a beacon of early human occupation and innovation. Located in the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania, the archaeological site gave name to the Oldowan industry, describing the prehistoric manufacture of stone tools. The Oldowan industry began in Africa 2.5 million years ago, and it represents the earliest evidence of technological innovation in human history. Our ancestors dared to try something different.

At Olduvai Capital, we are a beacon of innovation in Africa’s capital markets. Being different today is not easier than it was 2.5 million years ago. But, over time, the rewards can be compelling. This is our guiding philosophy for long-term investment success and sustainable impact.

Our Team

Local Insights, Global Standards

Specialist Africa-based team with proven investment experience, differentiated local insights and world-class training.

Nick Ndiritu

Managing Partner, CIO

Nick has worked extensively in global and African capital markets, with 20+ years of varied experience in asset management, investment banking, and management consulting. Previously, he was a portfolio manager at Allan Gray (Pty) Ltd in South Africa. Over a decade, he was instrumental in establishing and building the firm’s pan-African funds and co-managed over US$1bn across debt and equity strategies in Africa and Global frontier markets. Prior experience in investment banking at Citigroup in Johannesburg, working on M&A and capital raising mandates across equity and debt markets. Nick has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc. in Industrial Engineering (magna cum laude) from Northeastern University in Boston.

Craig Batsi Bandason

Managing Partner, Portfolio Manager

16+ years in Africa financial markets, 12 years as portfolio manager
Previously Director and Portfolio Manager at Imara Asset Management, co-managing a range of Africa-focused strategies and segregated portfolios. Co-founded Kura Capital in 2009 which was later acquired in 2017 by Imara Asset Management. Instrumental in leading and developing the firm’s approach to responsible investment, achieving A rating from UN PRI assessment BBusSci (Honors), University of Cape Town; CFA charter holder. Craig is Zimbabwean and based in South Africa.

Andrew Githaiga

Debt Origination, Independent Consultant

20+ years’ experience with expertise in credit analysis, origination, and structuring of solar renewable energy debt transactions. Has closed $47mn in off-grid solar debt transactions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), across commercial and industrial (C&I), mini-grid and productive use sectors. Led deal origination in SSA for a Swedish firm in off-grid solar. Previously Senior Investment Officer for East Africa at SunFunder, built and grew their direct lending footprint in off-grid solar. Prior experience at 2 Kenyan banks and Morgan Stanley in the U.S.
B.A. (Honors) Economics & Finance from McGill University, Canada.

Senior Advisors

Anton Eser

Chair of Board & Investment Committee

20 years of investment management experience across global markets as both an investor and business builder. Previously CIO of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) overseeing an investment team managing over US$1 trillion across multiple asset classes and regions. Key role in transforming LGIM from UK roots to one of the largest global investment managers. Instrumental in building and managing a multi-billion dollar impact-oriented fund range. Background as a macro credit fund manager and co-head of global fixed income.

Thando Mhlambiso

Senior Advisor

22 years of financing, building, and governing businesses, and projects across Africa. Previously Executive Director of Allan Gray Ltd. Operational lead for 5 African countries; doubled their assets to over US$3 billion by strengthening the investment and business propositions in each country. Previously created and/or led African investment firms in private equity, venture capital, infrastructure development, and asset management. The firms and funds drove impact in entrepreneurship, education, economic development, diversity & inclusion.

Mark Zinkula

Senior Advisor

30 years of investment management experience with a strong track record in building businesses. Previously CEO of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM). Tripled AUM to US$1.5 trillion, making LGIM one of the fastest-growing asset managers globally, with particular success growing international assets, especially in the US. Established LGIM as a global leader in responsible investment, building innovative ESG funds. Previously Global Head of Fixed Income at Aegon Asset Management.

John Linnehan

ESG & Business Development Partner

27 years of experience building global investment management platforms. Grown 6 investment firms over last 7 years and raised over $10bn in AUM. Previously at Pioneer Investments on the executive management team and instrumental in its global diversification. Served as CFO at AFLAC Global Investments and for five years as CFO and member of the Management Committee at Guggenheim Investments, a $200bn global asset management firm. Additionally, he was a senior member of the firm's Product Development Committee responsible for the design, repositioning and launch of investment strategies with $25B AUM across fixed income, liquid alternatives and ETFs

Lauren Burnhill

Senior Advisor

Lauren has a global track record, comprising more than 25 years of experience, in launching, advising on and managing emerging markets impact investment funds and sustainable development finance transactions, with emphasis on appropriate financing for inclusive growth and resiliency. Design and successful implementation of clear strategies, policies, products and metrics for achieving simultaneous financial, social and environmental goals. Active in gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) as well as global climate adaptation and resilience investment work, Lauren’s work is often focused at the intersection of gender and climate impact. Her practice areas includes investment readiness and design work with asset managers and investment funds holding climate-related mandates in NAP-related project financing, renewable energy, food and agriculture, as well as international advisory work focused on inclusive MSME finance and governance related to climate, environment and social inclusion (non-executive director on relevant boards & investment committees).

Lauren has extensive experience in originating, structuring, conducting due diligence, negotiating and managing debt and equity instruments as well as credit enhancement facilities, including guarantee funds, primarily in Latin America and Africa, with equity and advisory experience in South Asia. She is a creative strategist committed to achieving strong inclusive blended returns (financial, social and environmental) by combining mindful awareness of the needs of "people and planet" with financial prudence and discipline. Lauren is a team player and team builder, good at managing and developing scarce resources and motivating culturally diverse staff. She has a win-win mindset and a proactive stakeholder approach to partnerships, program design and project management.

She holds an MBA in Finance & Strategic Planning from the Wharton Business School and a Masters in Social Change from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Lauren speaks and works in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Be different | The path to sustainable long-term returns