Strand Hanson hires new Africa chairman as it looks to expand

BOUTIQUE merchant bank Strand Hanson today said it has hired former Credit Suisse banker Lord St John as chairman of its African business and deputy chairman of its London operations.

The natural resource-focused bank said that Anthony St John would have a particular remit to advise on the company’s expansion across Africa.

St John, a cross-bench peer, speaks regularly in the House of Lords on Africa and has held many Africa-related board roles, including chairing telecoms company Spiritel.

“It takes time to build a market reputation in, and gain a meaningful understanding of, African markets. Strand Hanson has already achieved this and can point to a clear track record of having successfully advised numerous companies operating across the continent,” said St John.

“I am therefore joining a platform that is primed for growth and believe that, together, we can undertake some interesting, exciting and innovative transactions.”

Strand Hanson has one of the largest portfolios of African clients listed in London. It is looking to capitalise on growing M&A activity in Africa, which rose 65 per cent to $40bn (£24.1bn) last year.

“We are delighted to welcome [St John] to our board,” said chief executive Simon Raggett.