Africa Merchant Capital, a boutique private bank, has demerged its trade finance arm following an equity buyout by Zebu Investment Partners (ZIP).

The subsidiary, AMCTF, will be led by Anne-Marie Woolley, who has been named CEO.

AMCTF is a specialist trade finance business that was founded by the bank in 2016 to provide secure and structured solutions for Africa-focused trade. AMCTF has completed a number of deals in African countries such as Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, where it has facilitated exports and imports for soft commodities, including cocoa, cashew and coffee.

Woolley has been involved with AMCTF since early this year, when she joined its credit committee as an independent member and consultant.

Prior to that, she worked as a trade finance consultant for numerous years, having previously held senior commodity and trade finance roles at Nedbank London, Standard Bank, Standard Chartered and Barclays.

The demerger follows a 2020 US$6.5mn investment into AMCTF from ZIP, through its African food security fund.

In a statement, Brian Frimpong, managing partner of ZIP, says: “We are excited about the opportunity to deepen our support to Africa trade finance, by re-energising a new management team with deep industry experience to be focused on improving access to finance for SME imports and exports, mainly in the agro-value chain.”

Cobus Visagie, group CEO of Africa Merchant Capital, adds: “The sale of the AMCTF subsidiary allows me and my team to refocus and reposition our merchant bank offering in the midst of a rapidly changing business environment.”