Going Solo

Former Alliance Capital exec forms private equity firm

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Frank Savage wants the world — and he’s starting with Africa. The former chairman of Alliance Capital Management International left the financial services powerhouse to form Savage Holdings L.L.C., a private equity firm that will invest in emerging markets like Africa and Asia.

Savage, a former member of BLACK ENTERPRISE’s February 2000 “Top 50 Blacks in Corporate America,” hopes his venture will evolve over time to include two other businesses:

A global strategic advisory business. Savage plans to form a business that will provide strategic advice to U.S. companies of all sizes expanding abroad.

Asset management. Though no timetable is set, he hopes someday to offer international asset management services for institutional clients.

Savage’s first project: The Africa Millennium Fund. Designed to invest in the infrastructure of emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Savage Holding L.L.C. is part of a consortium named as manager of what is intended to be a $350 million private equity fund. The fund is in the process of raising $122.5 million in private equity to add to the $227.5 million of senior-secured debt guaranteed by the Overseas Private Investment Corp., a federal agency.

“We’re going to be looking at those countries in Africa that have good governance, are moving toward a market economy, have positive macroeconomic indicators and [that show] good investment opportunities in our target sectors,” Savage says. Sectors targeted for investment include telecommunications, power and energy, transportation, financial services, and water distribution. He expects to close the fund in the first half of 2002.