About

Our Story

In 2004, private equity in emerging markets was still nascent, and virtually no data existed. Yet, opportunity existed to add value to promising companies operating in frontier economies that would help investors tap into the vast consumer markets, and as a result, generate strong returns. But what the early pioneers in emerging markets needed most at the time was guidance and connections. Best practices and shared ideas. EMPEA was founded in 2004 to serve as an industry body that would professionalize the asset class and provide guidance and leadership that was needed by the earliest practitioners.

Since then, the emerging markets private equity asset class has matured at a rate unimaginable to the association’s first members. Over the last two decades, private equity has spread from the initial markets of interest of China, India and Brazil to countries as varied as Kenya, Egypt, Ukraine, Turkey, Colombia and Myanmar. Strategies have expanded to include private credit, mezzanine and venture capital, while the pool of institutional investors continues to diversify and grow.

EMPEA continues to cater to the needs of its members who have played a significant role in building the industry and who represent every geographic region of the world and every type of private capital fund – from venture to growth capital to buyouts. EMPEA’s work focuses on the following three core areas:

Research & Intelligence

EMPEA prides itself on being a preeminent source of research on private capital activity and trends across emerging markets. EMPEA’s best-in-class data covers fundraising, investment and exit activity in emerging markets by long-term, direct investment funds across private equity, private credit and infrastructure & real assets.

EMPEA’s research is regularly featured in leading newspapers and journals, GP pitch books, and LP strategy memos. Members have come to rely on custom research support for insight into investors’ allocations to various markets, competitive landscapes and data on individual funds and transactions.

Global Network & Connectivity

Throughout the year, EMPEA organizes conferences, roundtables, executive briefings and unique member events around the world, where members can benefit from powerful business networking opportunities and the chance to meet and hear from the industry’s most prominent leaders and practitioners. Through participation on Councils and member Communities, members have the opportunity for peer-to-peer exchange and ability to shape the organization’s focus
areas.

Education & Advocacy

To promote the industry on members’ behalf, EMPEA provides information to a broad constituency of players that influence developments in the asset class, including the media, regulators and institutional investors. EMPEA also organizes and participates in educational activities on behalf of its members and the asset class. EMPEA creates guidelines and collaborates with industry partners to strengthen the knowledge base of emerging markets private capital opportunities and to advocate for policy and regulatory reforms that support a sustainable environment for private capital investing in these markets.


In 2014, when EMPEA celebrated its 10th Anniversary, we honored our Founding Members and their stories with our 10th Anniversary Commemorative Video Series.

Our Story: EMPEA’s Founding Members reflect on EMPEA’s early beginnings and 10th Anniversary…

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Teresa Barger
CEO and CIO, Cartica Capital; Co-Founder, EMPEA

“Starting EMPEA was not always smooth…”

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Roger Leeds
Professor, Johns Hopkins University (SAIS); Founding Chairman, EMPEA

“In 2004, EMPEA is formed by a handful of visionaries at the heart of the emerging markets private equity industry…”

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George Siguler
Managing Director and Founding Partner, Siguler Guff and Company LP

“Private equity comes and it stays…”

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Koenraad Foulon
Co-Founder and Senior Managing Partner, Capital International Private Equity Funds

“If you go back 20 years, the emerging markets were lurching from one crisis to another, but it was a blessing in disguise…”

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Claude Barras
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner, Obviam (Manager of SIFEM)

“Some countries remain frontier, but the outreach of private equity will also touch them…”

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Tom Barry
President and CEO, Zephyr Management L.P.

“Private equity is a term that has been hijacked…”

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Ziad Oueslati
Founding Partner, AfricInvest Group

“Making our industry visible to the major players…”

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Lakshmi Venkatachalam
Vice-President, Private Sector and Cofinancing Operations, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

EMPEA thanks ADB for this video message from their headquarter studios in Manila…

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Jeffrey Leonard
Chairman, EMPEA; President and CEO, Global Environment Fund

“On a dark and dreary evening in Paris in the 1990s…”

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David Wilton
Chief Investment Officer, Manager, Global Private Equity, IFC

“It’s not all just CNN moments…”

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Mounir Guen
Chief Executive Officer, MVision Private Equity Advisers

“The impact is quite significant and can move the needle…”

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