By Sean Harrington, Garth Saloner
2008 | Case No. E291 | Length 24 pgs.
By 2008, Databank had built a reputation as one of Ghana’s premiere companies, earning the #1 ranking in Ghana’s Most Respected Company and CEO annual awards. Founded in 1990 by Ken Ofori-Atta, Keli Gadzekpo, and James Akpo, Databank had grown from a three-person equity research shop operating out of a tiny, run-down office in central Accra to a 100-employee diversified financial services firm offering research, corporate finance, asset management, and brokerage. Many credited the company as being instrumental in the development of the capital markets in Ghana, which had matured significantly in the 18 years since the country’s stock exchange was launched. Relative to the developed world, however, Ghana’s capital markets were still nascent. Only 35 companies were listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), debt was still relatively expensive and hard to obtain, and risk capital was practically non-existent. Recognizing the importance of entrepreneurship and growth of the private sector in the process of national economic development, Databank was one of few organizations that had begun making venture capital and private equity investments. These investments, along with those made by a handful of other local funds, were the fledgling steps on a very long road to building a robust market of venture finance.
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