Sango: Friends and Founders Share Core Values — and a Commitment to the Future of the African Continent

Twenty-four years ago, Richard Okello and Charles Mwebeiha formed a friendship based on their shared values and passion for the African continent. That friendship, and those values, culminated in a business venture: the pair went on to found investment firm Sango Capital in 2011.

Richard Okello

Richard Okello

The aim was to create a world-class company, committed to excellence and respected as a responsible steward of capital. Okello and Mwebeiha worked to bring capital into Africa — and labour on to positively impact the lives of the great continent’s people.

Prior to Sango, Richard Okello helped to build two organisations. The first was global hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, where Okello started out as an associate and left nine years later as a partner. The second was Makena Capital, where he managed portfolios substantially allocated to emerging markets and oversaw research into new investment ideas.

Okello joined Bridgewater when the firm managed $9bn in assets and had fewer than 50 employees. When he left, the firm had over $100bn in AUM and some 500 employees. His time with Makena Capital was similarly successful: he joined the firm nine months into its journey, deploying $8bn across various asset classes. Today Makena manages $18bn in various countries. Okello was instrumental in implementing investment, strategic, and management roles at both firms.

Charles Mwebeiha began his career as a corporate lawyer at Sebalu & Lule, a commercial law firm in Uganda. Prior to co-founding Sango, he was a principal at South African private equity investment firm Destiny Corporation. He participated in structuring and negotiating leveraged buy-out transactions, as well as re-financing transactions for portfolio companies and the holding company.

Charles Mwebeiha

Charles Mwebeiha

Mwebeiha had previously been a partner and head of the Africa Practice Group at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS), the largest law firm in Africa, where he acted on private equity, capital markets, and continent-wide M&A transactions. Prior to his time at ENS, he helped build the nascent Uganda Capital Markets Authority, the regulatory legal and compliance management authority for the stock exchange.

Mwebeiha helped drive efforts to aggregate institutional capital for investment into public markets, and was involved in the first equity and debt cross-listings in regional markets. He helped lay the groundwork for regional market integration.

Sango is a leading investment firm focused on the high-growth middle-market private equity and venture asset classes across Africa. It was the first all-private (non-DFI) middle-market fund of its type to focus on a pan African strategy. It has continued to attract the backing of global endowments, foundations, pension funds, family offices, and sovereign wealth funds.

The firm manages capital across three core funds, direct co-investments, and a long-term strategic equity fund. Sango’s investment approach targets global top-quartile performance while mitigating left-tail risk. By embedding ESG into its investment process, Sango has been able to maximise sustainable economic impact for each dollar invested.

Richard Okello and Charles Mwebeiha have built a world-class team with decades of experience in global and African investment, operations, and capital stewardship and they continue to incentivise the team to drive a culture of excellence into the future.

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