Lauren Cochran scouts for deals in Africa as director of private investments for Blue Haven Initiative. That’s the family office of Liesel Pritzker Simmons and her husband Ian Simmons. It seeks opportunities that can make money and improve lives. Cochran spoke to Margaret Collins of Bloomberg Briefs about how she finds emerging companies on the world’s second-biggest continent.
Q: How did you develop a passion for investing in Africa?
A: I worked at the Clinton Foundation on the non-profit side, helping finance the care-and-treatment infrastructure for children living with HIV. That was a really interesting opportunity. Most of the news that comes out of Africa is about starving kids and civil war, and being there I realized that was far from true. I went back to business school wanting to invest there.