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Almost three years ago Solomon Wifa made his mark in the legal community as he became the youngest-ever managing partner of O’Melveny & Myers in London at the age of 37.
This year, Wifa secured a spot in the Hot 100 list for his deal-making prowess in the investment funds field.
Two transactions stand out on his 2012 deal list. The first is his role of advising newly formed fund manager Greenshpere Capital on winning a landmark mandate from the UK government. Wifa helped the client win the tender, which attracted bids from 23 managers, to be one of the two fund managers responsible for generating and managing government-backed investments in green infrastructure.
As the initiative was led by the UK government, it was not a typical fundraising deal. Wifa had to advise his client on many unique issues, relating to securing government procurement guarantees.
The second deal highlight was more publicised and had a billon-pound price tag. Wifa led the firm’s team advising UK private equity group Coller on the acquisition of an investment portfolio from Lloyds Banking Group for £1.03bn. It is believed to be the largest unsyndicated secondaries deal to date.
In addition to headline transactions, Wifa is also widely recognised for funds formation and investment in cutting-edge and niche areas, such as emerging markets in Africa and Turkey.
In 2012, the Nigerian-born British lawyer visited Africa six times on client matters. In recognising his knowledge and experience in Africa, he was appointed by the African Venture Capital Association as the co-chair of its legal and regulatory committee in the summer of 2012.