University essay from KTH/Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.)

Abstract: Nordic Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) play an important role in providing sustainable development for Africa which accordance with their mandates.  By investing in private equity Funds in Africa, investee companies have covered various sectors inAfricawhich may not only improve economic development but also increase employment. Additionally, investing in a Fund can spread risk through diversifications and help DFIs to share knowledge with Fund manager in local presence.   This study analyzes the management control systems (MCS) of DFIs’ investing in private equity Funds, wherein we mainly focus on output control and behavior control which are two types of control widely discussed in previous research and literature. Hereby we set three hypotheses based on our research and get findings to support the research questions, which are: 1.      DFIs use output control mechanism with contractual framework to secure their investment. Output control sets standards as to targets. It plays a fundamental role in the control process, as the contractual framework is short of standardized in private equity industry and Fund managers are selected strictly during screening process.   2.      DFIs use behavior control to interact with Fund managers. Behavior control means appropriate instruction and guidelines imposed as results become foreseeable during the monitoring process. It becomes a central element where DFIs have to interact with Fund managers to track the investment progress & development effect, including investment decision making.   3.      DFIs’ syndicated investment affects their control activities. Nordic DFIs’ investment strategy is making co-investment in Funds. When more parties are involved, the monitoring and control process become different compared with only one investor and it is affected by syndicated investment. While we did not deeply explore the control mechanism and process under syndication investment by either quantitative & qualitative method or case studying approach, we conclude that it does exist based on communication with interviewees.   The word “Control” looks like a bureaucratic word. However, we found that Alignment is essential in control process for each partners while behavior control helps to assure the alignment. We think that control process become less difficult when previous strict selection of trust partner is successful. We suggest that the alignment between DFIs and other investors as well as Funds should be strengthened in the control process, so that investment objectives can be well realized.   Besides Nordic DFIs, Africa also benefits from others such asChina’s “going global” strategy to encourage outward FDI. China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) is the first Fund focused specially on large scale investment in Africa among Private Equity Funds inChina. China Development Bank (CDB) is the shareholder of CADFund, who provide resources and support to CADFund. By briefly comparing Nordic DFIs and CADFund, we found they use similar investment instruments and also similar strategies, such as investment in less developed countries inAfricato improve economic conditions, support home companies investing in Africa etc. Including an analysis on CAD as well as the comparison with Nordic DFIs not only strengthen the understanding of DFIs’ activities in Africa, but also clarify the different investment characteristics of Western and Eastern investors in Africa. We also suggest that Nordic DFIs and CADFund can share experience and knowledge to promote sustainable development for Africa.    

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