Laurus Development Partners receives advice and guidance from a dedicated Advisory Committee. The members of the committee are Robert John, Carlo Matta, David Morley and Funke Okubadejo, you can read their biographies here.
Robert John has over 30 years of real estate investment and development experience. He has been a consultant to Actis since 2005, advising on property investments and strategy, primarily in the retail and commercial sectors, in both Africa and India. Robert is a member of the Investment Committee for Africa real estate investments.
Robert was instrumental in setting up County NatWest’s integrated property team in the 1980s, providing finance for both Broadgate (City of London) and the Metrocentre (UK’s first out-of-town retail centre). Robert was a director and Deputy Chief Executive of Olympia and York Canary Wharf between 1987 and 1992, rejoining as an advisor to the Chairman and Chief Executive between 1996 and 2004, when he oversaw strategic, joint venture, transport, planning and community issues.
Robert has had extensive involvement with the UK government and its agencies on strategic development issues in London. A qualified barrister, and former partner of KPMG, Robert has a degree in Economics, Politics and Law from Cambridge University.
Carlo Matta is CEO of Laurus Development Partners; he brings twenty years of experience in the real estate industry. He spent the first half of his career as a principal working on designing and project managing residential, office and mix-use projects in Italy, China, Viet Nam, France, Malaysia and Zanzibar. During this time he worked for the renowned architects Jean Nouvel in Paris, and Ken Yeang in Kuala Lumpur.
Before establishing Laurus Development Partners Carlo was Managing Director at Hines Europe where he was responsible for the firm’s activities in Sub-Saharan Africa. He joined Hines’ Milan office in 2002 and was responsible for all aspects of one of Hines' largest mixed-use development in Europe with a total project cost of over €800m. While in Milan he led all development activities including market underwriting; land assembly and negotiation; project budgeting, costing and scheduling; securing debt and equity financing; zoning and entitlement; master planning and design management; investor reporting; pre-sale and pre-leasing activities.
In January 2006, Carlo moved to London where he managed two of Hines’ real estate private equity funds, totalling €830m. These funds focused on the development of office, residential and mix-use projects throughout Western Europe. In this capacity, Carlo underwrote over 25 different projects and was responsible for all aspects of fund management, investor communication and reporting.
Prior to Hines, Mr Matta was the founder and CEO of a boutique architecture and project management firm in Saigon, Vietnam. The company was the firm of reference for international blue chip companies setting up operations in Vietnam including, Castrol, Shell, Esso, DHL, BASF, Chase Manhattan Bank, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and PwC. He was responsible for the design and project management of their office space.
Carlo is a registered architect. He graduated from the Politecnico di Torino (Italy) School of Architecture and received an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Carlo speaks Italian, English, French and Spanish fluently.
David Morley is Head of Real Estate at private equity firm Actis. David has been investing in emerging markets for over fifteen years and has been instrumental in a number of landmark investments including, Lenco in South Africa; Africa’s Protea Hotels; Ikeja Mall in Nigeria; Indian Ocean Real Estate Company; TRAC Toll Concessions; and the management buyout of Engro Chemicals in Pakistan.
David joined CDC in 1990 and was responsible for setting up its South Africa Team in 1995. Before joining CDC, David spent five years at Swiss-based commodities house EMD Schluter & Co. David holds a degree in Economics and Land Economy from Cambridge University; an MA in development economics from the University of East Anglia, and an MBA from London Business School.
Funke Okubadejo is Director, Real Estate at private equity firm Actis and has over ten years experience in private equity in West Africa. Funke, who is based in Lagos, joined Actis in 2007 and focuses on West African origination and execution. Prior to Actis, she spent six years with Africa Capital Alliance (ACA), a leading Nigerian private equity firm, where she helped in establishing the firm’s real estate investment fund. Funke started her career in Arthur Andersen Lagos (now KPMG Professional Services).
She is a qualified chartered accountant and holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos and a Masters in Finance from the London Business School.