Manatt Adds Former African Development Bank General Counsel Kalidou Gadio in Washington, D.C.
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, announced that Kalidou Gadio has joined the firm’s Washington, D.C., office as a partner and co-chair of its Africa and Middle East/North Africa (MENA) practice. Gadio joins from the African Development Bank, where he served as general counsel.
The African Development Bank is a multilateral development finance institution established to contribute to the economic development and social progress of African countries. One of only five such organizations in the world, the bank invests billions of dollars annually in the continent. As general counsel, Gadio advised the bank’s board of governors through two capital replenishment cycles, including the organization’s largest general capital increase of $100 billion. He joined the bank in 1989, serving in various leadership positions until being named chief legal officer in 2008.
At Manatt, Gadio will advise companies and entrepreneurs on entering and navigating emerging markets, identifying opportunities and mitigating risks. He will also counsel foreign governments and development institutions on initiatives such as legislative reforms, financial policies and institutional strengthening.
“Kalidou has a very unique background, combining practical project finance and corporate experience with a sophisticated understanding of international law,” said William T. Quicksilver, Manatt’s chief executive officer and managing partner. “Having worked with government leaders and executives in Africa and from around the globe, he is finely attuned to opportunities in cross-border finance and investment. His credentials will resonate with clients doing business internationally, especially in Africa and the Middle East, and he is a significant addition to the firm.”
Gadio’s practice will also focus on advising government and private-sector clients on international project finance and public-private partnerships, including joint ventures, project structures, legal due diligence, risk allocation, financing arrangements (bank and bond), and relevant security packages and considerations. Gadio will also advise private equity funds as they continue to invest in Africa. He will work closely with Africa and MENA practice co-chair Douglas Boggs.
“Technology and innovation are driving tremendous growth in Africa and the Middle East, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and energy,” said Boggs, who also serves as Manatt’s Washington, D.C., office administrative partner. “And private-sector investment is a critical partner in that growth. The opportunities for Western businesses and investors are significant, but require a thorough understanding of the political and financial realities on the ground, as well as developed relationships with players at the highest levels. Having worked with Kalidou for many years at the African Development Bank, I can confidently say he has both. We are thrilled to welcome Kalidou to Manatt.”
Gadio added, “Africa represents a new frontier for business and economic development. The continent is in the midst of an unprecedented transformation, with advances in the areas of policy, industry and infrastructure improving the quality of life for the people of Africa, which has been my life’s work. When I decided to return to private practice, it was important to me that it be at a nimble, forward-thinking firm that appreciated the big picture while executing the details flawlessly. In Manatt, I’ve found that, along with the entrepreneurial spirit and high-level experience in international project finance, technology and private equity that I was looking for. I’m energized by the possibilities and excited to begin working with clients.”
After earning undergraduate degrees from the University of Mohamed V and the Institut d’Etudes Judiciaires of Paris, France, Gadio received a post master degree from the Sorbonne, University of Paris II. He studied at the Paris Bar Training Center and earned his LL.M. from Harvard Law School.