Selwyn Blieden

Joint CEO, Caleo Private Equity

Selwyn is Joint CEO at Caleo Private Equity, the private equity arm of Caleo Capital, a diversified wealth management and advisory firm. Caleo Private Equity provides growth capital to start-ups and operating companies in South Africa and other jurisdictions.

Selwyn was previously a Principal at Absa Group (formerly Barclays Africa) and led Absa’s commercial property finance business in Africa (ex-South Africa). This entailed defining the strategy for this business, leading relationships with key clients across Africa, and coordinating with in-country Absa / Barclays teams. Under Selwyn’s leadership this business doubled in size.

Selwyn was formerly a founding member of the RMB Westport team. RMB Westport was one of the leading real estate private equity funds operating in sub-Saharan Africa and at its original fund-raising close it was the largest such fund. Selwyn led deal negotiation, structuring and corporate management for RMB Westport’s developments in Nigeria. He served as a director of RMB Westport’s investee companies in Nigeria and sat on the management boards of these companies. Specifically, Selwyn led RMB Westport’s investment and management participation in developments such as Ikeja City Mall (then Nigeria’s largest retail development), the Oando Wings office development (at one time the largest prestige office development in Lagos), and the Circle Mall (a convenience centre development in Lekki, Lagos).

Prior to taking on his role in RMB Westport, Selwyn co-founded and managed Rand Merchant Bank’s Opportunities in Global Real Estate portfolio. This portfolio included assets of value of US$250 million including direct debt, equity, fund holdings and public equity exposures to international property markets. Before joining Rand Merchant Bank, Selwyn was a consultant in the Johannesburg office of McKinsey & Company, the international strategy consultancy. He served clients and undertook projects in several African jurisdictions.

Before entering commercial life, Selwyn was a member of the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and a Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Selwyn has a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. He won an Emanuel Bradlow Scholarship to attend St John’s College, Cambridge.