Our people

Laureen
Kouassi-Olsson
Founder & CEO
Private Equity, Financial Services, Luxury and Creative Industries.
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Team

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Aïda Muluneh
Creative Consultant
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Niton Coulibaly Camara
Head of Finance & Risks
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Zara Odu
Head of Brand Development & Elevation
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Magali Amany
Senior Investment Analyst
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Jessica Ngon Kemoum
Brand Content & Editorial Lead
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Hervie Gaye
Office Manager

Governance

Investment Committee

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Frannie Léautier
Partner SouthBridge Investment & Birimian IC Chair 
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Thomas Delattre
Professor, director of Entrepreneurship programs, Institut Français de la Mode
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Khaled Igue
Managing Partner, Africa Chairman, B&A Investment Bankers
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Frédéric Maus
CEO, WSN
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Tokini Peterside
CEO, ART X Collective & Founder, ART X Lagos
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Noro-Lanto Ravisy
Partner, Asafo& Co

Creative Board

Birimian will ensure the sourcing quality of high potential designers & labels by setting up a Creative Board, composed of experts and personalities from the industry, that will guide us in identifying talent and their potential. 
The Creative Board will be composed of 10 members and is currently being formed.
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Laureen Kouassi-Olsson
Founder & CEO
Private Equity, Financial Services, Luxury and Creative Industries.
Private Equity, Financial Services, Luxury and Creative Industries.

Laureen Kouassi-Olsson is a seasoned investment executive in the African financial services and private equity industries. She has been identified as one of the top 100 most influential African women.

She has over a decade of experience in investing in private companies and financial institutions on the African continent.

She started her career at Lehman Brothers in London in Mergers & Acquisitions on the European industrials team. In 2008, following the collapse of the prestigious investment bank and to the global financial crisis it prompted, she decided to dedicate herself to a more responsible finance and to the development of her continent of origins. In 2009, she joined Proparco, subsidiary of the French Development Agency, dedicated to the private sector. In the banking and financial institutions department, she led the structuring and execution of private equity and debt transactions for the benefit of well-established African financial institutions.

In 2012, she joined Amethis, a Paris based leading French private equity firm dedicated to Sub-Saharan Africa who was sponsored by the Edmond de Rothschild Group. She was the head of the Amethis firm’s practice and strategy in the financial services sector. She was deeply involved in the value creation and institutionalization processes of Amethis’ investee companies, representing the firm on their respective boards and supporting them in the execution of their expansion strategy (restructuring, external growth, and diversification).

In 2016, she settled down in Abidjan, to launch Amethis West Africa, an investment vehicle dedicated to the Firm’s investments in western and central Africa, with capital from local and regional institutional investors.

She had always been passionate about fashion and design and, as a result, began to develop relationships with talented African designers. Bolstered by her expertise in private equity and a deep affinity for African designers, she decided to create Birimian, which will link designers inspired by an African heritage to the international fashion and creative scene.

Laureen is a highly experienced non-executive director on the boards of several blue-chip African financial institutions.

Laureen Kouassi-Olsson holds a dual French and Ivorian citizenship, is an Alumni of EM Lyon and Harvard Business School.

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Aïda Muluneh
Creative Consultant
Visual Art, Digital Communication, Set Design
Visual Art, Digital Communication, Set Design

Born in Ethiopia, Aïda Muluneh spent an itinerant childhood between Yemen and England before settling in Canada. She has always been driven by the desire to promote African creativity and talent.

After a career as a photojournalist at several international publications (the New York Times, TIME, The Atlantic, Vice, the Guardian, Elle magazine), Aïda Muluneh successfully turned in a decidedly artistic direction.

The winner of several photography awards from around the world, she is the founder of the Addis Foto Fest (AFF), the first international photography festival in East Africa.

As an exhibiting artist, Aïda’s work has been shown in South Africa, Mali, Senegal, Egypt, Canada, the United States, France, Germany, England, Norway, and China, to name a few countries.

A selection of her photos can be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, the Hood Museum of Art, the RISD Museum, and the Museum of Biblical Art in the United States.

She is the 2007 recipient of the European Union Prize at African Photography Encounters in Bamako, Mali, the 2010 winner of the CRAF International Award of Photography in Spilimbergo, Italy, and a 2018 CatchLight Fellow in San Francisco, California.

Aïda is convinced of the power of the combination of photography and fashion as a vector of change in the continent’s narrative, so naturally, she partnered with Birimian to enhance the image of the company’s creatives and brands.

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Niton Coulibaly Camara
Head of Finance & Risks

Niton Coulibaly Camara started her career in the audit department of E&Y as a financial and accounting auditor in IFRS and SYSCOHADA standards for various companies. She worked with both subsidiaries of multinationals and national corporations.

8 years later, she joined the Strategy & Transaction department of the same firm as a Senior Engagement Manager. During 4 years, she conducted several financial due diligence missions in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mali, Togo, Cameroon, Chad and DRC.

Throughout her audit and due diligence missions, Niton noticed that entrepreneurs of the sub region were full of talent and creative ideas, but faced enormous organizational and management difficulties.

Therefore, she did not hesitate to participate in various missions of management audit of SMEs both in Côte d’Ivoire and in the West African sub-region.

She joined Birimian in February 2022 as Head of Finance & Risks.

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Zara Odu
Head of Brand Development & Elevation

Zara Odu is an award winning Corporate Communications expert with over 10 years of experience in Brand Development, strategically growing and building brands across Africa.
She is a process and strategy specialist, a creative problem solver, and an exceptional communicator with a keen ability to drive collaboration and effectively lead and execute projects.

She is also the founder of Designers Consociate, a boutique firm committed to developing sustainable solutions that invigorate the African Retail eco-system.

Zara holds a Masters in Fashion Brand Development from the University College for the Creative Arts (Rochester, UK) and a BA in International Communications from the American University of Paris.

She joined Birimian in June 2021 as Head of Brand Development & Elevation.

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Magali Amany
Senior Investment Analyst
Audit, Analysis, Monitoring
Audit, Analysis, Monitoring

Magali holds a Master’s degree in Business Law from the Catholic University of Lille, as well as a Master’s degree in International Management Law from EM Lyon and a certificate in Finance from HEC Paris.

She started her career in 2015, in the legal department of the bank Crédit Agricole where she advised the support teams for credit operations and financing projects. She then joined the law firms Alain Garitey (Paris) and James Cowper Kreston (London), to provide tax assistance to HNWI, expatriate and impatriate clients.

In 2019, she turned towards PwC Paris, and spent 2 years managing the taxation aspects of international transfers of clients, pre-litigation with the tax authorities and the coordination of transfers with PwC’s worldwide network.

With a personal passion for artistic expression, the discovery of new talents as well as the development of Africa, she was quite naturally drawn to Birimian.

Magali joined the team in January 2021, as Senior Investment Analyst.

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Jessica Ngon Kemoum
Brand Content & Editorial Lead

With a master’s degree in Communication, Media, and Creative Industries from Sciences Po Paris, Jessica has dedicated her career to working in the field of communication in Africa.

In 2018, she joined the 35°Nord agency as a consultant in press relations and digital communication, helping international corporations reach their audiences and stakeholders in West Africa, before becoming a digital project manager at Blue Lions in Paris.

In the course of her activities, she worked for several cosmetic and media companies, for whom she developed and implemented digital communication strategies. These experiences provided her with creative skills and allowed her to develop an expertise on the African creative industries.

Jessica joined Birimian in January 2022 as Brand Content & Editorial Lead.

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Hervie Gaye
Office Manager

With a BTS in Bilingual Executive Secretary, Hervie started her career in the hotel industry in 2006. She worked for 3 years in this sector and experienced a great professional ascension. First a receptionist, then an interim secretary, she ended her career in the hotel industry after having been an executive secretary for the Hotel La Colombe, in Abidjan.

In 2009, she joined the Lawal Communication agency, as executive secretary. After this period in the event management field, she joined MEI (Maintenance Electronique Industrielle) as an executive assistant. She occupied this position for nearly ten years before joining the Birimian team.

With her many years of experience and her ability to work in a variety of fields, Hervie joined the team in 2022 as Office Manager.

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