Cepheus Team

Our People

Mr. Kassahun Kebede is responsible for the overall management of the Fund. His role includes fund portfolio management, investor and market relations, and exit management. Mr. Kebede serves as a member of Cepheus’ Investment Committee.

Prior to founding Cepheus, he founded and served as Managing Partner of Panton Capital, a New York City-based investment management firm. Preceding Panton, Mr. Kebede held senior investment and risk management positions at Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch in developed and emerging markets.  As Global Head of Equity Derivatives Trading at Deutsche Bank and a member of its Risk & Resources Committee, he was responsible for a wide-ranging portfolio of debt, equity and currency risk exposures spanning all geographies and financial products.  He began his career as a project engineer at Hughes Electronics.

Mr. Kebede holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Berhane Demissie is responsible for the overall management of the Fund in Ethiopia. Her role includes deal sourcing, execution, portfolio management, investor and market relations and exit management. Ms. Demissie serves as a member of Cepheus’ Investment Committee.

Ms. Demissie has over 10 years of Private Equity experience in Ethiopia and, prior to founding Cepheus, served as a Senior Consultant to the Public Financial Enterprises Agency in Addis Ababa for five years engaged in the Government’s reform program of the public financial institutions. She also worked for Citigroup in London as a member of their Corporate and then Portfolio Risk Management groups.

Ms. Demissie holds BSc (hon.) from Greenwich University, and Higher Diploma (DIC) and an MBA from Imperial College in London.

Mr. Helaway Tadesse is responsible for transaction sourcing and execution and provides overall support and insights to the Investment and Operations teams.  In addition, he manages the Cepheus Research & Analytics team.

Prior to joining Cepheus, Mr. Tadesse served for seven years as the Senior Vice President of Zemen Bank, a private Ethiopian bank that works mainly with corporate clients, including several of the country’s largest exporters and foreign investors.  Previously, Mr. Tadesse spent a decade at the International Monetary Fund, where he was a Senior Economist based in Washington DC.

Mr. Tadesse is a graduate of Princeton University (MPA, Economics & Public Policy) and Reed College (BA, Economics).

Mr. Timothy Hill is responsible for transaction sourcing, execution and portfolio management.

Mr. Hill is an investment professional with over 15 years of diverse experience in the real estate, infrastructure, renewable energy, transportation, consumer finance and automotive sectors. Prior to relocating to Addis Ababa Mr. Hill was based in New York for eight years where he managed a real estate development and worked for Macquarie Capital in its infrastructure group. There he was responsible, among other things, for principal investments in the transportation, real estate and energy sectors. Prior to completing his MBA Mr. Hill worked for both Ford Motor Company and GE Capital in a variety of operational finance roles in Auckland and Melbourne.

Mr. Hill received a Bachelor of Management Studies with honors from the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, in Evanston Illinois.

Mr. Salahadin Tsihira is responsible for pre-investment operational due diligence and post-investment portfolio company operations management.

Mr. Tsihira, has over 17 years of diverse international senior level operations management consultancy experience focused on operations excellence, management development, and management operating systems.

Prior to joining Cepheus, Mr. Tsihira worked as a Senior Management Consultant with Parisella Vincelli Associates Consulting Group in Canada, engaging with various manufacturing and service companies. He also worked for IBM / Celestica in Canada for seven years from floor technician to supervisor of the company’s manufacturing lines.

Mr. Tsihira received a Bachelor of Engineering in Marine Engineering from International Maritime University (Arab Maritime Transport Academy) in Egypt.

Ms. Filagot Sileshi is a Research Manager responsible for macroeconomic, sector, and industry analysis.

Prior to joining Cepheus, Ms. Sileshi worked as a Supply Chain Specialist for Moyee Coffee and as Deputy Project Manager for Fase Consultancy firm. Previously she served as Client Business Analyst for Technoserve Ethiopia and as an economics reporter for a leading local newspaper.

Ms. Sileshi holds a BA in Economics from Addis Ababa and an MA in Economics from Indira Gandhi National University.

Mr. Teshager Demissie is responsible for investment analysis.

Mr. Demissie joins Cepheus from Grant Thornton Ethiopia where he was a Senior Associate working on due diligence and financial analysis. Previously, he worked for RENEW Strategies as a Portfolio Analyst which entailed deal sourcing, due diligence, financial modeling, financial reporting, and coordinating financial training for portfolio companies.Mr. Demissie began his career in the audit department of HST, a local partner of Deloitte.

Mr. Demissie is a graduate of Addis Ababa University with Accounting & Finance and has completed his Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualification.

Mr. Bruk Asfaw is responsible for Environmental, Social, and Governance matters within Cepheus and its portfolio companies as well as for Legal Analysis.

Prior to joining Cepheus, Mr. Asfaw worked as a Policy and Programme Coordination intern at the United Nations Office in Addis Ababa, where he was engaged on the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) in relation to Ethiopia’s GTP II. He started his career in the hospitality industry in Paris, France prior to relocating to Ethiopia.

Mr. Asfaw holds a Master of Arts in International Law and a Master of Arts in International Relations Security and Defence from Jean Moulin University in Lyon, France and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Lumière University in Lyon, France.

Mr. Edimealem Mihretie is a Research and Investment Analyst.

Prior to joining Cepheus, Mr. Mihretie worked as a Senior Researcher for Monetary and Financial Analysis Directorate of the National Bank of Ethiopia.

Mr. Mihretie also worked for the Domestic Economic Analysis and Publications and Economic Modeling and Statistical Analysis Directorates of the National Bank during his eight-year tenure at the Bank.

Mr. Mihretie holds a Masters in Economic Modeling and Forecasting from Addis Ababa University and a BSc in Statistics from Dilla University, Ethiopia.

Mr. Henok Alula is responsible for maintaining book of accounts and preparation and filing of all governmental office requirements.  In addition, Mr. Alula is assigned to provide transaction support to the Investment and Operations teams.

Prior to joining Cepheus, Mr. Alula worked as a consultant to prepare and submit companies’ monthly and yearly taxes, and ensure compliance with government legal requirements for business operations.

Mr. Alula holds a Diploma in Accounting from Unity University College and is in his final year to complete his part-time Accounting Degree from Unity University College.

Mr. David Zezza is a founding member of the Pacific Advantage Capital (PAC) and is involved with the group’s activities in the US, Europe, and Asia.

Mr. Zezza co-founded PAC in 2010. Previously, he was at Citadel Investment Group, whereas its Senior Managing Director, he oversaw the firm’s Global Rates and Emerging Markets businesses. Prior to Citadel, Mr. Zezza was with Deutsche Bank in London, Hong Kong, and Singapore where he was a member of the Management Committee and Global Head of Emerging Markets for the firm. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Mr. Zezza spent 10 years at Salomon Brothers in the US and Asia.

Mr. Zezza is a member of the UK Board of Trustees for the Global Fund for Children. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Sanford School at Duke University.

Mr. Peter Yendell currently serves as an IC member of Takura Capital Partners in Zimbabwe, Non-Executive Director for Stirling Dynamics Ltd and on the Advisory Board of Finance Yorkshire Advisory and North East Jeremie Fund.

Previously, Mr. Yendell served as the Chairman for Endless LLC and worked for 3i plc for 18 years, most latterly as a Partner in 3i’s global Growth Capital business unit where he managed investments across the UK, Europe, and Asia. He also had portfolio responsibility for a segment of 3i’s significant investment portfolio and earlier was focused on growth capital and buyouts investments in a range of companies. Previously, he worked for The Boots Company plc in a marketing role.

Mr. Yendell is a senior private equity practitioner where he has over 20 years’ experience and is an experienced Non-Executive Director in both the profit and not for profit sectors. He also has experience of a wide variety of new business and portfolio situations including, both majority owned and 3i minority investments.