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Barbara Iyayi is the Chief Growth Officer and Managing Director, Africa for Element, Inc. Element is a pioneer of mobile deep learning and deploys AI-powered mobile biometrics software to develop digital platforms globally. Element’s end-to-end solutions are being used to drive digital payments, enable healthcare coverage and services, and drive access to financial services, amongst others. Barbara also serves in an advisory board capacity within the venture capital and tech ecosystem in Africa.
Barbara was part of the founding team of Atlas Mara, a London stock exchange listed
company, co-founded by Bob Diamond, ex-CEO of Barclays Bank, which was the first ever entity to raise over $1bn to invest in, operate and manage financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the Regional Lead for M&A and Investments, she led investments into banks and developed the banking platform’s entry into 7 countries in Africa. Notably, she led the acquisition and first ever merger of 2 banks in Rwanda, to be the leading innovative retail bank - Banque Populaire du Rwanda and led a $250mm equity investment in Union Bank of Nigeria. Barbara also led the company’s fintech and digital banking strategy, that included partnering with fintech companies.
Prior to Atlas Mara, she worked on global transactions of over $15bn at various financial institutions. She worked in investment banking as a Vice President at JPMorgan, advising global corporations and private equity firms on M&A, leveraged finance and debt and equity capital market transactions. In addition, she worked in principal investments at Centerboard Group, a New York based merchant bank, in the Leverage Finance and Restructuring Group and Technology Investment Banking Group at UBS Investment Bank, and at JPMorgan Private Bank in New York. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Columbia University; and an MBA at Harvard Business School.