Rack Centre backer Actis recruits former AWS exec
Actis has appointed a former AWS exec to head its data centre investments as it looks to expand its portfolio in Africa, Asia and other key regional markets.
Dalmar Sheikh joins the firm as director, global head of data centre operations, following almost 10-years with AWS, which saw him head development of the company’s platforms in Asia-Pacific, head AWS infrastructure operations for Japan and launch AWS’ coverage in South Africa.
Sheikh said: “Actis is a world-leading infrastructure investor that is helping to sustainably evolve the global data centre market through addressing the accelerating demand for digital services. I am very excited to be joining Actis at this time and I look forward to working with the existing real estate and digital infrastructure teams to continue to grow and build Actis’ footprint in this very highly dynamic space.”
As Capacity reported back in June, the Actis footprint covers Asia, Africa and Latin America and the institutional investor has raised more than $19 billion since its inception.
In July, Actis – alongside Convergence Partners – appointed Ex-Global Switch MD Jasper Lankhorst, as CEO of the group’s $250 million pan-African data centre platform. That launched in March 2020 and paved the way for the investment in Rack Centre, which at the time owned and operated a certified Tier III data centre in Lagos.
Other recent activity has seen Actis acquire a controlling stake in South African FTTH provider Octotel, for $140 million and establish a JV with GS E&C – the construction arm of GS Group – to build and operate a more than 20MW facility in Greater Seoul with a development cost of $315 million. In 2019 it invested $180 million in Chayora's series C round.
In fact, Korea has been a focal point for Actis over the last two years. Following an earlier acquisition, the firm's second site is due to come into service in Q2 of next year and Actis has formed an alliance with Korean specialist data centre advisor and operator ADIK, which will no doubt be a key point of focus for Sheikh.
Thomas Liu, partner, real estate at Actis, said: “With over two decades of experience in IT infrastructure and data centre development, sales, and operations across Africa, Asia and the United States, Dalmar brings to Actis a well-refined global outlook and unrivalled understanding of the international digital infrastructure landscape.”