Meriem Zairi

Meriem leads the SEAF Innovation Funds Initiative in the Maghreb Region, investing in innovative startups and tech-enabled SMEs based in the Maghreb region. Prior to joining SEAF in 2017, Meriem spent more than 15 years in private equity in Europe and Africa. From 2002 through 2009, Meriem acted as investment director at Montagu Private Equity, formerly HSPC Private Equity, in the pan-European MBO Investment Fund that had more than €4bn in AUM. This provided Meriem with extensive deal and structuring experience in various sectors across Europe, from media and food to health, distribution and the automotive industry.

Beginning in 2010, Meriem served as Investment Director for an African Infrastructure Fund in Casablanca where she successfully raised and closed a pan-African Infrastructure Fund. While there, she also closed the fund’s first deal in Kenya. Following her experience in private equity, Meriem became an entrepreneur and cofounded two companies in Morocco active in the agribusiness sector. During her entrepreneurial journey, Meriem felt the hardship of local entrepreneur and became deeply involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to bring solutions and foster other entrepreneurs. Meriem is a President of the CGEM’s (the Moroccan employers’ organization) Commission in charge of startup and entrepreneurship private sector initiatives in the country. She also serves as an advisor for various development finance institutions, advising on their program design for the region. Meriem graduated from ESSEC Business School with an MSc in Management and a major in Finance.