By Ebimo Amungo
Kassahun (Kassy) Kebede is founder and Managing Partner of Cepheus Growth Capital, an Ethiopia focused private equity fund started in 2016. He has been a player in the private equity business in New York for over twenty years. He is also famous for the former husband of Ethiopian super model Liya Kebede.
Before Cepheus, Mr. Kebede founded and was Managing Partner of Panton Capital Group, a credit hedge fund that focused on capital structure arbitrage and relative value credit trading strategies, from 2004 until 2015.
Mr. Kebede was one of the five senior executives that left Merrill Lynch in 1995 to build the Global Markets Division of Deutsche Bank. He was initially head of Deutsche Bank’s European Fixed Income derivatives responsible for managing and integrating the disparate derivative business of DB across Europe as well as the integration of Morgan Grenfell.
Mr. Kebede built a new team and centralized the derivatives business in to London from the rest of Europe in preparation for the single currency.
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As head of Global Equity Derivatives he was responsible for the trading, structuring and marketing of structured equity products across the globe. He was a member of the Management and Compensation Committee of the division as well as a member of the bank’s Risk and Resources Committee. He further oversaw a bank wide management task force responsible for capital allocation to DB’s businesses in Asia and Latin America.
At Merrill Lynch, Mr. Kebede was head of the credit derivatives business. Before that, he was a senior derivatives trader at Bankers Trust. He has been responsible for trading, risk management and product development in interest rate, mortgage, and commodity derivatives.
From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Kebede was a project engineer and designer at Delco Systems Operations, a unit of Hughes Electronics in Santa Barbara, California.
Mr. Kebede is the President and Chairman of the Board of the Fistula Foundation, an organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of obstetric fistula in Ethiopia and to restoring health and dignity to women injured in childbirth.
Mr. Kebede holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Kebede was married to Super Model Liya Kebede and the couple had two kids together before their marriage broke down in 2015.
Kassy and Liya Kebede in 2011 (Copyright Getty Images)
The couple with their two children