Keith Palmer

Current Interests - International Development

AgDevCo has grown its activities and extended its reach across sub-Saharan Africarapidly. Initial committed capital of $10 million for 1 country in 2009 increased to total committed capital of more than $120 million for 7 countries in 2015. Because it has consistently achieved the highest performance ratings in annual reviews, additional funding for investment in a larger number of countries is under active consideration by our capital providers.

PIDG donors have agreed to develop an expanded equity and mezzanine finance facility to make investments at financial close in qualifying infrastructure investments in Africa as well as in Asia. The facility will build on the experience of InfraCo Asia Investments. Keith, the current Chair of InfraCo Asia Investments, has been asked to create the expanded facility and will be its founder Chair.

EfD is collaborating with the sponsors of the TIST (, a pro-poor climate mitigating tree planting programme, to secure funding for an expanded tree planting programme in sub-Saharan Africa. This will be an expansion of the already-successful TIST small group tree planting programme which has generated substantial benefits for more than 65,000 smallholder farmers and their families in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of India, as well as absorbing more than 3 mtCO2e of carbon from the atmosphere.

Other professional interests

Restructuring and privatisation Keith led many major restructuring and privatisation transactions for governments and State-owned companies in Europe and in developing countries. Notable transactions in Europe included: restructuring and privatisation of the electricity industry in England and Wales; restructuring and privatisation of the Italian oil and gas industry (to create ENI); restructuring and privatisation of the Spanish oil and gas industry (to create Repsol); and restructuring and privatisation of the UK coal industry. Notable transactions in the developing world included: the State-owned gas company in Argentina; the Brazilian state-owned mining company (to create CVRD); and restructuring and partial privatisation of the Korean electricity industry.

Utility regulation Keith advised many regulators in Europe on effective regulation of privatised utility companies, including, in the UK, OFGEM (electricity and gas), ORR (railways), Ofwat (water) and the CAA (civil aviation). He has also advised regulators in Holland and Italy. Much of his advice has focused on cost of capital and the ability of utility companies to finance their capital programmes; that advice has on occasion resulted in adoption of improved regulatory practice (e.g. report on Indexing the Allowed Rate of Return for Ofwat and ORR and Joint Regulators’ Discussion Paper on Financing Regulated Networks where, in addition to providing advice he also wrote the Foreword.)

Public private partnerships Keith has been involved in the design and execution of a wide range of public-private partnerships (PPPs) over many years. In addition to his work with PIDG and with AgDevCo (both of which are different types of PPP) he co-led work to design and implement Africa Agricultural Technology Foundation ( which is a public-private partnership seeking to provide better access by Africans to improved agricultural technologies; and the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVMed) which is a public-private partnership seeking to provide better access by livestock farmers in the developing world to affordable livestock vaccines. He was also lead adviser to GAVI on bringing together the GAVI Alliance and Fund and strengthening its governance. Keith was also heavily involved in advising on PFI schemes in the UK and in particular the pros and cons of hospital PFIs (see publications and presentations page).

Recent publications and presentations on International Development

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