Keith Palmer



Current Positions Held 

Founder and Chairman of AgDevCo Keith established AgDevCo and became Executive Chairman in 2009. AgDevCo ( is a not-for-profit-distribution agricultural development and investment company working to improve rural livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. Its distinctive approach ensures its agribusinesses are socially, environmentally and financially sustainable and that they generate significant benefits for the wider rural community. Initially a small start-up in one country, Mozambique, it is now invested in more than 50 businesses in 8 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Strategic Advisor to the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) Keith has been involved in the creation and development of PIDG ( since its inception in 2000. Currently he is one of two Strategic Advisers who give policy advice to the Governing Council of the PIDG.

Founder and Chairman of InfraCo Asia Investments InfraCo Asia Investments is the equity and mezzanine finance facility in the PIDG that invests at financial close in infrastructure investments in South and Southeast Asia.

Founder and Chairman of Enterprise for Development Keith founded and is Chair of Trustees of Enterprise for Development ( EfD is a grant giving UK-registered charity that identifies and provides ongoing support to sustainable private sector and social enterprises whose aim is to improve the livelihoods of people living in sub-Saharan Africa.


Positions Previously Held Since 2002

Roles with PIDG

Founder Chairman of Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) 2001 – 2007. Keith helped design and create EAIF, a public private partnership blended capital debt fund within the PIDG. He was subsequently appointed founder Chair and led the development of the fund until 2007.

Founder non-Executive Director of GuarantCo 2003 – 2007. Keith helped design and create GuarantCo, a local currency debt guarantee facility within the PIDG. He was appointed founder non-Executive Director of the board in 2003.

Founder Chairman of InfraCo Ltd 2004 – 2014. Keith was the “intellectual architect” of InfraCo and was appointed its founder Chairman in 2004. He continued to lead the board until his 10-year maximum term was completed.

Founder Chairman of InfraCo Asia 2009 – 2011. In 2009 it was decided that InfraCo Ltd should be split into two companies, the original company was renamed InfraCo Africa and a new Singapore-based company, InfraCo Asia, was created. Keith led the design of InfraCo Asia and was its founder Chairman, stepping down to become a non-executive director when a suitable new Chairman with regional experience was identified.

Other positions held

Founder and Chairman of Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA) 2000- 2011 Keith founded CEPA as an economic and financial policy consultancy established with the aim of improving the quality of public policy formation and execution. Clients included a wide range of government departments in developed and developing countries, GAVI, AATIF, GalvMed and many others. He led the successful growth of CEPA for more than a decade.

Executive Vice Chairman N M Rothschild & Sons Ltd, Keith held senior positions in corporate finance from 1984 – 2002 including in reverse order Executive Vice-Chairman, co-Chief Executive and Managing Director. He created and led the energy, mining and utilities corporate and project finance advisory business; and led many restructuring and privatisation and project finance transactions in the energy, mining and utilities industries in developed and developing countries.

World Bank, Energy Department 1979-1984. Keith was senior economist in the World Bank, Energy Department advising developing country governments on their energy policies, particularly how to improve the terms of petroleum agreements negotiated with international oil companies.

International Monetary Fund, Fiscal Affairs Department 1978 – 79. Economist reviewing and advising governments on macro- and micro-financial policies, particularly efficient taxation of extractive industries.

Adviser, Tanzania Ministry of Water, Energy and Mines 1978. Commonwealth Secretariat funded adviser to the Minister on minerals and energy policies, particularly the terms of agreements with foreign mining companies.

Government of Papua New Guinea, Ministry of Finance 1974-78. Held in reverse order positions of First Assistant Secretary (Economic and Financial Policy) and Assistant Secretary (Financial Policy) responsible in the former role for all aspects of economic and financial policy and in both roles reporting directly to the Permanent Secretary and Minister.

Post-doctoral research and teaching fellow, Lamont Doherty Geophysical Observatory, New York and University of Santiago, Chile 1971-73.

Other non-executive and voluntary positions held

Roles in healthcare improvement

Non-Executive Director, Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust 2001-2007. Keith joined the board of Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS trust in 2001 and remained on the board when it became an NHS Foundation Trust in 2004. He retired in 2007 when he was appointed Chair of Barts and the London NHS Trust.

Non-Executive Chairman of Barts and the London NHS Trust. Keith was Chair of Barts and the London NHS trust from 2007 until late 2009 when he resigned to take up the position of Executive Chairman of AgDevCo.

Treasurer and Trustee of Cancer Research UK 2001-12. Keith was a member of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund finance committee from 1997 until the merger with CRC to form Cancer Research UK in 2001. He was appointed as trustee and treasurer of CRUK following the merger and served in those positions until the end of the permitted maximum term in 2012.

Senior Associate, King’s Fund Keith was appointed a Senior Associate at the King’s Fund from 2005-2010, during which time he published several influential papers on healthcare reform.

Deputy Chairman, Monitor Keith was appointed a non-Executive Director of Monitor in early 2012 and as Deputy Chairman in 2013. He resigned in early 2016 when Monitor was merged into NHS Improvement.


Other roles

Trustee, Kirkhouse Trust Keith was a trustee of Kirkhouse Trust, a charity that aims to improve the livelihoods of smallholders in Africa and India by utilising advanced (non-GM) biotechnologies to improve seed varieties of crops used by smallholders. He became a trustee soon after the trust was created and retired more than a decade later in 2016.

Adviser to the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) Keith was an adviser to the senior leadership team of OFGEM for many years; he advised in particular on issues relating to cost of capital and financeability of regulated utility companies in England and Wales.

Professor at the University of Dundee Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy Keith was a part-time Professor at the Centre from 1997-2005, where he taught courses in mineral and energy finance and supervised Ph.D. students.



BSC (Hons) Class I and Lapworth prize winner, Geology, University of Birmingham 1968.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Geology, University of Birmingham 1971.

Diploma in Development Economics, University of Cambridge, 1974.

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