The 2021 Alternative Investment Summit, held in Dana Point, California by the Opal Group featured a range of strategists, VC’s, LP’s and Fund Managers in attendance.
The conversations all echoed similar views around the state of the global economy, geopolitical affairs, and niche fund strategies which gave a perspective on what these leaders focus on and where they are deploying capital.
The big focus for powerful and exponential growth is on Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa & Southeast Asia primarily because of population size. Chairman & CEO David Mullings in trying to change this focus, brought a different perspective to the room.
He challenged the audience to think about how much impact they can have in a defined region and to understand that when there is a lack of equity capital flowing into a region, there is an even better opportunity for outsized returns.
His focus was the Caribbean, primarily known for tourism and offshore finance; but few have been thinking about the investment opportunities and how to have a direct impact on these economies as they attempt to diversify their economies.
The Caribbean’s proximity to some of the world’s largest international markets, its educated workforce and having many English-speaking countries brings value to a supply chain that has been mainly undervalued and overlooked. Jamaica, for instance, had the best performing stock exchange in the entire world for five consecutive years from 2013-2018.
He pointed out that there are several multinational companies with strong growth trajectories in the Caribbean but they get no coverage in the USA due to not being listed there. The recent challenges of investing in China have led more investors and funds to actively look for our regions and emerging and frontier markets with growth opportunities.
This follows on issues surrounding ESG/Impact investing and that significant shift in how fund managers are increasingly being asked to consider the impact of their investment portfolios and even report on them.
Also at the Alternate Investment summit, a key topic covered by David Mullings that resonated was building climate resilience.
Firstly, the Caribbean is the most climate sensitive region in the world, which means that there are outsized opportunities to have true impact whether it’s in infrastructure, food security, water, waste management and other opportunities all falling under the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Secondly, with the China concerns that were raised, he pointed out that the Caribbean is mostly based on the British legal system, very similar to the large markets such as the USA and Canada.
Some of the other facts he shared include the region being home to one of the major transshipment hubs in the world, post-Panamax ports in the Bahamas and Jamaica, predominantly English-speaking and in the same time zone of the east coast of the USA. These all make doing business in the Caribbean very attractive.
Investing in emerging and frontier markets adds to the diversification of a portfolio but one panel participant pointed out that you do not want to invest in a market that you do not know without someone who has local knowledge.
Blue Mahoe Capital brings the Caribbean knowledge and relationships and David Mullings showcased that at the summit.
By Jason SkyWalker and Janice Mclntosh