Beautiful colonial building in Merida.

Colonial building in Merida, Yucatan. Photo credit: Pixabay

 

An evening stroll down Paseo Montejo, a beautiful boulevard that maintains its colonial architectural charm near downtown Merida, makes you reflect on what many Latin American towns aspire to be: safe, clean and prospering communities. That’s where we had the pleasure to join over 400 entrepreneurs, investors and social and environmental change-makers at the 8th Annual Latin America Impact Investing Forum (FLII) last week.  The theme of this year’s agenda “Together for a Resilient Region” seemed only fitting given that so much of the news today centers around the violence, corruption, pollution, and inequality taking place in many of the region’s countries. These are all real problems that need to be overcome but they also desperately need affordable and accessible water supply systems, access to clean energy, affordable housing, and financial inclusion, all of which can contribute to reducing poverty and ensuring economic growth.  

It was inspiring to see so many people from such diverse organizations coming together wanting to lift some of the barriers to this region’s sustainable development. Notwithstanding those differences, there were two recurring elements that were present across panels and discussions, the first one being collaboration. We all know that a single organization, a single idea or a single entrepreneur, no matter how brilliant, cannot make a difference on their own; we need to work together to have an exponential effect in the communities that need it the most. Collaboration among public development funding organizations, NGOs, family offices and foundations, entrepreneurs, and private capital funds. We were all looking for creative ways to help these countries move forward and to get them closer to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). 

And that is where the second recurring element came in: innovation. Meaningful conversations took place surrounding innovation: from the use of new technologies such as blockchain to reduce transaction costs and improve use of education subsidies, to innovating in the way microfinance institutions serve their clients; from using behavioral science to improve voluntary retirement savings among those in the bottom of the pyramid, to putting together innovative financing structures and blended finance to catalyze more resources into the region. There were many interesting ideas that many of us will continue to assess and incorporate into our investment criteria. 

Deetken Impact is committed to continue to invest in the Latin American and Caribbean region and we will be incorporating more innovative ways to make social and environmental impact in our future projects, and we will certainly do that in collaboration with many of those we met at the FLII last week. 

 

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Andre Powell, Chief Executive Officer at Deetken Impact

ANDRÉ POWELL

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

With over 20 years of experience, André has a long track record of successfully advising public sector clients on significant private sector transactions, including strategic guidance on funding models, complex procurements, economic development and negotiations. Prior to co-founding The Deetken Group, André was a senior Associate at Booz & Co and an Analyst with Accenture’s strategy and finance practice. André is a seasoned investor having been actively involved in the Deetken Capital Investment Pool since inception. André received a BA from Queen’s University and an MA in Economics from the University of British Columbia.

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Jose Lamyin

Chief Investment Officer

José has extensive experience as a business advisor for clients throughout Canada, Europe and Latin America in mining, telecommunications, and finance. Prior to co-founding The Deetken Group, José worked for Teck Cominco in Peru and Canada and Deutsche Bank in London (UK). José has spearheaded much of the strategic growth of Deetken Asset Management since inception and is currently focused on investment selection.

José received his BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and MBA from IESE School of Business (Barcelona). Born in Peru, José is fluent in English and Spanish.

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Alexa Blain

Chief Operating Officer

Alexa brings over 10 years of experience in financial consulting and asset management, with specific expertise in company and investment analysis, business valuation and securities/corporate finance. Prior to joining Deetken, she spent three years with African Alliance, a pan-African financial services group, where she focused on expanding the firm’s retail financial services operations as well as on the origination and negotiation of new capital. In addition, Alexa has six years of asset management experience with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Macquarie Group and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Alexa is a CFA Charterholder. She has also completed an MA in Financial Economics and an Honours BA in Economics, both at the University of Toronto.

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German Matzumura

Regional Director

German began his banking career in 2006 as an Executive in Banco Financiero’s Personal Banking Division and was then promoted to Branch Manager. In April 2008 he joined Abaco, serving as a Manager of the Regional Division, where has worked in various capacities. In 2013, he was appointed as Head of the Regional Division and in 2016 was appointed as Deputy CEO.

 

German graduated in Business Administration from the Institute of Business Administration IPAE (Lima, Peru) and holds a Diploma in Marketing & Sales Management at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola. He also holds an MA in Marketing & Sales Management from the ESIC Business and Marketing School (Spain).

 

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Carl Black

Principal

Carl has over 5 years professional experience successfully working with clients to develop and improve policy, strategy, and operations. He has advised public sector clients and non-profits in Canada and financial services companies in Latin America. Prior to joining The Deetken Group Carl worked at the Bank of Canada, where he focused on issues related to household and business credit. 

Carl completed an Honours BA in Economics at the University of British Columbia. He also holds an MSc in Economics & Development from the University of Oxford, where he earned distinctions in quantitative and development economics.

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Samir Shah

Chief Growth Officer

Samir is a seasoned professional with a 15 year track record of success working with private and public sector organizations in the areas of strategy, business transformation, technology commercialization and financial analysis/due-diligence. Prior to co-founding The Deetken Group, Samir was a senior manager responsible for early stage technology commercialization at BlackBerry and NEC Electronics.

Samir received his BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and his MBA (Finance) from Queen’s University.

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CHAD PARSONS

SENIOR ANALYST

Chad has worked as a consultant in business and technology for 20 years – often helping clients with their business transformation initiatives.    He has worked with start-ups, government, and established businesses to further their product and service offerings with a balanced approach.   After pursuing a research degree on leveraging technology for social and economic development; Chad has found a valuable alignment of his background with Deetken’s innovative impact investments.

 

Chad completed a BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and has a MSc with distinction from the University of Manchester (UK).

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