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When it comes to activism or community involvement, we often think of the saying “Think Global, Act Local”. It was coined over 50 years ago as a call to take action in our own communities and cities to drive social and environmental change. And it still makes sense; for most of us, our skills, experience, networks and our cultural competence can be put to best use in our own communities.

Does this also apply to investing? Should we “Think Global, Invest Local”? Or more broadly, where should we invest our dollars if maximizing social and environmental impact is important to us?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a helpful framework for thinking about and measuring the objectives we are trying to achieve with our investments. At Deetken Impact, we focus on the following SDGs:

  • 3 Good Health and Well-being
  • 4 Quality Education
  • 5 Gender Equality
  • 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 8 Good Jobs and Economic Growth

An important factor in our decision-making process is our assessment of the expected impact of an opportunity against each of these goals. And one of the things we’ve noticed after over a decade of investing across the Americas, from Canada to Argentina, is that our “impact per dollar” is often higher in our developing country portfolio.


An investment in solar energy

Let’s look at the Affordable and Clean Energy goal as an example. We recently completed two solar energy investments, one in Texas and one in Honduras. We had also been evaluating solar opportunities in Canada, specifically in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. We wanted to understand the potential contribution of each of these projects to the Affordable and Clean Energy goal, and in particular to the target of increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

We found that the projects in the US and Central America had the opportunity to displace a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions, as both locations have relatively “dirty grids” compared to Canada and particularly to British Columbia, where the vast majority of electricity is produced from hydroelectric generation. Based on our analysis, the Texas and Honduras projects displace 2 to 3 times more greenhouse gas emissions than the Canadian projects. As such, investing in these international projects would have a greater impact on changing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix than investing in our domestic market.


An aerial view of the solar power project Providencia Solar in El Salvador

An aerial view of Providencia Solar – a solar power project in El Salvador.


From a financial return perspective, it was also clear that the domestic projects would have lower solar irradiance (a technical term for the amount of power received from the sun) because of their more northern location. That meant that for each dollar invested to install solar capacity, more electricity could be produced in Texas or Honduras than in Canada.

At Deetken Impact, our decision-making process involves deep consideration of impact as well as financial returns. By using the SDG framework to compare social and environmental benefits across projects in our investments pipeline, we have found that it often pays to “Invest Globally”.


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It is EASY to get started making an impact!

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Andre Powell, Chief Executive Officer at Deetken Impact



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


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 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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