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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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Magali Lamyin, Director of Communications and Development for Deetken Impact

MAGALI LAMYIN

Director of Communications and Development

 

Magali brings extensive market intelligence, business development and marketing experience from her work at the Central Bank of Mexico, the Canadian Institute for Market Intelligence, and the IESE-PWC e-Business Centre in Barcelona. She also co-led national marketing campaigns for businesses in the hospitality and early childhood education sectors for almost a decade before joining Deetken. In her current role, she is responsible for leading Deetken Impact’s communications, marketing and branding strategy. She is also involved in the due diligence process for project selection with an emphasis in Mexico.

Magali holds a BA in Economics from Mexico's ITAM and a Master's degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia.

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Jose Lamyin, Managing Partner Deetken Impact

JOSE LAMYIN

Managing Partner

 

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, Managing Partner Deetken Impact

ALEXA BLAIN

Managing Partner

 

Alexa is responsible for finance, operations and investor relations at Deetken Impact. She 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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Fernando Alvarado, Head of Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy

FERNANDO ALVARADO

CEO

Honduras Renewable Energy Managers (HREM) and Caribbean Renewable Energy Managers (CAREM)

 

Fernando Alvarado leads the General Partner and Investment Advisor of two clean energy and energy efficiency project finance and venture capital funds: Honduras Renewable Energy Financing Facility (H-REFF) and Caribbean Basin Sustainable Energy Fund (CABEF), which he structured and runs with a combined target capitalization of $100m.

Development Investment Banker with 28 years of international credit and investment experience and 18 years of direct experience assessing diversified renewable energy portfolios in Latin America & the Caribbean. He has participated in more than 50 syndicated credit and investment transactions for renewable energy projects in excess of $250 MM. He led the creation, structuring, fundraising, legal closing and portfolio construction of several specialized renewable energy funds.

Costa Rican, based in San Jose, Mr. Alvarado has an MBA in Banking and Finance cum laude from Universidad de Costa Rica.

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Carl Black, Portfolio Manager Deetken Impact

CARL BLACK

Portfolio Manager

 

Carl is a Portfolio Manager with Deetken Impact focused on analyzing and working with MSMEs, social enterprises, and renewable energy developers in Latin America and the Caribbean. His main responsibilities include supporting business development, managing technical assistance projects, leading investment due diligence, and monitoring portfolio performance. Prior to joining Deetken Impact, Carl worked for five years as a consultant, advising public sector clients an non profits in Canada and financial services companies in Latin America. He started his career at the Bank of Canada, where he researched 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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Cristobal Aguirre, Investment Analyst at Deetken Impact

CRISTOBAL AGUIRRE

Investment Analyst

 

Cristobal has over 6 years of experience in the asset management industry, where his responsibilities have ranged from asset allocation and portfolio management to risk analysis and software development. Before relocating to Canada, Cristobal worked as a senior investment analyst in AFP Habitat—Chile’s largest pension fund—where he led the tactical asset allocation and macroeconomic research for emerging markets.

Cristobal is a CFA Charterholder, and completed a BA in Economics at Universidad de Chile.

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Chad Parsons, Senior Investment Analyst at Deetken Impact

CHAD PARSONS

SeniorInvestmentAnalyst

 

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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