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Building of "Antigua Aduana" in Barranquilla, Colombia.

“La Antigua Aduana” building in Barranquilla, Colombia.


Last week the impact investing community descended on Barranquilla, Colombia to advance the cause of financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean at the annual FOROMIC (Microfinance and SME Forum). The city of Barranquilla, humid as its people are warm, hugs the Magdalena River a few hours north of Cartagena on the Caribbean Sea.  

As the evolution from microfinance into financial inclusion continues, this year’s theme “reinventing inclusion” seemed fitting. It weaved its way through panel discussions and presentations focused on the link between the financial sector and the “orange economy” and how it contributes to economic and social development. Orange economy is the term used by the IDB to describe the cultural and creative industries, which include activities such as architecture, audiovisual arts, digital services, fashion, graphic and industrial design, handcrafts, music, and software. In 2015, it generated more than $124 billion in revenues and provided jobs to more than 1.9 million people in the region.  

The president of Colombia, Ivan Duque, set the tone with his remark during the opening plenary session that a country’s most important resource is also limitless: its’ people in all their diversity, creativity, and potential. Duque also emphasized the importance of digital access and high-speed connectivity to continue development at full potential. In line with the “orange economy” theme, one highlight of the event was to learn from Amazon and Facebook speakers about how they are promoting financial inclusion in emerging markets by using innovation to support small, entrepreneurial companies that focus on digital services, design, and software. 

Deetken Impact spent the week meeting dozens of partners and peers. Interesting conversations covering a wide range of topics abounded: one moment we are discussing how to deal with inflation in Argentina; the next we are considering how to approach the emerging middle-class housing issues in Bogota; and later, we are sipping on a Colombian coffee and brainstorming on how to best provide healthcare services in rural Ecuador and Haiti. Needless to say, we left with our pockets full of business cards and our heads full of ideas.  

As always, FOROMIC ended with a closing cocktail and show. Against the backdrop of “El Edificio de la Antigua Aduana” (a cultural centre and library), an infectiously energetic and colorful dance performance started the night. The effect of the performance was to reinforce the sentiment from the opening remarks of the event, that our sector must strive to promote financial inclusion and thereby diversity, creativity, and human potential. We left the city with salsa ringing in our ears along with the feeling of a well-known song: “En Barranquilla me quedo!”, which means “In Barranquilla, I’ll stay!”.


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Magali Lamyin, Director of Communications and Development for Deetken Impact


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


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


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



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


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


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 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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