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Webinar - PRIVATE EQUITY: tailored alternative investment

“In an uncertain time, it often feels like the worst time to invest, but it often is the best time,” advised Nicholas Scott, Chief Investment Officer of the Musson Group and Managing Director of Eppley Limited and Chairman of the Eppley Caribbean Property Fund. Scott was speaking at the second webinar on Alternative Investments today (June 16th). It was hosted by JVCAPITAL, a unit of the Development Bank of Jamaica, in collaboration with the Caribbean Alternative Investment Association (CARAIA).
 
Titled “Private Credit: Tailored Alternatives”, the webinar focussed on why Private Credit – including mezzanine, subordinated debt, inventory financing, preferred shares – are suitable alternatives in a business unusual climate.
 
Scott said his company is ready to support those businesses seeking financial help during this pandemic. “We see more attractive opportunities now in the private credit and mezzanine asset class than we did at the top of the cycle,” he told a live audience. “We think there is tremendous private credit and mezzanine opportunities in Jamaica and in the region right now.”
 
Echoing Scott’s sentiments, Kareem Tomlinson, General Manager of JMMB Securities said now is a great time to be a Jamaican or a Caribbean business. “Our markets are very open, said Tomlinson, who moderated the webinar. “They are financing solutions available right along the continuum of risk appetites. Especially during these times of unnatural markets conditions, it certainly behooves business owners to explore new, alternative ways of financing.”
 
Other webinar panellist were Reynaldo Thompson, Assistant Vice President of Research and Asset Management at Sagicor Investments, and Berisford Grey, Sygnus Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.
 
Thompson further explained that while traditional forms of financing might pull back in such uncertain times, private credit will take on that risk in small and medium businesses. Berisford Grey said private credit investors  can do this because it mitigates the extra risk and flexibility in financing structures  by aligning the interest of the business and that of the private credit investors as well as   providing governance support relative to  traditional financing.
 
“Alternative assets are going to be among the best asset classes for investors with a medium to long term view,   as alternative asset managers such as Sygnus,  has the skill set, capital and investment strategy  to dissect businesses that are very strong fundamentally but are adversely affected by the current environment , and provide them with customised financing,” said Grey.
 
Scott agreed. “We have the capacity to figure out and understand the problems with you as a trusted partner,” he promised. “What we really offer is a quick decision, tailored service and a stakeholder who is sitting at the table thinking as you are everyday about your business.”
 
Next week’s topic in the third webinar in the 7-part series, Building the Economy: with funding through Alternative Investments, will be: “The Role of Private Equity as a Financing Tool for Infrastructure Development.” The series ends July 21.