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SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund

SEAF’s 40th fund, the SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund, is a private equity fund that invests growth capital in small and medium-sized enterprises throughout the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM). 

While sector agnostic, the Fund is seeking opportunities in promising sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, agribusiness, healthcare, training and education, ICT and financial inclusio, renewable and clean energy services, retail distribution and transport and logistics. Similar to all SEAF funds, the Fund aims to generate both attractive financial returns and strong social impact by providing equity and active business partnership to companies that have traditionally lacked access to institutional risk capital.

Target Fund Size

100

million dollars

Fund Term

10

years from first close plus 1+1

Investment Period

5

years from first close

Deal Size

3 - 7

million dollars

Investment Strategy

  • The SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund will address the risk capital financing and business advisory needs required for growth of entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises in the CARICOM region.
  • The Fund will invest growth capital in 10-15 SMEs for both market returns and social impact.
  • Beyond providing strategic, operational and post-investment support through SEAF’s global network, SEAF also sees the opportunity to build value by improving regional trade and development, increasing exports and import substitution, increasing the availability of quality jobs and aligning impact with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Investment Thesis

  • SEAF believes a dedicated private equity fund, coupled with SEAF’s global network and tested value creation programs, can provide catalytic growth in the Region and help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs.
  • The Fund will target companies in the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean Common Market, from its headquarters in Jamaica and representatives in Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, and Barbados.
  • While taking a sector-agnostic approach, the Fund will seek opportunities in promising sectors such as Manufacturing, Tourism, Agribusiness, Healthcare, Training & Education, ICT & Financial Inclusion, Renewable & Clean Energy Services, Retail Distribution, Transport & Logistics.
  • The Fund will address the following SDGs: #2 Zero Hunger, #3 Good Health and Wellbeing, #4 Quality Education, #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth and #9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Region: Latin America

Location(s): English-speaking CARICOM countries

Headquarter(s): Jamaica, with representative offices in Trinidad & Tobago, and advisors in Barbados and Guyana

Start Date: 2019

Status: Active

Committed Capital: $40 Million +

Managing Director: Leo Williams

Investment Focus: Caribbean Region SMEs

Targeted Instrument: Equity or quasi-equity

Investment Approach: Control or significant minority stake

Local Team

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Leo Williams
Fund Managing Director

Mr. Williams is a seasoned investment professional with 25 years of experience in Investment and Business Consulting. Prior to joining SEAF, he founded Williams & Associates, an investment advisory firm focused on Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region. He is a former Director and Int’l Bus. Dev. Mgr. of Jamaica Money Market Brokers Ltd, and a former Director of the Jamaican Stock Exchange. Mr. Williams has also led several divisions within General Electric USA and Spain and was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. He holds BSc. Engineering from Princeton University, an MSc. Engineering and MA Int. Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Wharton School of Business.

Kurt

Kurt M.A. Kisto
Senior Managing Director-LAC

The Fund will be overseen by Mr. Kisto, a SEAF Senior Managing Director based in Panama and the Region. He will focus on fund development and leadership, including the development of a local fund management team. Mr. Kisto brings with him over 25 years of experience as an executive, entrepreneur, and development financier in the LAC Region and is a former Executive Director of the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB). Mr. Kisto holds a BSc (Business Management), an International MBA (Marketing & Finance), Advanced Post-Graduate Diploma in International Relations from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Executive Education in Negotiation from Harvard University.

Gerard Johnson
Senior Advisor

Mr. Johnson is Senior Advisor for SEAF’s Caribbean initiatives based in Kingston, Jamaica. He is also a partner in an investment facilitation company; senior policy advisor to the Minister of Finance and the Public Service in Jamaica; and the regional representative for an international firm specializing in trade facilitation. Gerard has also held various positions with the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), including GM of the Caribbean Country Dept.. He holds a B.A (Economics) from
Georgetown University, a Post Graduate Diploma (Economic Analysis) and a Masters Degree (Economics) from the University of Kent at Canterbury.

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