OPIC President applauds Sarona’s progress
Speaking today at Sarona Asset Management’s Investor Day 2014, Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, recognized the speed and effectiveness with which Sarona deploys growth capital for development impact. Since the launch of its private equity fund-of-funds program in 2010, Sarona has invested in 22 private equity funds across frontier and emerging markets.
“Investing with social and environmental values has been gathering momentum in recent years, building on the experience of development finance, emerging markets private equity and micro-finance. OPIC is proud to support Sarona which, as a fund-of-funds, represents an important new approach in the field,” Littlefield explained. “Sarona raises capital from investors attracted by both the promise of competitive financial returns and measurable development impacts. The fund brings environmental, social and governance standards to each of its investments and boosts high-growth small and medium enterprises that generate employment and create prosperity for underserved populations. Sarona’s mission, effectiveness and efficiency make them an ideal partner and we are delighted to be able to work closely with the Sarona team.”
Sarona’s Investor Day brought together a broad audience of prospective and existing investors, including OPIC, which committed $87.5mm in financing to Sarona’s strategy in 2012. OPIC’s support went through due diligence by Cambridge Associates and greatly improved the risk-return profile for other investors, stimulating the flow of capital to high-growth markets.
Today’s event featured a public conversation between Littlefield and Gerhard Pries, CEO of Sarona. This was followed by an update on the company’s activities, with particular focus on its investments in locally-based private equity managers that seek to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns. During the event, three of the general partners that Sarona has invested in spoke about the challenges and opportunities within these markets.
“Sarona’s extensive due diligence process challenged us to prove that we would be able to deliver both superior financial returns as well as to add real value to the companies and communities we invest in” said Rajeev Agrawal from Ambit Pragma Advisors LLP (India).