FUNDING FRONTIER FUTURES

“A combined century of experience working in Frontier Markets, specializing in Origination, Structuring, Marketing, Trading, Research, Asset Management, Operational, Legal and Strategy competencies”

Frontera Capital’s Managing Director & Shareholder is Dr. Vicente Pons. After leaving an academic career, his initial work experience was as a trader in frontier market local currency sovereign debt and credit derivatives. In the last eight years, Dr. Pons has focused on transaction origination and structuring. He has also done extensive marketing to institutional clients in these roles.

The Managing Director has identified and engaged the services of seven senior personnel, whom collectively have more than a century of experience working in frontier markets, specialising in origination, structuring, marketing, trading, research, asset management, operational, legal and strategy competencies.

SENIOR MANAGEMENT

Vicente Pons has focused on the financial markets of sub-Sahara Africa since 2004. Shortly after finishing his doctoral degree, Vicente joined Citigroup, where he set up the Africa local currency and credit derivatives desk. He grew the Desk’s portfolio to being the largest Africa local currency book on the Street, with assets of c.USD 4.5 billion.

Vicente joined Renaissance Capital in 2007 as head of fixed income trading for Africa and later Exotix Limited as head of origination and structuring in 2008.

Vicente then joined Ecobank in 2011 as head of the Currency & African Asset Distribution (CAAD) desk, Ecobank’s international platform to intermediate capital flows between foreign institutional investors and sub-Sahara Africa’s governments and corporates.

In March 2014, Vicente left Ecobank to set up Frontera Capital. Vicente is also particularly interested in the mining sector, especially in frontier markets. Dr Pons is a native Spanish-speaker and is a Ph.D. graduate in Finance from Yale University.

Email:  vicente.pons@fronteracapitalgroup.com   |  Tel : +971 56 557 1116

Prior to joining Frontera Capital, Gordon worked with Vicente Pons at Ecobank London to drive the Sales and Strategy functions of the Currency & African Asset Distribution (CAAD) desk.

At Citigroup Gordon was Africa Group Economist from 2004-06 where he initiated research coverage on nine new markets in addition to maintaining South African coverage, while at Renaissance Capital he initiated Africa research coverage as their Africa Strategist in 2007- 08.

Immediately prior to taking up his Ecobank position in 2012, Gordon worked as a buy-side analyst/fund manager, firstly at global emerging market hedge fund INTL Consilium in London in 2008-09 and as Head of Research for Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, and then at RMB/Momentum Asset Management as Chief Strategist in Johannesburg from 2009-12.

Gordon also worked in South Africa at Standard Bank as a Treasury Economist from 1991-94 before joining stock-broker Ivor Jones Roy, later bought out by Deutsche Bank in 1995, where he served as Chief South Africa Economist for a decade before joining Citigroup in 2004. During his 15+ years as a sell-side analyst, Gordon was often voted by clients as a top South Africa and Africa-focused economists or strategists. Gordon holds a Honours degree in Economics from the University of Natal, Durban.

Email:  gordon.smith@fronteracapitalgroup.com  |  Tel : +27-61-636-4750

Chuck Olson currently works at Frontera Capital as the Chief Operating Officer, overseeing operations of the company as well as the corporate investments made.

Chuck has worked in the financial sector for over 25 years, more than half of which has been in emerging and frontier markets, starting work in 1992 in a rural financial institution as a Peace Corps volunteer, continuing his work in emerging market finance at the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), working there for over six years in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

From 2002-2008 Chuck worked domestically in the U.S. financial markets, first at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a bank examiner where his primary responsibilities were to evaluate the risk management capabilities of large complex banking organizations and then at Bear Stearns’ in their credit risk management group evaluating the risk that Bear took on with financial institutions.

In 2008 Chuck returned to emerging market finance at Deutsche Bank, working in their Global Social Investments group where he managed a portfolio of financial institution, worked in the sale and distribution of the funds under management, structured funds and oversaw fund operations for the team. In 2011, Chuck started working with BlueOrchard out of the Geneva office and managed a 30- person investment team where he oversaw over USD 2.6 billion of emerging and frontier market investments across the globe.

Chuck is fluent in Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese. Chuck has an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and is a CFA Charter holder.

Email:  chuck.olson@fronteracapitalgroup.com  |  Tel : +41-78-750-4712

Dilantha Goonetillake trained with a major City law firm and qualified as a solicitor in private practice. He then moved to become an in-house Solicitor and has since developed a skills base in corporate finance and non-contentious company commercial matters.

Within corporate finance Dilantha’s practice has been in the field of debt capital markets (DCM), credit derivatives and structured finance, including familiarity with the contractual and regulatory aspects of financing both in the UK and internationally. Specifically, Dilantha worked in the early stages of the derivatives market and his practice has seen him involved in the evolution of the contractual framework of this complex aspect of financial markets law.

Dilantha has also gained front line experience as an in-house solicitor acting for blue-chip investment banks, commercial banks and brokerages drafting, reviewing and negotiating a range of financing contracts with global counterparties.

Beyond his legal specialization, Dilantha has had broad experience of the finance sector having worked in start-up boutiques and established institutions while the geographic extent of his work has included the US, UK, Europe and Africa.

Email:  dilantha.goonetillake@fronteracapitalgroup.com   |  Tel : +44-777-199-5905

PRINCIPALS

Ignacio has over 20 years of assorted and mixed financial and commercial international experience, both directly in banking and financial markets (investment, corporate, commercial and private banking) as well as in multinational companies (both ‘old’ and ‘new’ economy), holding several senior positions in Spain and other countries.

He has an extensive education and experience in economics, finance, insurance, international markets and product and services marketing; is a specialist in structured finance and international projects and managed transactions with a successful track record in project origination, technical design, finance and execution, financial and project management, launching of new ventures, export/import, strategic corporate management and business restructuring, building commercial and technical teams, conflict resolution, crisis management, etc., in developed countries and emerging markets.

Ignacio has worked in four principal companies and three financial institutions, Argentaria Banco Exterior (1988-1990), NatWest/Markets (1990-1998) and Grupo Ibadesa, a well respected financial consultancy and advisory company (2001-present) and a TMT company, Radiotronica (now part of the Avanzit Group) (1999-2001).

He has an extensive worldwide network of high level contacts at government, corporate and institutional levels in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, especially in China, India, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Maghreb, UAE, Angola and West African countries as well as with the main financial institutions and investors in these regions (private and multilaterals).

Email:  ignacio.morales@fronteracapitalgroup.com  |  Tel : + 34 609 129 504

Prior to joining Frontera Capital, Yolanda worked for 8 years at BlueOrchard Finance  as Regional Director for Latam and Africa, where she oversaw the regional investment portfolios and teams based in Lima and Nairobi.  Immediately prior to taking up this position, she was the Regional Manager for Latam and the Caribbean where she led the largest investment portfolio across regions.

While at BlueOrchard, Yolanda has led the business and commercial strategy of her regions, managed regional funds, been in charge of the underwriting of complex debt transactions, performed due diligence of equity investments in insurance companies, and coached team members. She also contributed significantly to enhance internal credit risk tools and procedures.

Prior to BlueOrchard Finance, Yolanda worked for 10 years at the Superintendency of Banks, Insurance, and Private Pension Funds of Peru, the financial regulator of her natal country.  She conducted off-site supervision of different types of financial institutions, mainly microfinance, SME loan providers and credit cooperatives, and led on-site risk-based due diligences performed by interdisciplinary teams.

She was also member of several technical committees to improve the regulation of microfinance institutions.  Yolanda began her professional career backed in 1997 in academics as research assistant in macroeconomic and development-oriented projects.

Yolanda has on-field investment experience in Latam and the Caribbean, East Africa and South Africa, and the Caucasus. She has extensive experience in credit risk underwriting, risk management, portfolio management, banking regulation and supervision, financial modelling, team and office management. Yolanda is a Spanish native-speaker and is fluent in English. She is conversational in French and manages basic Dutch. Yolanda holds a MsC with Honours in International Development from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, and holds a BA in Economics.

Email:  yolanda.chenet@fronteracapitalgroup.com  |  Tel : +31 6 21 18 55 27

Prior to joining Frontera Capital, Urmat was as a Senior Investment Officer at BlueOrchard Finance SA, where he worked for almost six years, managing at different times debt investments across Central Asia, Caucasus, Eastern Europe, South and Southeast Asia, and Subsaharan Africa. While at BlueOrchard, Urmat developed and managed various financial models and tools, used in the daily operations of the company. He was also in charge of underwriting and managing non-standard and complicated transactions and investment initiatives.

Prior to BlueOrchard in 2012, Urmat worked as a Rating Analyst at MicroFinanza Rating LLC covering Central Asia and Caucasus.

During 2007-2010, before joining Microfinanza Rating team in Bishkek, Urmat worked as an Internal Auditor at the leading microfinance institution in Kyrgyzstan at the time, FINCA Kyrgyzstan.

Urmat has expertise in corporate credit risk underwriting, financial modelling, audit, and VBA programming,

Email:  urmat.imankulov@fronteracapitalgroup.com  |   Tel : +996-777-160-306 (Bishkek), +995-577-373-929 (Tbilisi)

Prior to joining Frontera Capital, Kilonzo worked at BlueOrchard as an Investment & Technical Assistance Officer covering Sub-Saharan Africa where his duties were split between 60% FI debt investment and 40% technical assistance.

He has also participated in the management of technical assistance projects that were linked to the debt investments covering education sector, agriculture and climate insurance for farmer.

Prior to joining BlueOrchard in 2015, Kilonzo worked as a business and financial analyst at JM Mantle & Co. Ltd., a financial services consulting firm. His primary responsibility involved providing analytical support in client engagements, investment analysis and business development initiatives.

Kilonzo has built expertise in corporate credit risk underwriting, financial modelling, technical assistance project management, client relationship management and financial analysis over the past 5 years.

Email:  kilonzo.mbwele@fronteracapitalgroup.com  |   Tel : +254 722 486580


Frontera Capital’s business model relies on maintaining the core team’s well established relationships, knowledge and experience to form meaningful barriers-to-entry:

  • Geographic Knowledge of Frontier Markets: Lived, worked or travelled extensively in emerging and frontier markets.
  • Extensive, High Profile Network of Contacts: Ready access to key decision makers in frontier markets in government, corporate, banking and development finance sectors.
  • Product Knowledge of Global Investment Banking: Origination, structuring and distribution of assets from frontier markets to global investors. Trading frontier FX market, fixed income and credit derivative client and proprietary books.
  • Market Intelligence & International Investor Access: Extensive network and best-in-class distribution agents ensure investors with risk appetite for frontier markets.
  • Assurance of Regulatory Oversight: Regulated by the FCA in London as well as the ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority in Abu Dhabi.