JANUARY 30, 2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SYGNUS CAPITAL APPOINTED AS FUND MANAGER FOR RECENTLY LAUNCHED US$100 MILLION CARICOM FUND FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
(Bridgetown, Barbados) Sygnus Capital (“Sygnus” or the “Company”) was officially announced as the fund manager for the CARICOM Resilience Fund (CRF) on Friday, January 26, 2024. Launched in Bridgetown, Barbados, the Fund is a US$100 million blended finance vehicle focused on climate resilience and economic sustainability. Notable attendees included The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, S.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Barbados, and Roger F. Nyhus, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS.
Announcing Sygnus Capital as fund manager was Rodinald Soomer, CEO of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), who shared how important it was to appoint a manager from the region. “To help operationalise the CARICOM Resilience Fund, I am happy to announce that the CDF has appointed Sygnus Capital as Fund Manager. It was very important for us to appoint a manager from this region, as a fund of this nature must be built around solutions that are sensitive and tailored to the needs of our community, taking into consideration our geography, socio-economic dynamics and our cultural and political nuances.”
Sygnus Capital, a leader in alternative investments in the Caribbean, emerged as the chosen manager from a competitive selection process involving more than a score of other candidates. With an impressive track record, having three active funds in the region and over US$450 million in assets under management, Sygnus brings a wealth of experience and a deep regional understanding. This will aid in driving project selection and investor engagement while facilitating close collaboration with stakeholders to build resilience across the Caribbean. Sygnus Capital will partner with the Rocky Mountain Institute Island Energy Program to source and evaluate energy and climate projects in the region.
Berisford Grey, President and CEO of Sygnus Capital, noted, “Shaping a more resilient and sustainable future for the Caribbean through strategic investments in critical sectors is at the core of Sygnus’ mission. We are honoured to have been entrusted as the fund manager for the CARICOM Resilience Fund (CRF), a groundbreaking initiative that aligns seamlessly with our commitment to fostering regional development. As an alternative investments company deeply rooted in the Caribbean, we understand the urgency and transformational approach required for investment in climate, infrastructure, ICT, agriculture and other areas that catalyse economic resilience and mitigate against shocks to our economies and society. I am confident that the resilience fund will set the platform and drive investors to capitalise on the opportunity to transform the region.”
The CARICOM Resilience Fund has been under design and development since January 2023, with support from USAID. The Fund will make investments in resilience-focused small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and critical infrastructure projects through flexible debt and equity investments. It will target six key sectors: renewable energy, clean transport, blue economy, sustainable agriculture, ICT, and financial services. The CDF is helping launch the fundraising as an anchor investor by contributing $15 million and technical assistance to help foster meaningful collaboration with the private sector.
Describing the fund as a vital facility, Prime Minister Mia Mottley during her keynote address explained, “We will now go to heads of Government and to the broader region to encourage others to invest in this vital facility that is being established to help finance adaptation and mitigation projects in the eastern and southern Caribbean, and hopefully there will be interest in the entire Caribbean. Because if we do not have multiple sources of funding up to scale, we simply will not meet the race to be viable, insurable and liveable.” She continued, “I, therefore, want to encourage others here today to join in the effort, if there is interest on the part, not just of other governments but of private sector entities or institutional entities, who would wish to be part of this capital. Our aim should not be simply to have the 47.5 million US dollars which we’ll be starting with, which then will be leveraged. We must seek, in my view, to be able to raise 500 million US dollars in seed capital over the next 5 years to make this a major player in the Caribbean in altering the lives of Caribbean people. This region is sitting on untapped energy and untapped potential. This exercise is the first step in going in the right direction and the fact that it is focused on the climate crisis is appropriate.”
The launch of the CARICOM Resilience Fund is a result of the collaboration with the CARICOM Development Fund, USAID, Cross Boundary, Sygnus Captial and the Rocky Mountain Institute Island Energy Program.
Sygnus is a leading alternative investment management company in the Caribbean and Latin America, spanning private credit, real estate, and private equity. Sygnus manages Sygnus Credit Investments Limited (SCI) which is listed on the JSE and the largest Private Credit Investment company in the English-Speaking Caribbean. SCI is a pioneering private credit investment company, which offers creative debt financing to middle market businesses across the Caribbean. Sygnus Real Estate Finance Limited (SRF) provides flexible capital (Debt or Equity) to all classes of real estate assets (commercial, industrial, or residential). Sygnus Deneb Investments Limited (SDI) invests private equity capital in companies in the form of growth capital, buyouts, and turnarounds. The Sygnus Group also includes Acrecent Financial Corporation in Puerto Rico, a non-bank financial institution that provides asset-backed loans and leases to SMEs in Puerto Rico. Sygnus also offers its clients Investment Banking and Wealth Advisory.
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