William A. Mejia
IMPACT INVESTING

William A. Mejia

#127

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General Partner & co-founder at Arrebol Capital

Investing in Latin America – William A. Mejia

“Financial conditions have tightened and we have economic times that are a little bit more challenging, but it’s a great time to actually be making investments”

ABOUT

I am a Senior Investment Specialist with extensive Global Emerging Markets experience, built upon solid analysis and consistent investment returns.

I have analyzed and recommended emerging market equity investment opportunities for Goldman Sachs in Dubai, New York and London, Credit Suisse in Dubai, and for GAM Investments as a Senior Fund Manager in Switzerland. This has included building out equity research platforms and managing teams.

Throughout my career I have always embraced the intellectual challenge required to launch coverage of many different frontier markets, often with limited support. My approach is strongly underpinned by deep insights in economics, political risk, accounting, valuation and financial modelling.

The knowledge acquisition needed to navigate fast-changing markets, has forced me to continuously learn and consistently drive and execute investment decisions. This also enabled me to turn around the performance of my portfolio in challenging market conditions.

Analyzing new and interesting investment opportunities all the time gives me a window to understand important events happening everywhere in the world and influence capital allocation in emerging markets. These experiences have enabled me to lead and mentor many talented individuals throughout my career.

I enjoy interacting with smart investment professionals all over the world and I am always interested in networking with those in Venture Capital and the portfolio management and hedge fund industry, particularly in Global Emerging Markets. Feel free to connect with me through LinkedIn.

Areas of expertise: Venture Capital, Fintech, Hedge Funds, Portfolio Management, Financial Modelling, Financial Analysis, Due Diligence, Investment Strategies, Fundamental Analysis, Buy Side, Sell Side, Global Emerging Markets, LatAm | EEMEA | Asia, Risk Management, Valuation Skills.

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

William A. Mejia

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Welcome to the supporters fund ask an investor i’m your host Jeffery potvin let’s please welcome william nehe from arable capital as our investor today welcome william it’s a real pleasure having you join us.

William: Thank you jp it’s a it’s an honor to be part of this forum and for us it’s it’s great to have a platform to amplify our message and to be part of this community which is obviously a very important part of the vc ecosystem

Jeffery: I love it well shared we might have to use that as our new introduction but i i enjoy that it’s great and i agree this is it’s a growing world and being part of this startup community is it’s not just in your own country it’s literally global today and i think it’s exciting to be part of all of these different global communities and being able to share uh what we do and how we all do it so it’s pretty exciting to have you here today so the way we love to kick off the show is that we want to dive in and learn a little bit more about yourself and and how you got started and where this all came about and you know we’re going to go all the way back to your goldman sachs days and even probably when you were working for general motors and i what i love about your background is that you’ve worked for some heavy hitters and being in the finance side i think it’s really exciting to dive into this because i do find and i’ll probably say this on every podcast that i get to interview someone that is in the financial space they tend to really understand startups i find that when you’re in the banking sector you get faced with a lot of businesses and having that background really does help you distinguish between the i will say the successful or the
ones that are family style businesses versus versus scaling businesses so i’m excited to dive into that and then one thing about you that nobody would know so i’ll turn it over to you william and uh please share away.

William: Excellent excellent well thank you very much yeah i know definitely i i’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to um you know move quite a bit around the world and to have obviously work for for some great companies so um look i am i am from colombia so i grew up in in bogota i went to uh university in bogota and uh yeah you mentioned i worked for goldman sachs and for general motors general motors was my my first job out of university uh where you know i worked closely with the with the cfo and and it was my first uh approach you know basically to the financial world um but uh soon enough i i moved uh to the us so um as many colombians do and many other people around the world they go to the u.s in in search of better opportunities and and and and you know you know looking to have the opportunity to also study in some of these great universities that are in the us and i had that chance i moved to boston uh did my masters in finance and right after that i i engaged goldman in new york uh where they gave me a fantastic opportunity to cover latin american banks as a equity analyst and so i covered banks in brazil mexico argentina chile at that time and i did that for a few years which i enjoy thoroughly but then i fell in love with with a french lady and we got married and we uh we moved to london i guess you know for her was easier to be closer to home and so i moved to london where i also you know had a huge opportunity to launch uh coverage of many emerging markets out of london uh particularly turkey russia south africa um always covering the financial sector always covering financials and so you know my my perspective was complemented by not only covering different companies by obviously companies in different countries and then as i as i continued basically that uh that journey um goldman uh offered me the opportunity to move to uh to dubai to uh open the equity uh research uh division there uh and and so i i had the opportunity to again extend a little bit more my regional coverage to uh look at uh northern africa to look at the gulf um we we had also the opportunity to participate in a couple of ipos and so it was it was a great great experience but uh towards the end of my tenure there i guess as it happens with many sales analysts i started to play with the idea of moving to the buy side um and and i saw this or i was uh lucky enough to uh to get in contact with this uh large asset manager here in switzerland where i lived uh 10 years ago uh which is gammy investments uh and they uh ran a global emerging market uh um platform at lugano here in switzerland and it was a great sort of a transition for me into the into the buy side because it was covering emerging markets which obviously is something that i love and and you know investing uh a big portion of the portfolio in in financial companies and so i moved here to switzerland i started covering global emerging markets and he gave me the opportunity for the first time to start looking at southeast asia and you know i think that was my first approach to private markets not because i was investing in private markets but because out of all the emerging markets that i had covered in my life this was the first one where the private mar