Sara Standish

New Ventures at Latin American Venture Capital Association Meeting

Three members of the New Ventures team (Virginia Barreiro, Mareike Hussels, and Rodrigo Villar) attended the recent Latin American Venture Capital Association (LAVCA) meeting in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The conference featured more than 20 speakers from venture capital firms and development banks (incl. Stratus, Actis, MIF, & Aureos) who highlighted new trends in the investment environment in Latin America and how policy can support its growth.

David Thomas, Chairman of LAVCA and Managing Director of Intel Capital Latin America opened the conference, followed by the keynote speaker Ricardo Malavazi, Director of Petros, the pension fund of Brazil’s national oil company Petrobras and the second largest pension fund in Brazil. In order to diversify their portfolio, Petros has very recently entered the Private Equity market with 5-10% of their investment. It will be interesting to see if other pension funds follow suit and insert new capital into the private equity market. Other panelists spoke to the importance of raising the Brazil’s profile as an investment destination. ?lvaro Gon?alves, President of the Brazilian Association for Venture Capital and Private Equity stressed the importance of national and regional associations working together to promote Brazil’s many success stories abroad.

Also, LAVCA with the MIF and the Economist Intelligence Unit have just published a 2005 Scorecard on the Private Equity and Venture Capital Environment in Latin America. The report compares countries within Latin American on a number of indicators such as, capital markets developments and the feasibility of exits, protection of minority shareholder rights, and tax treatment of VC/PE funds and investments. This year, Chile came out on top, followed closely by Brazil and Mexico. For those of you that are familiar with the ?Doing Business? reports from the World Bank, the concept behind this scorecard is similar. It will be interesting to see if this report draws investment firms not otherwise operating in Latin America to the region.