Head of the Tribeca investment fund, Luc Gérard Nyafé built a Latin American financial empire in the space of a decade. A success that he now wants to replicate at home in the DRC. Portrait of a golden boy in a hurry.

“Are there no funds in Colombia? Perhaps this is the opportunity to create the first one. ”This conversation took place in 2005 between Luc Gérard, who had just resigned from his post of Managing Director of Philip Morris in Colombia to become an entrepreneur, and Benoît Leleux, his professor of finance at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne. At the time, the new entrepreneur wanted to buy local SMEs in Colombia. It has very few own resources and there are no active investment funds in the country. In addition, foreign operators perceive Colombia as too dangerous to invest there. This is how Tribeca (Tribe Capital) Asset Management was born. “Tribeca is a private equity fund, which invests in the buyout of companies in which we see strong growth potential and to which we believe we can add value through our way of working which we call the Tribeca. Way ”, explains its founder. “The idea for the creation of Tribeca comes from my discussions with Prof. Leleux, with the entrepreneurs I met during visits to the United States in Silicon Valley and in Ireland, with dreamers and go-getters who, for some of them, had accumulated failures before eventually creating companies like Skype or Ryanair… I was struck both by the relative lightness of their financial bases before launching themselves and by the strength of their convictions . It gave me the boost I needed, “he continues.
Today there are over 35ž funds such as Tribeca in Colombia. But compared to more traditional funds, specifies Luc Gérard, Tribeca marks its difference by acquiring exclusively majority stakes and by its level of involvement in the management of the companies it takes over. “We operate more like a holding company than a fund that just manages stakes in a portfolio. Therefore, we have a relatively concentrated portfolio in key sectors. Another particularity lies in our high equity contribution, via our holding Strategos. Since 2011, Tribeca has thus invested almost exclusively its own funds with, in some cases, a co-investor with minority stakes. We see ourselves as above all “frontier market investors” and must continue to explore new limits where traditional investors are still cautious, ”says the CEO of Tribeca.
Number 41 February 2017
Number 41 February 2017
To read this article in full, please turn to page 38 of issue 41 February 2017, on sale HERE.

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