Investment Spotlight: Frontier Markets and Beyond

Investment Spotlight: Frontier Markets and Beyond
An EMPEA Professional Development Webcast with CrossBoundary LLC, International Finance Corporation and Schulze Global Investments

Join experts from CrossBoundary LLC, International Finance Corporation and Schulze Global Investments for a discussion on private investment opportunities in high growth markets at the frontier and beyond.  This webcast will cover a macro overview of frontier markets generally as well as a deeper dive into the investment prospects of several unique markets such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mongolia, and South Sudan.

Topics discussed, include:

  • How are frontier markets defined and what is the general investment landscape across these diverse geographies?
  • What is the investment thesis for frontier markets and beyond? How can these markets provide portfolio diversification?
  • Who are the current players in these geographies, and how is the stakeholder landscape evolving (i.e. development aid vs. private sector)? Who are the best potential local and global partners?
  • What are the challenges that private equity investors face, and what strategies/tools can investors utilize to mitigate risks?

EMPEA Members: Log in to access full webcast recording and presentation.

Panelists include


Alexander Benard
COO, Schulze Global Investments

Alexander Benard is COO of Schulze Global Investments. In that role, he assists in managing the firm’s global activities. Before joining Schulze Global, Mr. Benard was Managing Director of Gryphon Partners, an advisory and investment firm focused on the Middle East and Central Asia. At Gryphon, Mr. Benard oversaw the firm’s investment and joint venture activities and worked directly with senior executives of public companies in select advisory engagements. Prior to Gryphon, he worked as an attorney at Cleary Gottlieb, where he counseled clients in connection with cross-border mergers, acquisitions, and private equity transactions. These included TPG in its $27.5 billion acquisition of Alltel, Barclays Capital in its $1.75 acquisition of Lehman Brothers, and Nortel in its $900 million asset sale to Avaya. Mr. Benard is an active commentator on business strategy in growth markets and other related topics. His has published articles in Foreign Affairs, World Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, and Christian Science Monitor, among others, and has appeared on CNN and Voice of America. Mr. Benard holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Claremont McKenna College and a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School.


Jennifer Choi
Vice President, Industry and External Affairs, EMPEA

Jennifer Choi manages EMPEA’s member and industry engagement initiatives. Jennifer runs the association's regional Member Councils, and works with EMPEA's Legal and Regulatory Council to encourage policy frameworks that support the growth of the asset class. A frequent speaker and commentator on the industry, Jennifer also oversees the association's communications with the media and non-industry audiences, as well as EMPEA's institutional partnerships and global collaboration efforts.

As EMPEA’s first research director from 2006 to 2011, Jennifer built EMPEA's content portfolio, including the EMPEA Insights and Private Equity Impact Case Studies series, and led the creation of the industry's first global database of private equity activity in emerging markets. Prior to EMPEA, Jennifer was a consultant with Boston-based Stax Inc., leading due diligence engagements and providing advisory services and portfolio company strategic planning support for the private equity industry. Jennifer’s previous experience includes organizational development and strategy consulting for clients in the healthcare, financial services and pharmaceutical sectors.

Jennifer holds a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a B.A. summa cum laude in Economics and Political Science from Augustana College.


Jake Cusack
Managing Partner, CrossBoundary

Jake Cusack is managing partner of CrossBoundary, a frontier market investment advisory firm active in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. Their clients include development finance institutions, private equity firms, Fortune 100 companies, public policy research institutions, and the US Government. Prior to CrossBoundary, Mr. Cusack served as a Marine Corps intelligence officer and worked for Abraaj Capital.

Mr. Cusack has led extensive research on investment and entrepreneurship in frontier markets, including substantial work with the Kauffman Foundation. He has written for the New York Times, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and co-authors a regular column for Inc. Magazine. His work has also appeared on National Public Radio, in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Mr. Cusack has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.


Matt Tilleard
Managing Partner, CrossBoundary

Matt Tilleard holds a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar. He is originally from Australia and holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne. He has extensive experience undertaking complex projects in the private and public sectors. He has advised on transactions in the healthcare, financial services, technology and construction material industries. He has provided strategic advice to Fortune 100 companies, non-profits and governments. He also has significant development experience in frontier environments. He has advised on transactions in Afghanistan and led the design of major investment climate reform projects in Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. Prior to CrossBoundary, he worked at The Boston Consulting Group, the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General and as a lead advisor to a major Australian indigenous leader during a period of intense policy reform.


Peter Tropper
Chief Investment Officer, Private Equity Group, International Finance Corporation

Peter Tropper is Chief Investment Officer in IFC's Private Equity Group. IFC has commitments of more than $3.0 billion in over 180 private equity funds plus investments in two dozen fund managers, all dedicated exclusively to emerging markets. Mr. Tropper joined the PE group in 2001, when it was formed originally as a portfolio workout unit for older funds. He has worked on more than 200 funds, and sits on several advisory committees.

Mr. Tropper has also served IFC’s South Asia Department, and IFC’s Latin America and Caribbean Department, where he was responsible for identifying and structuring IFC’s investments in the financial sector in the Caribbean and Chile, and for recommending investment strategies that contribute to the development of the region’s capital markets.

Mr. Tropper has a B.A. from Yale University, an MBA from the University of Maryland, and a Master’s in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.