SOLON CAPITAL PARTNERS
“We approach investing in Sierra Leone like we approach the education of a child who walks into one of our Rising Academies on the first day of school, in her first year of school. We are not focused on her performance for the first term or her results on the first year’s final exam. We are focused on developing a resilient, best-in-class academic performer. Someone who will one day graduate from a Rising Academy Senior Secondary school, and who will progress on to a successful tertiary education and lifelong professional employment.”
“We maintain this focus in the long-term because we believe it will maximize risk-adjusted financial returns for our investors and the impact that our investors’ capital generates. The Sierra Leone market is volatile, but the swings mask a persistent, secular direction: upward. For us, maximizing performance is not about trying to pick the peaks and troughs (we know we would fail at that); it is about building resilient market champions who can ride out the volatility and capture the opportunity of that multi-decade trend-line.”
“This long-term focus is not without trade-offs. It demands the discipline of restraint during the upswings and continued conviction during the downturns. It may mean forgoing short-term profits in order to establish a dominant long-term share of a sustainably growing market. It will not be for everybody – but Solon Capital Partners believes it is a strategy that is beginning to bear fruit: since our founding in Freetown in 2010, we have built a portfolio of companies spanning the transportation, real estate, professional services and education industries. These businesses employ nearly 500 people across Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast, and impact the lives of approximately 11,000 people every day. And they have also enabled us to return nearly US$6 million in cash to our investors.”
In June 2017, this strategy and track record was validated by a US$20 million equity commitment from CDC Group Plc, the UK development finance institution, to Solon Capital Holdings (Solon Capital Partners’ investment holding company). It was the first time CDC ever invested in a permanent capital vehicle. Heading into 2019, Solon Capital Partners is focused on continuing along its current trajectory of long-term growth, and to the continued growth of Sierra Leone over the long term as well.
ABOUT SOLON CAPITAL PARTNERS
Solon Capital Partners is a West-Africa focused investment manager that is pioneering a new approach to investment, as well as economic development and poverty reduction, in fragile and post-conflict states. Its core strategy seeks to maximize risk-adjusted returns for its investors by developing and acquiring high growth businesses that provide fundamental goods and services to underserved populations in overlooked markets.