FUNDING FRONTIER FUTURES

“A combined century of experience working in Frontier Markets, specializing in Origination, Structuring, Marketing, Trading, Research, Asset Management, Operational, Legal and Strategy competencies”

Frontera Capital’s Managing Principal is Dr. Vicente Pons. After leaving an academic career, his initial work experience was as a trader in frontier market local currency sovereign debt and credit derivatives. In the last eight years, Dr. Pons has focused on transaction origination and structuring. He has also done extensive marketing to institutional clients in these roles.

The Managing Principal has identified and engaged the services of six senior personnel, whom collectively have more than a century of experience working in frontier markets, specialising in origination, structuring, marketing, trading, research, asset management, operational, legal and strategy competencies.

Vicente Pons has focused on the financial markets of sub-Sahara Africa since 2004. Shortly after finishing his doctoral degree, Vicente joined Citigroup, where he set up the Africa local currency and credit derivatives desk. He grew the Desk’s portfolio to being the largest Africa local currency book on the Street, with assets in excess of USD 4.5 billion.

Vicente joined Renaissance Capital in 2007 as head of fixed income trading for Africa and later Exotix Limited as head of origination and structuring in 2008.

Vicente then joined Ecobank in 2011 as head of the Currency & African Asset Distribution (CAAD) desk, Ecobank’s international platform to intermediate capital flows between foreign institutional investors and sub-Sahara Africa’s governments and corporates.

In March 2014, Vicente left Ecobank to set up Frontera Capital. Vicente is also particularly interested in the mining sector, especially in frontier markets. Dr Pons is a native Spanish-speaker and is a Ph.D graduate in Finance from Yale University.

Email: vicente.pons@fronteracapitalgroup.com  | Tel: +34-600-632-886

Dilantha Goonetillake trained with a major City law firm and qualified as a solicitor in private practice. He then moved to become an in-house Solicitor and has since developed a skills base in corporate finance and non-contentious company commercial matters.

Within corporate finance Dilantha’s practice has been in the field of debt capital markets (DCM), credit derivatives and structured finance, including familiarity with the contractual and regulatory aspects of financing both in the UK and internationally.

Specifically, Dilantha worked in the early stages of the derivatives market and his practice has seen him involved in the evolution of the contractual framework of this complex aspect of financial markets law.

Dilantha has also gained front line experience as an in-house solicitor acting for blue-chip investment banks, commercial banks and brokerages drafting, reviewing and negotiating a range of financing contracts with global counterparties.

Beyond his legal specialisation, Dilantha has had broad experience of the finance sector having worked in start-up boutiques and established institutions while the geographic extent of his work has included the US, UK, Europe and Africa.

Email: dilantha.goonetillake@fronteracapitalgroup.com  | Tel: +44-777-199-5905

Ignacio has over 20 years of assorted and mixed financial and commercial international experience, both directly in banking and financial markets (investment, corporate, commercial and private banking) as well as in multinational companies (both ‘old’ and ‘new’ economy), holding several senior positions in Spain and other countries.

He has an extensive education and experience in economics, finance, insurance, international markets and product and services marketing; is a specialist in structured finance and international projects and managed transactions with a successful track record in project origination, technical design, finance and execution, financial and project management, launching of new ventures, export/import, strategic corporate management and business restructuring, building commercial and technical teams, conflict resolution, crisis management, etc., in developed countries and emerging markets.

Ignacio has worked in four principal companies and three financial institutions, Argentaria Banco Exterior (1988-1990), NatWest/Markets (1990-1998) and Grupo Ibadesa, a well respected financial consultancy and advisory company (2001-present) and a TMT company, Radiotronica (now part of the Avanzit Group) (1999-2001).

Excellent worldwide network of connections at government, corporate and institutional level in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, especially in China, India, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Maghreb, UAE, Angola and West African countries as well as with the main financial institutions and investors in these regions (private and multilaterals).

Email: ignacio.morales@fronteracapitalgroup.com | Tel: +34-629-040-325

Prior to joining Frontera Capital, Gordon worked with Vicente Pons at Ecobank London to drive the Sales and Strategy functions of the Currency & African Asset Distribution (CAAD) desk.

At Citigroup Gordon was Africa Group Economist from 2004-06 where he initiated research coverage on nine new markets in addition to maintaining South African coverage, while at Renaissance Capital he initiated Africa research coverage as their Africa Strategist in 2007-08.

Immediately prior to taking up his Ecobank position, Gordon worked as a buy-side analyst/fund manager, firstly at global emerging market hedge fund INTL Consilium in London in 2008-09 and as Head of Research for Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, and then at RMB/Momentum Asset Management as Chief Strategist in Johannesburg from 2009-12.

Gordon also worked in South Africa at Standard Bank as a Treasury Economist from 1991-94 before joining stock-broker Ivor Jones Roy, later bought out by Deutsche Bank in 1995, where he served as Chief South Africa Economist for a decade before joining Citigroup in 2004.

During his 15+ years as a sell-side analyst, Gordon was often voted by clients as a top South Africa and Africa-focused economists or strategists. Gordon holds a Honours degree in Economics from the University of Natal, Durban.

Email: gordon.smith@fronteracapitalgroup.com | Tel: +27-72-635-7159


Frontera Capital’s business model relies on maintaining the core team’s well established relationships, knowledge and experience to form meaningful barriers-to-entry:

  • The team is well known to each other and have worked with the Managing Partner prior to joining Frontera Capital. This will serve to reinforce the continuity prospects of the core team.
  • The team want to continue spending their careers in frontier markets more than doing anything else: the creation of Frontera Capital is a logical development in their careers to date.
  • All members of the team are highly experienced and competent in frontier markets given their long involvement in such a specialised field of finance.
  • The team’s return incentives are mostly determined on a success-basis, ensuring an alignment of focus and purpose in the overall business.
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