Seed funding is far from enough to produce a great company; from time to time, a little hands-on direction is just what shareholders ordered.

Jerónimo Bremer

Founding Partner, BK Partners

We started investing in Mexico in land development, focusing on privatizing prime oceanfront land. BK Partners was one of the first funds for international investors who wanted to invest in land development in Mexico. Then, we moved from land development to building hotels and acquiring existing ones. In 2013, we acquired the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City with the idea of repositioning and improving it, which has been a successful investment. Sales and results have increased significantly, and that marked the start of one of our largest companies to date, RLH Properties, which held an IPO in November 2015 and has a market cap of USD850 million. RLH acquired various assets from Spanish groups, including OHL, as well as all the four hotels in Mayakoba. We then decided to grow internationally, and our hotel partners were interested in Spain. We looked at a variety of hotels to acquire, and in December 2018 decided to acquire the Villa Magna Hotel. Parallel to this, we started a renewable energy business called Balam in Mexico, where we closed one of the largest wind parks in Oaxaca.

Josep María Echarri

Founding Partner & CEO, Inveready

Inveready Asset Management was founded with the clear conviction that there was better way to finance, and thus invest in, technology companies that would yield better results for both investor and entrepreneur. To do this, one required an understanding of the different financing options open to a company and the price of that financing instrument. We had to focus on deep tech companies that could be eligible for substantial support from R&D grant programs, as this enabled us to cover financing needs with a mix of instruments with a differentiated cost of capital. We had to move away from plain vanilla equity and debt instruments and offer different alternatives to different types of limited partners with different sectorial and financing instrument alternatives. The result is three verticals: venture capital funds that invest in IT B2B companies; venture capital funds that invest in drug discovery life science companies; and hybrid instruments that encompass both venture debt and convertible bond funds. Combined, we have invested in more than 125 technology-based companies with ambitious business plans that have created more than 2,000 jobs.

Francisco Gómez-Trenor

General Director-Spain, Mirabaud & CIE

The bank was founded in 1819 by the Mirabaud family along with some Swiss families in Geneva. After a point of inflection 40 years ago, the Mirabaud family and its partners decided to undertake the international expansion of the bank, starting in Montreal. Subsequently, offices were opened in the UK, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Italy, and the UAE. In February 2019, we opened offices in Uruguay and Brazil. Mirabaud is a bank that has gone through more than 50 world crises and two world wars during its 200 years of existence, but here we are. The family still has a presence in the bank. Our model is different from other companies because we have a partnership system. You can only be a member of the bank if you work there. We do not have shareholders waiting for dividends. Though spread across Europe, we still want to reach new international markets. We have three business lines: asset management, wealth management, and intermediation (securities), whose head office is in London.

Juan Luis Ramírez

Founding Partner, Portobello Capital

The team behind Portobello had been working together on private equity investments for nearly 20 years. We were one of the pioneers of private equity in Spain. We have been operating since 1989 and are now one of the leading firms in private equity in Spain. We have EUR1.3 billion of assets under management. Our latest fund, which is Portobello IV, is the largest in Spain at EUR600 million. It focuses on buying out Spanish companies, though up to 20% of the companies it buys can be European. Normally, we target the upper part of the middle market. This means companies with EBITDA between EUR10-50 million. We like family-owned and well-known companies across Spain. We try to partner with members of the families that own the companies, and then work to make them grow faster and develop in larger markets. Spain is a fragmented market with a number of tiny companies working in the same sectors. If we select the right platform, we are able to buy and help build these companies and the sectors alongside them.