Swen Lorenz - The History and Future of Frontier Markets Investing (Frontier Markets Podcast, #1)
In the inaugural episode of the Frontier Markets Podcast, we feature Swen Lorenz of Sarnia Asset Management. Swen’s background includes:
- Launching and publicly listing a $300m+ Macau Residential Property Fund.
- Founder & CEO of Sarnia Asset Management; a fund of funds that invests in niche emerging managers.
- Researching and writing about the best off-beat ideas in frontier and emerging markets ideas. He writes on his blog, Undervalued Shares, and has been featured in the Financial Times, Investment Migration Insider, and more. He’s covered ideas ranging from Guyana’s oil growth, to Venezuela as a distressed asset recovery play.
In this episode, we covered:
- The history of Frontier Markets Investing; touching upon case studies such as Adolf Lundin’s investments in Qatar, telecoms companies in emerging markets, the investment landscape after the USSR broke up, and more.
- Lessons learned from case studies and pioneering individuals who have shaped various developing markets over previous decades.
- Themes to track regarding the future of frontier markets; digitisation (Kaspi), natural resources (as we move to a world that needs more rare earth metals).
- The unique attributes of frontier markets investing; ranging from extreme volatility, to venture like returns potential, and more.
Resources we mentioned in the podcast:
Swen has a brilliant series with case studies on investing where most investors don't dare go, and pulling off extraordinary feats:
- On Adolf Lundin in Qatar and the Guyana Opportunity.
- Investing in Iraq.
- Venezuela as a Distressed Debt Play.
We also mentioned:
- Sturgeon Capital’s Differentiated Frontier Markets VC Thesis.
- Bill Browder’s memoir from his time investing in Russia.
- Lessons from VMV Global (previously Lundin Group’s natural resource vehicles, but now focused on emerging markets digitisation).