In conversation with Marc de Hennin, Senior Adviser to Barak Fund
Orbitt: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. How have you been finding the platform?
Marc: A pleasure. I’ve managed to save a lot of time and see a number of interesting investment opportunities come through my inbox. As a big firm, we’re frequently overexposed in particular geographies or sectors – so I appreciate the ability to continually change our mandate and find transactions dependent on Barak’s needs at any one point in time.
Orbitt: And what are you looking for during the origination process itself?
Marc: Having a short, standardised teaser makes life very easy. Especially compared with some of the investor material I come across on a daily basis. Presentation really is key. In terms of the transaction, I’m always keen to speak and meet with the decision makers – so Orbitt ticks the boxes on that level.
Orbitt: How strong is your intermediary network?
Marc: Good in some markets and industries; less so in others. We’re focused on connecting with like-minded investment professionals and recently I’ve had contact with guarantee funds, asset managers and FX dealers. But inevitably there are occasions where we need an introduction to unlock the deal. Being part of an investment ecosystem really helps this.
Orbitt: Underlying all of these factors, what would you say is the determining consideration when deciding to explore an investment opportunity?
Marc: The quality of the opportunity. Simple as that. We cover much of the continent with several trade finance and credit funds. If I can be shown pre-screened transactions that are ready to go, our capital allocation process and subsequent impact can only improve.
Orbitt: Can you talk about any deals you’ve originated with Orbitt?
Marc: We were approached about a mining opportunity in Southern Africa and were quickly able to speak to the deal principles and bypass the NDA process as Orbitt users. I think we issued a debt term sheet in under 3 weeks, certainly one of the fastest originations I’ve witnessed.