Ameris, Frontal Trust, and Singular: the new players that are challenging the industry of funds

Diario Financiero / 14-09-2021

Although they have been in the market for a few years, their participation is gaining traction, taking a leading role in some sectors. Through a style of financial boutique, they are occupying a niche that traditional AGFs have left aside, focusing on more standard products or with foreign managers. Thus, these managers have been aiming at more innovative vehicles, making noise in the business of alternative assets.

Ameris looks at the agricultural and forestry sector in alternative assets

Ameris Capital is aiming at the farming industry in 2021. Its president, Cristián Moreno (in the picture), indicated that this year “we are actively seeking investment opportunities in the alternative asset segments in which we participate: real estate, infrastructure, private debt, and private equity. In addition, we are exploring new sectors such as forestry and agriculture.”

It has been operating since 2015 and is the AGF with the highest assets under management of those selected for this note, with US$ 1,414 million, of which US$ 1,019 million are in public funds. Within the portfolios of its funds, there are relevant assets such as the shopping centers of Parque Arauco and 37% of the LNG port of Mejillones formerly owned by Codelco. The AGF property is shared between Cristián Moreno, Martín Figueroa, Rodrigo Guzmán, Pablo Armas, José Mujica, Javier Contreras, Francisco Opazo, Ignacio Montané and David López.

Recently, they concluded an investment that began in 2014 in residential income in the United States, with annual revenue of 14%. In the same market, they also took advantage of the situation, structuring an ‘opportunist’ fund that achieved a revenue of close to 40% in just over three months.

In October 2020 they launched a new DVA Capital theme fund, Medtech. In addition, they are moving toward their third Impact Investment Fund, after committing 100% of their FIS 2.0 Fund, with four new investments.

Front Trust is becoming big in Infrastructure

Frontal Trust was founded in 2015 by the former Bicecorp Andrés Echeverría (in the center of the picture), who leads the firm together with Clemente Ochagavía and Jorge Prieto, who joined as partners in 2020. That same year they opened their office in Miami, where they already raised the first fund for US$ 23 million to invest in short-term mortgage-backed loans originating in the US. To date, they manage 37 private and public funds, for which they have raised capital for US$ 1,170 million. Its investment portfolio is 23% of Sociedad Concesionaria Vespucio Norte and is the fourth largest asset manager of infrastructure.

At the end of last year, they also created an alliance to invest in data centers in China, with British manager Actis, a partner in Chile of two solar power generators, Atlas and Pelícano, and one wind power generator, Aela.

According to the projections of the AGF, “in 2021 we see significant growth in our US operations, as well as new opportunities in Chile in our four business verticals: infrastructure, private debt, real estate, and private equity”. In Private Equity, they participate in the Fintech Cordada, which connects institutional investors with SMEs.

The innovation of Singular Asset Management

Despite being one of the newest AGFs on the market (2018), the innovative strategies of Singular Asset Management and the experience of its partners, former executives of Investment Security were enough to capture the attention of one of the major global managers, Oaktree Capital Management. He invested in the rescue of Latam Airlines. In addition, it owns 20% of the manager, and the remaining 80% is divided equally between Pablo Jaque, Luis Pérez, Diego Chomali, Magdalena Bernat and Rafael Mendoza.

The administrator launched Chile’s first Fixed Income ETF with a commission of just 0.2% and has just engaged four recognized executives of the industry: Francisco Cardemil and Juan Enrique Montes, who spent 17 years in Security; Cristián Gebauer, former AVLA manager; and Catalina Loayza, formerly at Credicorp.

Considering the funds with capital commitments ‘called and not yet called’, Singular manages around US$ 224 million.

In 2021 the manager will focus on the launch of its second alternative investment fund, a three-year lease-back strategy vehicle, which consists of lending money, requiring the debtor as collateral a real estate asset that should cost 1.4 times the amount of the credit, making it very safe for the contributor.


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