In an interview with the Communications team (CT), Toto Camba (TC) talks about the key elements that are central to managing and accessing Investment portfolios in the South East Asia region.
Insights from the world of Investments…
CT: Tell us about your years of experience in the financial services industry in general, and with ICCO Investments in particular?
TC: I have 16 years of direct work experience with the financial sector, 8 years of managing the development investment portfolio of a resource institution in the Philippines; 3 years as a program officer for ICCO’s Financial Services and Guarantee Program for SEA; and 3 years now as a Regional Investments Manager of ICCO Investments for SEA. Philippines
CT: What interests you most about being an investor?
TC: I want to see small farmers and producers, SMEs, Agriculture Business and Social and Innovative enterprises grow their business operations effectively while creating positive impact for the marginalized sectors and communities. Our working philosophy “we mind the gap” in ICCO Investments, I think, completely captures my personal motivation to engage in impact investing.
CT: How many portfolio companies are you handling and assessing at present?
TC: Presently, I handle 5 portfolio companies; 2 in the Philippines and 3 in Cambodia. I am preparing and now finalizing the legal documents of a newly approved deal in Indonesia and working on the due diligence of 6 new potential deals.
CT: What are the main points that you look into while assessing an investment application?
TC: There are 3 main points that I look into when assessing an investment application and these include
1) The entrepreneur,
2) Impact that the business and the entrepreneur have created and committed to continue.
3) The business case (solid market, good products and brands, strong revenue stream/s and profitability)
In connection to the 3rd point I look at the historical development of the business, the growth plan, and the value added that we (in ICCO) can provide to the further growth of the investee company.
CT: What are the major challenges that ICCO Investments has come across as an impact investor?
TC: Though the motivation to work towards inclusive development is high, coming from a long NGO experience was one of the earliest challenge faced by ICCO Investments in terms of consolidating the investors and relevant stakeholders, forming the right team, adjusting policies and procedures on financing and investments and building the pipeline and making the first investments.
CT: What are your areas of focus for 2016?
TC: I would say increase the portfolio further not just in terms of quantity but also quality (with solid impact and business case); grow the portfolio in Philippines and Cambodia; start investing in Indonesia and look for investment opportunities in Vietnam and Myanmar.
(To connect with Toto Camba, write to him at Augusto.Camba@icco-investments.org)