JAM | Sep 23, 2022

Sygnus Day: A look at alternative investments

Mikala Johnson

Mikala Johnson / Our Today

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hosting its inaugural ‘Sygnus Day’ yesterday (September 22) at the AC Hotel in St Andrew, under the theme ‘The Emergence of Regional Alternative Investments’, Sygnus Capital Ltd saw scores of individuals attending the transformative conference either in person or virtually.

Sygnus is among the Caribbean’s leading alternative investment management company’s spanning private credit, real estate and private equity.

Berisford Grey, Sygnus president and CEO, speaking with Our Today, noted that Sygnus Day was developed as a platform to engage and educate individuals about alternative investments.

Sygnus Capital Limited President and CEO, Berisford Grey. (Photo: Instagram @sygnusgroup)

“The idea behind Sygnus Day is to create a platform through which we can engage our clients, stakeholders, investors and the players in the alternative investment industry,” Grey said, also stating that it was important to consistently have such events in order to push the alternative investment market forward in Jamaica and the region.

“Through engagements of this nature we can drive education on what alternative investment is about, we can educate persons about the type of returns, the benefits that alternative investment will provide and also teach leaders how to push the alternative investment market forward,” Grey noted.

The event, which ran from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, saw several local and international speakers and panelists presenting on several topics throughout the day.

Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service, and Berisford Grey, Sygnus Capital Limited president and CEO. (Photo: Instagram @sygnusgroup)

Grey continued, saying: “Sygnus Day also allows us to bring international speakers and professionals to the table to share their experience and knowledge of alternative investment, the different assets classes and the new trends. So, it’s all about engaging, educating and exposing and doing this consistently [which] will help to expand the alternative investment ecosystem across the Caribbean.”

One of the messages that was echoed by several presenters is that stakeholders and the Government need work together to make capital a commodity in Jamaica.

Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service, spoke on the theme, ‘The Transformation of the Financial Landscape Through Alternative Investment’, agreed with the message.

Dr Nigel Clarke, minister of finance and the public service, and businessman Gassan Azan greet each other the inaugural Sygnus Day. (Photo: Instagram @sygnusgroup)

“The government of Jamaica is supporting a deepening of capital markets and we were in support of a Jamaica where capital becomes a commodity. Our aim is to commoditise capital,” Clarke said.

The finance minister also noted that the Government understands that having pools of capital that can pursue opportunities is conducive to Jamaica’s growth and development.

Grey said the event was used to promote alternative investments to the company’s clients and prospective clients.

“The event was about the company’s clients and stakeholders it’s about promoting alternative investments as a genuine opportunity through which investors individuals, institutions, pension fund managers can really find improved returns, diversification and long-term assets whether in private credit, real estate, private equity or other forms of alternative investment.”

From left: President and CEO of Sygnus Capital Limited Berisford Grey, Minister of Finance and Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke and Managing Director of BlackRock, Ladell Robbins. (Photo: Instagram @sygnusgroup)

The staging of the conference created an excellent networking space for a number of investors.

Grey said he hoped attendees would have taken away several message and learnt something new about alternative investment.

“I want attendees to leave here with a few messages, alternative investment in Jamaica and the Caribbean provides a significant opportunity for them. It is a global asset class and through pushing and driving the alternative investment by firms like Sygnus then we will have an opportunity to increase accessibility of capital in Jamaica as well as new investment opportunities that will drive over all wealth creation for the society,” Grey shared.

Shane Walters, manager, Investment Analysis and Product Development, during one of the panels discussions. (Photo: Instagram @sygnusgroup)

His advice to investors?

“Continue to be excited about Sygnus, continue to invest in our alternative investment companies whether it’s our private credit, real estate of private equity these are long term investment platforms that will continue to deliver good value for our investors.

“Sygnus Day is really another way of us reaching out and trying to help our clients and stakeholders and investors to win,” Grey noted.  

READ: Sygnus Capital boss urges legislation for private equity development


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