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LAVCA’s Seminar on Building the VC Industry in Latin America

22 March 2003

Key Public and Private Sector Reps Drawn to Association Launch
The Latin American Venture Capital Association (LAVCA) created to promote VC/PE in Latin America and Caribbean

Lively debate among industry leaders on steps to build the Latin American venture capital and private equity industry

Milan, Italy, 22nd March, 2003 – The Latin American Venture Capital Association (LAVCA) today held its official launch event, a Seminar on Building the Venture Capital Industry in Latin America. The seminar drew a distinguished and diverse contingent of both public and private sector representatives from the Latin American venture capital and private equity industry. LAVCA’s event was marked by vigorous and fruitful debate among participants.

“We feel our objectives in providing the seminar were met,” stated LAVCA Executive Director Christina Kappaz. “The liveliness of the debate illustrated the need for this type of event, to provide opportunities for industry leaders to share information and exchange ideas to promote a vibrant and effective VC/PE industry for Latin America.”

Opening remarks were given by Donald Terry, Manager of the Multilateral Investment Fund of the IADB, by Everett J. Santos, Manager of AIG-GE Capital Latin American Infrastructure Fund and Chair of LAVCA, and by Dr. Odilon Antonio Marcuzzo do Canto, the newly-appointed Director of the Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP) of Brazil, the event’s Gold Sponsor.

Dr. do Canto introduced the seminar’s keynote speaker, the Hon. Luiz Fernando Furlan, Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade for the Government of Brazil, who spoke engagingly on the priorities of the new Brazilian administration in revitalizing the entrepreneurial base for the Brazilian economy.

The Minister highlighted the administration’s desire to dramatically increase exports, and the need for more streamlined processes in nurturing the financing and growth of the private sector. He also emphasized the need for re-evaluating corporate governance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“I began my career in a small company. At the time I don’t recall that the term ‘corporate governance’ existed. Now [Sadia, S.A.] is a large company, listed in both BOVESPA and the NYSE,” Minister Furlan said. “When you talk about venture capital for small companies, the type of corporate governance is totally different than for a large company.”

In the panel discussion that followed Minister Furlan’s speech, participants engaged in a discussion on the future of venture capital in Latin America, focusing on key issues as well as concrete steps to be taken to build the industry. The discussion was led by a distinguished panel comprised of Mr. Santos, Dr. do Canto, Ms. Ana Patricia Botín, CEO of Banesto and Founder of Fundación Empresa y Crecimiento, Mr. Federico Patiño, Director General Adjunto de Fomento of Nacional Financiera, S.A. (NAFINSA) of Mexico, and Mr. Clovis Meurer Benoni, CEO of CRP Companhia de Participações of Brazil.

Present for the discussion were representatives from many prominent investment funds as well as development institutions, including the Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), the Associação Brasileira de Capital de Risco, TMG Capital Partners, FMO (the Netherlands Development Finance Company), CRP Companhia de Participações, BOVESPA, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Sogebank of Haiti, Fundación Empresa y Crecimiento, DGPA & Co., the MIF, HighGrowth International S.A., Caisa Agente de Bolsa of Bolivia, and Interandes Corp. for Sustainable Development.

“As noted by many speakers throughout the day including Donald Terry and Everett Santos, there is a tremendous need and potential for growth in the venture capital industry in Latin America,” stated Ms. Kappaz. “LAVCA can play a critical role in providing the private sector with a focal point for working to achieve that potential.”

LAVCA identified five key components to its plan for building the VC industry in Latin America: Research, Education, Networking, Advocacy, and Best Practices. LAVCA presented implementation strategies to seminar participants, and solicited individual suggestions on how LAVCA can best support industry interests through this five-step plan.

LAVCA’s seminar in Milan marks the first in a series of events aimed at creating a forum for networking and debate among investors, service providers, government entities, and trade associations involved in the Latin American risk equity market.

The seminar, offered in conjunction with the 44th Annual Meetings of the Inter-American Development Bank/ Inter-American Investment Corporation, was held in Milan, Italy at the UNA Hotel Scandinavia.


LAVCA’s mission is to promote the growth of the venture capital and private equity industry in Latin America through research, education, networking, best practices, and the advocacy of sound public policy. LAVCA is a not-for-profit trade association serving a core membership of venture capital and private equity fund managers.

Please visit LAVCA’s website at for more information.

Ramona DeNies
Communications Manager
Latin American Venture Capital Association
[email protected]