Colombian border

Innovative investment fund in Colombia will benefit forcibly displaced

This news release is also available in Spanish.

  • Unique financing project launched as direct result of World Refugee & Migration Council’s Call to Action and support for concept development
  • Low-income housing units will be available for internally displaced Colombians and Venezuelan refugees and migrants
  • Joint venture formed by Crowe Global and Andean Capital Partners, LLC will raise US$50 million in equity

An innovative investment fund proposed by the World Refugee & Migration Council (WRMC) will help provide affordable housing options in Colombia, with a focus on assisting internally displaced Colombians and others who have been forcibly displaced, including those from Venezuela.

The company, a new joint venture launched today by Crowe Global and Andean Capital Partners, is the result of an initiative proposed and supported by the WRMC.

“New financial mechanisms for empowering refugees and others who have been forcibly displaced are sorely needed to help refugees and migrants move on with their lives,” said WRMC Chair Lloyd Axworthy. “One of our Council’s most important proposed actions was to facilitate innovative financing mechanisms to assist refugees. Today, this is becoming a reality in Colombia.” 

The initiative represents a unique financing approach based on proposals the Council made in its 2019 A Call to Action: Transforming the Global Refugee System report (see box: Action 38). The Council recommended that new platforms for innovative financing, investment and philanthropy be created in refugee hosting countries.

ACTION 38
The Council calls on interested states and the financial community to develop a bank and fund manager forum for refugees, to be a standing body that would draw on domestic, regional and international capacity and expertise with the goal of developing innovative financing mechanisms, such as refugee bonds (akin to “green bonds” in climate change) and other private equity vehicles to promote growth and investment in refugee-hosting states and within refugee communities.

From A Call to Action: Transforming the Global Refugee System

The Council provided early stage support in the concept development and design of this new initiative through Canadian-based Goldfield & Associates to identify the financing mechanisms as well as a Colombian partner with support from the MacArthur Foundation and Global Affairs Canada.

The new joint venture company — Colombia’s first professional investment vehicle focused on this strategy — has committed to raise US$50 million in equity for its first phase. The company will offer 10,000 low-income, multifamily rental units by acquiring newly developed low-income multifamily units in bulk from the leading real estate developers in Colombia and rent them to tenants who have been admitted and approved to Colombia’s popular “Semillero de Propietarios” program. 

Semillero de Propietarios is a Colombian government subsidized rental housing program designed to allow over 300,000 low income families have access to dignified housing with a mandatory savings structure and an option to buy within a 2-year period. The Program has over US$500 million of guaranteed rental subsidies until 2027. It is estimated that the total market value of the units required to supply the whole program exceeds US$7 billion. Colombia’s, current low-income housing deficit, exceeds 1,000,000 units.

The new company is led by Lia Heenan, Managing Partner of Crowe Global Corporate Advisory Colombia and Sebastian Merizalde, Managing Partner of Andean Capital Partners. Crowe, ACP its partners and advisors, combined have over 100 years and many billions of dollars of Private Equity and Investment banking experience in Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America, including over US$3 billion in affordable housing Private Equity totaling more than 60,000 units in the Andean Region and the Caribbean. The new company is partnering with Colombia’s best in-class real estate firms, operating companies, and service providers to execute this investment strategy. 

The Company plans to develop follow-on private equity investment vehicles to continue to invest in this strategy both in Colombia and other parts of Latin America.


About the World Refugee & Migration Council

The World Refugee & Migration Council was formed in May 2017, originally as the World Refugee Council, under the leadership of former Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy and with the support of the Government of Canada. The Council is an independent global body composed of more than 20 political leaders, policy advisers, academic experts, a Nobel prize winner, and civil society actors and human rights activists from around the world. In its major report, A Call to Action: Transforming the Global Refugee System, the Council seeks to strengthen the global response beyond the United Nations and its Global Compacts on refugees and for migration.

About Andean Capital Partners, LLC

Founded in 2012, ACP is a private equity manager & boutique investment bank focused on providing tactical and value add opportunistic capital to company owners and project sponsors who have an association with Colombia and the broader Latin America Region. ACP’s principal objective is to create superior economic impact and long-term value for its clients, investors, companies and the communities in which it works in.​ ACP provides its investors transparent, above market risk-adjusted returns by employing rigorous on the ground investment and operational risk management practices. ACP’s approach to investment management & advisory focuses on risk mitigation through conservative underwriting, alignment of stakeholder interests and disciplined execution by a diverse and integrated team. ACP’s experience, track record and that of its partners and advisors include many billions of dollars in investment management & advisory throughout the Americas. ACP has a deep and privileged network in the markets where it operates. ACP is headquartered in Bogota, Colombia. www.andeancp.com

About CROWE

Crowe Global, is the 8th largest global multinational business services network in the world, with 42,000 employees in 130 countries and 2018 annual revenues of over USD$4.3B. Crowe provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services (Global Corporate Advisory, “GCA”). With over 20 years of experience CROWE GCA, Colombia, is a leading Financial Advisor, specialized in M&A, corporate and project finance, valuations, capital advisory, due diligence and private equity. CROWE GCA is led by Lea Heenan.