Stratus Alternative Funds SCC (Stratus)
is an alternative investments platform which allows institutional and retail investors to explore a broad range of non-traditional investment solutions that may otherwise not be readily available to them while benefiting from higher risk-adjusted returns.
We unlock investment opportunities that would have been otherwise difficult for investors to participate in given constraints such as complexity, minimum required capital and location.
We harness and package a strong pipeline of investment opportunities afforded by the reach and scope of our Investment Manager, NCB Capital Markets Limited. The Stratus portfolio provides diversity for investors to tap into a broad range of investment themes within a basket of investment opportunities from across the region.
The experience of NCB Capital Markets Limited, the Investment Manager, helps to assure our investors that their portfolio is being managed efficiently and optimally. This is supported by a robust risk management framework, experienced Investment Management Committee and Board of Directors.
Stratus has established four funds in the first phase: Infrastructure Fund, Caribbean Mezzanine Fund II (CMF II), Regional Opportunity Fund and Tourism Response Impact Portfolio (TRIP). Each theme is contained in a different cell of Stratus. The cellular structure permits the separation and ring-fencing of assets and liabilities of each respective portfolio within separate and discrete cells which are able to issue various types of financial securities. Stratus’ cellular structure and jurisdiction of incorporation make it an ideal cost-efficient investment vehicle that is able to undertake a diverse array of alternative investments throughout the Caribbean region and Latin America in various sectors and asset classes.
Stratus’ Infrastructure Fund was created to provide shareholders with attractive risk adjusted returns over the medium to long term by investing in securities of issuers engaged in businesses that primarily involve infrastructure assets.
Infrastructure assets are defined as “facilities or structures required for the effective operation of a business, state or economy.” This could include roads, railways, airports, power generation and transmission, ports, communications, water and waste, together with social infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools and housing.
The Fund is suitable for investors looking to benefit from attractive returns from the region’s largest Infrastructure projects and seeks to generate total return from investment comprised of long term growth of capital and income.
The Caribbean Mezzanine Fund (CMF II) is a mezzanine and private credit focused fund that provides capital to regional businesses. It is co-managed by NCB Capital Markets Limited and Eppley Limited and represents a continuation of (CMF I).
CMF II is an extension of our proven mezzanine and private credit strategy that has worked successfully, and is better positioned to scale while providing liquidity for investors. The Fund, being anchored by the portfolio of CMF I, has retained the same investment strategy, objectives and governance that was crucial in enabling CMF I to achieve its above-average returns.
The fund will identify and invest in niche opportunities in diverse asset classes such as real estate and infrastructure, opportunistic credit, and private equity.
Opportunistic credit investments include a variety of fixed income instruments that seek to capitalize on dislocations in credit markets or mispriced/misunderstood credits.
With a focus on the liquidation value of the asset rather than traditional evaluation methods, the strategy does well in a market downturn and even better in a positive economic environment as business valuations increase.
TRIP was established to provide creative capital solutions to tourism related businesses.
Tourism, a mainstay of the Caribbean region, has proven its resilience over the years. Continued investment in the sector by large international and regional players augurs well for its long term performance and outlook.
TRIP provides investors with an opportunity to extend financing solutions to businesses in the Tourism industry that may be used to enhance their capital structure, expand their operations and or finance new projects, while earning returns commensurate with the associated risks.
Alok Jain is a retired partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). In his over 23 years with PwC, he held several leadership roles the last of which was serving as leader of PwC's advisory practice in the Caribbean. He currently serves as Consultant to the Prime Minister of Jamaica advising on various matters of national policy as well as conceptualizing and driving implementation of certain priority projects. Mr. Jain is a Chartered Accountant, Certified Information Systems Auditor as well as a CFA Charterholder. He has extensive experience in accounting, auditing as well as in corporate finance - privatization and public private partnerships (PPP), valuations of companies, due diligence investigations, “going public” and listing shares on the stock exchange, capital restructuring, and acquisitions and mergers.
Dennis Cohen joined National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (“NCBJ”), in 2004 and has since served in several key roles within the Group, including CEO of NCBCM. Prior to joining NCBJ, he served in a number of positions at Citibank N.A. Jamaica including serving as Country Treasurer for the local branch and its affiliates. He also served as head of Citibank's Relationship Management Group.
A Chartered Accountant by profession Mr. Cohen started his professional career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Today, Mr. Cohen is the Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Office of NCBFG. He is also the Chairman of NCB Insurance Agency and Fund Managers Limited, NCB (Cayman) Limited, NCB Capital Markets (Cayman) Limited, and NCB Trust Company (Cayman). He also serves as director of NCBCM, Guardian Holdings Limited, Guardian Life of the Caribbean, Guardian General Insurance Limited (Trinidad), Clarien Bank Limited (Bermuda) and West Indies Trust Company Limited. He is a member at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ), and a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
John K. E. Morris is the Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets at a US-based Private Equity firm that is a Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC.
Before joining the firm, Mr Morris built a reputation for providing strategic thought leadership in areas of global capital acquisition, mortgage arbitrage and product development, providing advice to key stakeholders in the capital markets ecosystem such as hedge funds and international investors. He was the Founder and President of HedgeConsult, Fulcrum Investment Group and Partner and Managing Director at The Midway Group. Mr Morris was also a Partner at Promethean Investment Group, and a Vice President of Capital Markets at Republic National Bank, (now part of HSBC).
Mr Morris holds Master of Arts degrees from both Brandeis University and Yale University and holds a B.A. with double majors in Economics (Hon.) and International Development from Clark University.
Misha Lobban-Clarke was appointed Executive Director of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) in June 2019. Prior to joining the BCCI, she was the Principal Consultant and Managing Director of her own consultancy, ML Consulting Services. Prior to this, she held the position of the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC), the regional body representing the interest of the accountancy profession in the Caribbean. Finance Corporation/Global Corporate Governance Forum as a trainer in Corporate Governance Board Leadership.
Mrs. Lobban-Clarke is a Management, Public Relations and Communications Specialist, with more than 20 years’ experience in management, corporate communications, public relations, stakeholder engagement; events planning, media relations and journalism. Her professional experience includes providing PR consultancy to government policymakers, corporate entities as well as technical membership organizations, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica, where she worked in a senior capacity before assuming the role as CEO of ICAC. She served in this capacity for 10 years (2008-2018) before joining the BCCI. Mrs. Lobban-Clarke holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. She is also certified by the International Finance Corporation/Global Corporate Governance Forum as a trainer in Corporate Governance Board Leadership.
Patrick Hylton was born and raised in rural Clarendon, Jamaica. With more than three decades of experience in Banking and Finance, Mr. Hylton’s bold and fearless leadership and achievements have earned him international prominence as an expert in the field. He is an avid reader with an affinity for aphorisms and finds it nearly impossible to pick just one favourite book, or quote.
Today, Mr. Hylton is President and Group Chief Executive Officer of NCBFG.
He’s the chairman of NCBJ, NCBCM, Guardian Holdings Limited and Clarien Bank Limited and also sits on the board of directors for Clarien Group Limited, and several of NCBFG’s subsidiaries including NCB (Cayman) Limited, NCB Insurance Agency & Fund Managers Limited and NCB Capital Markets (Cayman) Limited as well as Massy Holdings (Trinidad). In the mid-1990s, he was appointed by the Government of Jamaica to lead the restructuring of the Jamaican financial sector – a project that earned him the national award of the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) in 2002. In October 2020, he was also conferred with the Order of Jamaica for distinguished contribution to the Financial Sector and Philanthropy.
Richard McNeil is a senior investment banking executive with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. He recently retired from Goldman Sachs, where for several years leading up to his retirement he was responsible for Goldman’s investment banking business in Latin America. Mr. McNeil began his career as a financial analyst in municipal finance at the First Boston Corporation in New York. He also worked in mortgage-backed financing, structuring and pricing CMOs at Kidder Peabody and Chemical Bank, and in Emerging Markets at JP Morgan. Mr. McNeil has an A.B. in economics from Princeton University, and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He was born in Jamaica and emigrated to the United States to complete high school in New York City.
Sanya Goffe is a mother, wife, and Partner in the law firm Hart Muirhead Fatta with a practice focused on the areas of pensions law, intellectual property law, capital markets, and corporate law.
Sanya is an Eisenhower Fellow (2020) and serves as a Director of NCB Financial Group Limited, National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited, Jamaica Producers Group Limited, and the National Insurance Board (the investment advisory board for Jamaica’s National Insurance Scheme). Sanya is also the President of the Pension Industry Association of Jamaica.
Sanya is a member of the UK Association of Pension Lawyers and the International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association and the 2017 recipient of its Libby Slater Award for outstanding contributions to pensions law.