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INFRONT and CoreCo


Historically overlooked by investors, Central America’s economies are now undergoing rapid growth led by the manufacturing sector. CoreCo Private Equity is a fund that prides itself on seeing opportunities others miss. It has positioned itself to further the region’s development and seeks out firms that will benefit from the rapid growth of the middle classes.

The mentorship

As an emerging market, Central America can pose challenges to investors, who may have to navigate around incomplete or unreliable financial information and differing cultural expectations. Drawing on his extensive emerging-market experience, Christian led the CoreCo team through a deep discussion about overall strategy and approach. He provided advice on pre-investment due diligence and emphasized the importance of slowly building a relationship with an entrepreneur to develop a thorough understanding of both venture and person. He reviewed CoreCo’s deal structuring — validating the team’s approach — and team dynamics. Christian also shared his experiences working with microfinance, which CoreCo had identified as a potential growth area, discussing different financing and banking models and the opportunities they present in the Central American context.

The outcome

The INFRONT mentorship gave CoreCo an opportunity to consider its strategy and operations in depth. Having talked through potential issues with Christian, the team were able to show they were taking steps to address them during a subsequent evaluation with a major funding partner. CoreCo updated its hiring practices to place more emphasis on soft skills, such as team working, and it overhauled several processes around due diligence. CoreCo is now considering strategies to capitalize on the high-growth potential for microfinance in Central America.

About CoreCo Private Equity

CoreCo Private Equity was founded in 2008 and has $51 million in funds under management. The fund, which has offices in Guatemala and Costa Rica, focuses on Central America. It invests in companies that have less than $15 million in revenues but high growth potential in the following sectors: healthcare, business and financial services, information technology, consumer goods, retail, logistics and wireless communications.

The mentee

Alex von der Goltz co-founded CoreCo in 2008. Born and raised in Guatemala, he is a seasoned operator and private equity investor with over 12 years of experience in growth capital investing.

The mentor

Christian Novak has over 20 years of experience in emerging markets. As a former Managing Partner at Frontier Markets Advisors Inc., he provided investment advice in emerging markets. He is now Chief Risk Officer at the Inter-American Investment Corporation.

The opinions of Christian Novak are his own and do not represent those of the Inter-American Development Bank Group.