Caribbean companies continue to be dismissed by investors even though Jamaica had the best performing stock exchange in 2018 and for 5 years preceding, according to Bloomberg. This was mainly because no ETF or public holding company existed to expose US retail investors to the companies in this region. This was disheartening to many overseas Jamaicans wanting to invest, but one man, David P. A. Mullings, decided to change the game with Miami-based Blue Mahoe Capital Partners Inc.
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The steps to success:
Mullings’ life as a child is what paved the way to his success. It allowed him to establish critical values and attitudes towards excellence and discipline. He grew up in Jamaica, a country where he saw black people in prominent positions, so he grew up thinking about social class instead of race and how to increase financial outcomes while remaining down-to-earth and relatable like his parents, a doctor/university lecturer and a nurse both raised in rural Jamaica. His childhood upbringing was vital to how he treats people, his commitment to excellence, and his focus on honesty.
Bolstered by these beliefs, he grew up to work in finance in Jamaica, cutting his teeth at a small private equity firm in Florida and then working as an Investor Relations Specialist at a Hedge Fund. Unfortunately, soon after, he found himself in serious surgery at 38 years old, which made him confront the risks he didn’t take and how much of his dreams were unfulfilled. He had already begun working on his big idea - an investment firm modeled after Berkshire Hathaway but with minorities in mind. He believed that the world needed more minority-owned investment firms and stronger financial literacy, so he doubled down on his concept of Blue Mahoe Capital Partners which was based on his presentation at the Jamaica Stock Exchange annual conference a few years earlier.
The creation and achievements:
He asked for guidance from his mentor, Jamaican-Canadian billionaire Michael Lee-Chin and after months of tireless effort, Mullings, with his MBA degree from the University of Miami, completed at age 22, assembled a team and applied the concepts he believed in and the result birthed a stronger Blue Mahoe Capital Partners. Now 40 years old, Mullings and his team have built a concentrated portfolio of high-quality public and private companies based in or operating in the Caribbean and are working on make it easy for US retail investors to get exposure to the overlooked region. But the plans don't end there. Once they go public, they will be one of the few Black-owned firms to list and the first Jamaican-owned company to list on a major US exchange. They are currently in negotiations to add an asset management company to their private equity portfolio and also become the exclusive US partner for a top performing Canadian investment fund that invests globally. While the Jamaica Stock Exchange was down 22% for 2020, Blue Mahoe Capital’s public portfolio was up over 16%, helping rid Mullings of impostor syndrome. Their first impact fund launches later this year.
How did he do it? The Blue Mahoe Capital Partners Founder, Chairman and CEO believes in daring to be different, bold, and never limiting yourself to others' expectations. He emphasizes the importance of financial literacy for wealth creation, picking the right role models and “sharing knowledge in a down-to-earth way so that others can learn what we know”. He aims to be successful enough to inspire generations of people to think bigger, set goals, and commit to executing them excellently while paying it forward.