New Globalism, Nationalism, and Leadership
By Jeffrey Sweeney, Chairman and CEO, US Capital Global
April 28th, 2020
Society is led by its citizens, the original crowdsourcing, if you will. I believe we can count on our brethren to originate the best and most innovative solutions. A new “nationalism” and a new “globalism” is now emerging, with a reexamination of what leadership means—one that is actively listening closely to your constituency, clients, and investors. The recovery and economic reengagement need creativity, and our collective constituency are the essential source of that creativity in partnership with our leaders.
There is growing momentum for business and life to return to a “new” normal sooner rather than later. A critical element to recovery is better data. More accurate data on the extent of COVID-19 infection rates, the possibility that the mortality rate is lower than anticipated, and effective mitigation methodology is driving thoughtful discussions about reopening business. The rapidly developing pandemic and the responses and policies addressing it necessarily ran ahead of reliable data analysis. Better information will allow us to implement improved mitigation strategies.
Being compelled to spend time away from international and domestic friends and colleagues has revealed a deeper appreciation for those relationships and our decisions with regard to partnerships and investments that follow. It is clear to me that our clients and investors are leaders, not followers, and sophisticated enough to separate their long-term decisions from daily current events. They keep a close eye out for systemic changes in the market to find opportunities and are not deterred from executing well-contemplated strategies even in times of apparent uncertainty. Our focus is on environmentally sustainable and positive-impact opportunities that also must meet rigorous financial performance metrics. There appears to be a tertiary benefit of these policies where we find a significant degree of resilience in this sector and approach.
We are seeing quite robust investment opportunities and have received investments in our fixed-income fund this week as well as growth equity investments into several offerings. We have also committed to allocating additional funds to EQIBank on their convertible note this week, which is now open to new investors as well. EQIBank is a non-physical branch, international “digital bank” for fiat currency, digital asset, and crypto currency custodianship and lending. It provides a convenient Commonwealth of Dominica-regulated connection to the international banking community for fiat transfers when most solutions are regional or national in scope.
Rapid testing is emerging not only as the key to navigating the pandemic, but also as a critical element for delivery of modern-day healthcare. OncoGenesis is a next-generation healthcare company committed, for tragic personal reasons, to a 21st-century approach to rapidly screening women for evidence of cervical disease.
OncoGenesis has received European regulatory approval - CE MARK (U.S. FDA 510(k) in process), for iPap, a self-sampling cervical specimen collector, which allows women to collect a cervical specimen at home, and have secured the rights to materials and methods for a rapid, protein biomarker-based assay for HPV and cervical disease screening at the point-of-care. Under their protocol, a sample can either be collected at home and sent to a local or regional lab for analysis or collected at the doctor’s office and analyzed on local POC instrumentation for immediate results. This approach provides answers in minutes, not days, and can be completed without expensive infrastructure or highly trained personnel, reducing costs and expanding opportunity for cervical cancer screening worldwide.
As a society we were already seeing dramatic growth in delivery services before the pandemic made this a key element of essential services.TakeOut Group is what we consider a positive-impact growth equity opportunity. Their market-disruptive online food delivery and takeoutmodel is worldwide expandable and has been unexpectedly timely due to the pandemic. We recognized the opportunity because TakeOut Group were much more supportive of local restaurants than several other businesses in the sector of restaurant food delivery. Their goal, from inception, has been to be more supportive of restaurants by providing a less expensive pricing structure and forwarding client data to help restaurants grow their clientele and corresponding communities.
Takeout Group specifically aim to avoid the sort of unsupportive practices of other prominent food delivery companies. There was a recent class action lawsuit filed in the US against several restaurant delivery providers in the space that elaborates on some of the practices TakeOut Group wishes to avoid.
Alternative fixed-income and growth equity private assets are increasingly garnering interest from financial advisors and broker distribution channels. Digital distribution is becoming increasingly popular with brokers to distribute securities as face-to-face meetings are curtailed. The volatility in the public markets drives investor interest in less liquid, asset-backed fixed-income and growth equity investments, especially non-real estate correlated. Metals House Inc., our gold-trading inventory line of credit and growth equity offering, has been conditionally approved for inclusion on an industry leading RIA platform for advisor allocations to qualified investors, Claraphi Advisory Network.
We are in the process of expanding existing platform distribution to onboard our US Capital Global Business Credit Income Fund LP, US Capital Global Lending LLC, and Raptor International gold asset-backed streaming debt fund on other platforms as digital distribution is increasingly becoming popular. Alternative fixed-income asset-backed funds are minimally correlated with the customary real estate fixed-income investments and are something to consider if one thinks one may be over-exposed in real estate fixed-income positions.
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