Setting the scene against the backdrop of the Atlas mountains in magical Marrakech, IMAP Chairman, Jurgis Oniunas, quoted British theoretical physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson* – The world is both broad and deep – and we need both birds and frogs working together to explore it. 

Relating the metaphor to IMAP, Jurgis explained: “With representatives from over 40 countries, IMAP partners have the opportunity both to have a top-down ‘bird’s eye’ view of trends from around the world, as well as the ability to arbitrage ideas from one market, to use in another; and the bottom-up ‘frog’s view’ of specific deals and markets.“

Providing the bird’s eye sessions with a quick immersion into the investment climate in Morocco and Africa were:

– Host firm, Ascent Capital Partners, Managing Partners, Abdellatif Imani and Mehdi Berbich
– Ahmed Reda Chami, President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE), and current Moroccan ambassador to the European Union in Brussels.
– Sofiane Lahmar, Development Partners International (DPI), an industry leader in the African private equity space.  
– Lamia Merzouki, is Deputy General Manager at Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA).
– Hans Bevers, Chief Economist at Bank Degroof Petercam, who gave a macro economic overview.

The frog’s perspective came from a series IMAP partners presenting on: completed innovative IMAP deals; how to transform our businesses into full-service financial firms; and using new software to integrate our pipelines. Thanks to the beautiful Moroccan climate, many of the discussions on deals in sector groups and bi-lateral meetings took place in the sunshine. The IMAP conclusion: perhaps it’s best to be a frog with wings.

An in-depth review of the Marrakech conference will appear in our 7th edition of IMAP’s bi-annual publication, Creating Value, due out at the end of November.

IMAP’s spring conference is in March 2020 in Denver with host firm Capstone Headwaters directing proceedings.
* As quoted in Range, by David Epstein, Random House, 2019.

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