History of Ashton Global Investment Management

Kijana Ashton Mack is the Founder and Senior Managing Director of Ashton Global, world’s best performing emerging manager hedge fund platform.

Ashton Global Expands Investment Team to Cover Mexico

The newly deregulated power markets in Mexico provided an opportunity to further grow Ashton Global’s platform in Latin America. After identifying many low-risk opportunities related to project finance, renewable energy, and electricity markets, Ashton Global launched full-time investment operations in the country in October 2018. While previously only focused on the family offices in Mexico for fundraising, we now expect Mexico to be a major source of deal flow over the next three to five years.

Emerging Markets Direct Lending Fund is Launched

Ashton Global’s experience in emerging markets and new partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) led to the formation of the direct lending strategy. Seeking to utilize the deal pipeline and local markets expertise of the Africa Frontiers Fund and the International Small-Cap Fund, along with the support of regional development banks, we expect to offer a compelling private credit product in today’s world of low interest rates globally.

Ashton Global Expands Platform to the United Arab Emirates

After being selected to participate in the Sharjah/Financial Times FDI Conference, Ashton Global’s network grew to potentially include major seed capital providers and development banks in Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.

Africa Frontiers Fund is Launched 

Portfolio Manager Joel Mwaura was introduced to Ashton Global by a 20-year high school friend of Kijana Mack. While initially introduced to work jointly on mining and real estate transactions in Africa, it quickly became clear that a larger and more formal partnership was warranted. The Africa Frontiers Fund was formed and is focused on East Africa with a special interest in Kenya. The fund will pursue niche investment opportunities at attractive valuations, with a moderate level of risk. The country’s road and telecom infrastructure, educated and growing population, and geographic location make this the country of choice for accessing Africa.

New York Based Hedge Fund Believes in the Mission

In mid-2017, Kijana contacted fellow Loyola alumni Harry Markopolos to discuss rasing capital for Ashton Global. Mr. Markopolos introduced Ashton Global to a prominent New York-based hedge fund that has a long-term investment horizon and that was seeking to scale by seeding managers. In a series of three transactions valued at $4.75 million, Ashton Global was now a well-capitalized start-up with capital to grow, and support from a well established hedge fund manager.

Ashton Global Litigation Finance Fund is Launched

As part of the terms of the transaction with the New York-based hedge fund, certain interests on potential case settlements owned by Ashton Global were pledged to the seed capital provider. In parallel with this liquidity event, the remaining portion of those initial case settlements were put into a fund that is open to accredited investors. Since the launch, more than a dozen potential settlement interests have been added to the portfolio. We expect litigation finance to be a long-term platform for growth and capital appreciation at Ashton Global.

Ashton Global Platform Expands Across the Americas

Ashton Global evaluated Sao Paolo and Mexico City as it sought to expand its operating footprint into Latin America. After careful consideration of the business climate, ethics and regulatory compliance, infrastructure, and the time-zone, Mexico City was ultimately selected as the headquarters in Latin America.

Ashton Global Receives First Mandate

After meeting in New York in 2010, Kijana became close friends with Thinley Wangchuk. They would often meet to discuss value investing and major market developments on a regular basis. After becoming clear that there were major synergies between Wangchuk Capital, LLC and Ashton Global, Mr. Wangchuk signed on as Ashton Global’s first emerging manager who enjoys a five-year track record and a 1.30 Sharpe ratio.

Hedge Fund Experience Puts Emerging Markets in Focus

Kijana also worked on the buy-side at a large hedge fund based in New York. As the Director of Credit Risk and Underwriting, Kijana gained substantive private transaction experience on the origination and structuring of term loans and revolving credit facilities to SMEs across Latin America.

Kijana Mack Forms Ashton Global LLC in Delaware

Ashton Global maintains a focus on compliance and transparency. It was formed in Delaware as a Limited Liability Company and does not use offshore entities in any jurisdiction. All fund structures are simple and transparent and provide piece of mind for potential investors.

Cambridge Associates Career Sets the Stage for Success

From 2005 to 2010 Kijana Mack worked for Cambridge Associates, world’s largest institutional investment consulting firm. As a leader in the Capital Markets Group, Kijana gained experience across multiple asset classes, and gained experience delivering the level of service necessary for world’s most sophisticated clients.

Career on Wall Street Makes an Impact

After completing an MBA program ay Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business, Kijana headed to Manhattan to cover oil & gas, mining, and packaging companies at Moody’s, world’s largest credit rating agency. Kijana gained prominence among investors for publishing timely investment research, delivering incredibly accurate forecasts, and for providing prudent relative value trading recommendations to clients across the capital structure.

World's Best Performing Emerging Manager Platform

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Infrastructure Financing in Emerging Markets

One of the most innovative ideas in private infrastructure funding is to scale and package financing in ways that appeal to investors. Many nations in Latin America had considerable success in building infrastructure through alternative arrangements with private investors. Among other benefits, public-private partnerships (PPPs) can provide a solution to the problem of the second-best when it is politically impossible to fund new infrastructure through taxation alone.

Distressed Debt Investing

Distressed debt offers the highest potential return of any type of debt security. Using all the available information can turn the danger of bankruptcy into the opportunity to gain control of the company. The relatively small size of the companies involved, the illiquidity of the assets, and the limited number of players make distressed debt like private equity. These inefficiencies in the distressed debt market create niche spaces where Ashton Global can generate alpha.

The Growing Benefits of Private Credit Investing

By tapping into the markets abandoned by banks, private credit investors are able to obtain higher yields than bonds, more stability than stocks, and greater portfolio diversification. Higher yields are still available to private credit investors. Yields of around 7%-10% can be obtained on private loans to mid-sized companies. Even higher yields are possible when investing in distressed debt. While there is greater risk than in the public bond market, there are also higher returns.

ESG Adds Value for Our Investors

Ashton Global has historically used ESG factors which are vital when valuing companies in emerging and frontier markets. We utilize the Five Forces Model from Michael Porter when applying ESG analysis to our investments. Ashton Global looks at the effects of ESG goals on fair value and revenue, and we also carefully evaluate the consequences of ESG for project costs.

The Advantages of Investing in Opportunity Zones

Opportunity zones have significant tax advantages for investors and were designed to revitalize parts of the country left behind during the decade-long economic recovery in the US. Some of them are in old industrial areas and inner cities. Investing in opportunity zones can offer high returns but is important to focus on asset quality and sustainability.

Opportunities in Healthcare Real Estate

The idea of investing in healthcare real estate is intuitively appealing. The healthcare and real estate sectors often outperform the S&P 500. When we look closer, a combination of demographic and economic factors supports the growth of healthcare real estate.

Bhutan: An Investor’s Dream

Bhutan combines a strong record of economic growth with an equally impressive commitment to the environment, society, and good governance. Bhutan also enjoys a favorable location between India and China, two of the fastest-growing economies in the world. A burgeoning...

Infrastructure and Power Opportunities in Kenya

Kenya already has an impressive record for developing its infrastructure and power system. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report, Kenya has the most competitive economy in East Africa. Although it is still a frontier market, Kenya's road quality is above average at 61 out of the 140 nations evaluated by the WEF.