Managing Partner

Pontefract Global Strategies, LLC


Mr. Seymour’s experience in emerging markets began in early 1976 shortly after joining Bankers Trust Company when he was one of two representatives from the bank on the international bank committee (London Club) for the rescheduling of the sovereign debt of Zaire. This was the  first sovereign debt rescheduling exercise and one which required him to work closely with senior bankers, representatives from IMF, government representatives from other nations as well as government and bank officials from Zaire. Simultaneously, Mr. Seymour was responsible for the Bankers Trust business in 15 Francophone and Anglophone countries in Africa including Angola where he was the first American banker to enter the country following the civil war.

From his successful experience in Africa he relocated in late 1977 to Manama, Bahrain where he was asked to assist in the start up of the Bankers Trust offshore branch as well as to establish the bank’s business in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, and Oman. After three years, including six months as the acting General Manager, he was transferred to Manila, the Philippines, to help convert the Representative office into a Branch.  During his two years in Manila he was also responsible for the bank’s business with government entities, commercial banks, and corporations.

Mr. Seymour returned to the U.S. for a year and a half to manage a team of ten people responsible for Bankers Trust’s business relationships with Asian financial institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. In 1983, he was assigned to Taipei, Taiwan as Senior Country Officer and General Manager of the 50-person branch. He worked closely with major family and government owned corporations and financial institutions in Taiwan on balance sheet restructuring, working capital improvements, and capital expansion.

In 1985, Mr. Seymour returned to the U.S. on secondment from Bankers Trust Company to be General Manager of the New York branch of a Dubai Bank which had lost its OCC license, had serious personnel issues involving fraud, and a portfolio of non-performing loans. In six months time Mr. Seymour was able to recover much of the outstanding debt, stabilize the branch, and reestablish the branch operating license from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.  In 1986, Mr. Seymour moved to London to conduct a feasibility study on establishing a broader presence for Bankers Trust Company in Turkey.  From 1986 to 1988 he worked in Istanbul and set-up and was General Manager of a new merchant bank, Turk Merchant Bank, as a joint venture with a local financial institution.

From 1988 to 1990 Mr. Seymour was responsible for specific corporate finance assignments with major multinationals for initiatives in the emerging markets and was head of business planning and administration for the merchant banking operations of Bankers Trust International London.  In 1990 he returned to the U.S. and was responsible for the Bankers Trust business with financial institutions in Latin America and Canada managing a team of 12 people in New York, Mexico City, Bogota, Caracas, Sao Paolo, and Santiago.

He left Bankers Trust after 18 years to join Commonfund in 1993 as co-head of the International Equity and Emerging Markets Funds (marketable securities) and managed the international private capital commitments. In 1995 he initiated and managed the first International Private Equity Fund, a fund of funds focused one-third on Latin America, one-third on Asia, and one-third on Europe. He since managed four additional international private equity funds of funds and acted as Senior Advisor for the fifth fund of funds at Commonfund Capital with aggregate capital of $1.25 billion. His work required extensive research and travel to emerging market countries to assess the investment environment, the quality of the pool of management capabilities, and conduct extensive due diligence on local private equity managers.

While at Commonfund Capital Mr. Seymour was a member of the Advisory Committee of numerous international and domestic private capital limited partnerships including those managed by: AIG Asian Investment Co.; Apax Partners & Co.; Atlas Venture; Brait Capital Partners; Chequers Capital; CVC Capital Partners; Domain Associates; Duke Street Capital; EMP Global; First Reserve Corporation (Observer); H&Q Asia Pacific; Israel Seed Partners; J.W. Childs; Linsalata Capital Partners; Morgenthaler Ventures; Nordic Capital; Pacific Equity Partners; Walden International; Weston Presidio; and West Private Equity. His experience in managing these programs over 13 years has given him extensive knowledge of best practices in private equity, the evaluation of investment opportunities, and risk management.

In mid-2006, Mr. Seymour joined EMP Global in Washington, D.C. to launch an emerging markets private equity fund of funds as a new business line. EMP has been investing in private equity in the emerging markets since 1994 and managed/advised about $7 billion in commitments across 10 funds around the world. This fund launch was deferred with the onset of the global financial crisis. Mr. Seymour managed the marketing of the EMP sponsored Abris Central Europe Growth Fund which closed in 2008 above its target.

In mid-2010 Mr. Seymour became Managing Partner of Pontefract Global Strategies, LLC, a sole practioner consulting and advisory services company for investment firms in the emerging markets with a primary focus on private equity in the frontier emerging markets particularly with an emphasis on social impact investing. Past and current advisory relationships include a private equity firm in Cambodia; an investment boutique in Vietnam; a pan-African investment vehicle in multi-purpose property development for universities; two private equity firms in East Africa; a private equity firm in Bangladesh; Chairman of the Investment Committee of a private equity fund in Haiti; and a member of the Board of the Chiratae Ventures in India. From 1994 to 2016 he was on the Board of the Africa Emerging Markets Fund, a public securities fund, managed by Ashmore. Mr. Seymour previously served on the Board of the Global Partnership for Afghanistan and as international advisor to the Coalition for Green Capital in Washington, D.C. He is  the former Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association of Washington, D.C.

Mr. Seymour holds a B.A. degree in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations from Yale University and an M.B.A. in International Finance from Harvard Business School. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Financial Planner and lives in Wickford, RI where he is on the Board of the Social Enterprise Greenhouse in Rhode Island and chair of its Loan Committee.



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