Realizing Cambodia’s Investment Potential: KRW Advisor interviews Douglas Clayton, CEO of Leopard Capital

Interview by Keith W. Rabin | June 2011

Thank you Doug for speaking with us today. Before we begin, can you tell us about your background and how you came to form Leopard Capital?

Over the past 25 years that I’ve been investing in Asia, I‘ve seen numerous countries transform from avoided frontiers into popular emerging markets. I set up Leopard Capital in 2007 to invest in the next wave of pre-emerging markets. We selected our first target, Cambodia in 2007 and went out and launched a fund there while everyone was focused on the global financial crisis.

Cambodia is far off the radar screens of most investors, even those that focus on emerging and frontier markets. Can you tell us about Cambodia as an investment destination?

Cambodia is a remarkable country, a poster child of post-conflict healing. The economy is still small but will grow multi-fold over the next few decades.

Cambodia begins to attract money

June 2011

Cambodia, once regarded as a spill-over investment from Vietnam, is showing signs of standing on its own feet as frontier funds start to produce strong returns.

Frontier investors such as Leopard Capital – a private equity fund which launched a potential $100m Cambodia-focused fund in 2008 only to close with $34m – is now finding renewed interest in the country, holding the door open as other regional funds begin to sense an opportunity.

Vietnam’s largest asset manager, Vinacapital Investment Management, in January announced it would be expanding into Cambodia with a pledge to invest $100m, launching a dedicated fund targeting real estate, infrastructure, hospitality and agriculture investments.