New leadership announced for GuarantCo as it expands into Asia

  • Date written
  • December, 2016

London 21 December 2016 - The unique emerging markets currency guarantee firm GuarantCo announces management reshuffle which will coincide with an office opening in Singapore.

GuarantCo, which is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), is making the management changes as Chief Executive Officer Chris Vermont prepares for retirement at the end of the year.

The new management team will be led by Lasitha Perera, Douglas Bennet and Dale Petrie, respectively Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Finance, who have been an integral part of GuarantCo’s development to date. “The Board and I are delighted to see Lasitha, Douglas and Dale step up to lead the business in its next phase of growth. The ability to make such appointments from existing management provides great continuity, as well as showing the strength in depth that Chris has built.” Stated Andrew Bainbridge, Chairman of GuarantCo.

GuarantCo, which is funded by the governments of Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK, was established to help address and overcome constraints in the supply of local financing for infrastructure projects and to help the development of local financial markets in lower income countries.

Under Chris’s vision and leadership, GuarantCo has grown from a small start-up into a leading development finance institution focussed on mobilising private sector investment from local capital markets with an investment capacity of USD 1 billion. Since Chris’s appointment in 2007 GuarantCo has grown its headcount and revenues five times, and is now supported by offices in Singapore and Nairobi in addition to the main team in London. Chris has also played a leading role in the establishment of InfraCredit, Nigeria’s first guarantee company, where he will continue to be a NonExecutive Director post-retirement.

Having reached viable scale and on a solid growth track, Chris now hands over to an established senior management team tasked with continuing the delivery of GuarantCo’s ambitious growth strategy and with a target portfolio of USD 1 billion by the end of 2020.

Lasitha Perera joined GuarantCo in 2009 and is currently Chief Investment Officer with responsibility for origination activities globally. He replaces Chris as Chief Executive Officer and will be Chairman of GMC’s Executive Committee.

Douglas (Pug) Bennet joined GuarantCo in 2006 and has responsibility for GuarantCo’s regulatory, fund-raising and investor relations activities. As Chief Operating Officer he will also assume responsibility for building a syndication capability for GuarantCo and will be Chairman of GMC’s Operations Committee.

Dale Petrie joined GuarantCo in 2014 and as Head of Finance has responsibility for all financial aspects of company strategy and will be Chairman of GMC’s Finance Committee.

“I am delighted that I leave GuarantCo in such capable hands. GuarantCo has developed a problem solving and entrepreneurial style which helps projects solve immediate problems, also transforming markets in the longer term. I would like to thank the team for their dedication and the GuarantCo Board for their consistent support and advice over the years.” said Chris.

Joost Zuidberg, CEO of GMC’s parent Cardano Development, said “Since the start of our involvement as the manager of GuarantCo earlier this year, we have been very impressed by the professionalism and energy of the team. Lasitha, Douglas and Dale are very capable managers and we are very confident of their ability to drive GuarantCo’s mission forward aggressively. We congratulate Chris on having created a world class organisation.”


About GuarantCo

GuarantCo is part-of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), and provides local currency solutions to local or regional financial institutions and bond investors, to help infrastructure projects raise debt finance.

Primarily, this is through guarantees denominated in local currency, although GuarantCo can provide dollar-denominated guarantees in fragile and conflict-affected states and provided the business case supports such financing

GuarantCo is one-of-a-kind – the only local currency guarantee facility in the world targeting infrastructure in frontier markets.

GuarantCo is funded by the UK (DFID), Switzerland (SECO), Sweden (Sida), the Netherlands (DGIS through FMO) and Australia (DFAT).


About PIDG

The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) encourages and mobilises private investment in infrastructure in the frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-east Asia, to help promote economic development and combat poverty. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 133 infrastructure projects to financial close and provided 265 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is a multilateral organisation, funded by donors from seven countries (UK, Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany) and the World Bank Group.