The Africa Decade? Investment Manager William S. Leavitt Sees Tremendous Untapped Potential

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Alternatives expert says investors should reassess their views on Africa or risk losing an opportunity.

Africa has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in the world, an emerging middle class and abundant natural resources, minerals and commodities including oil, wheat, gold, uranium and diamonds, among others.

Speaking at the 2010 Global Asset Allocation Summit hosted by Opal Financial Group last week, William S. Leavitt, President of Leavitt Capital Management, Inc., said African private equity is one of the most attractive investment opportunities today and expects it to be a top performing asset class over the next decade.

Leavitt, an expert in alternative investments who was recently featured in Dr. Marc Faber’s The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, was invited as a guest speaker to discuss his unique views on asset allocation. The event was designed to explore strategies and techniques for augmenting returns and mitigating risk in global asset allocations.

Leavitt emphasized that in order to achieve true diversification and optimal returns, an asset allocation strategy must include non-traditional assets. He went on to say that some of the best, non-correlated investment opportunities are in the frontier markets, particularly in Africa.

“Africa has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in the world, an emerging middle class and abundant natural resources, minerals and commodities including oil, wheat, gold, uranium and diamonds, among others,” Leavitt said. “Furthermore, Africa is still largely undiscovered and very attractive from a valuation perspective,” he added.

When Leavitt asked the audience how many had exposure to emerging markets, about half raised their hand. When he asked how many had private equity exposure in Africa, not one hand was raised, anecdotally confirming his views.

Leavitt firmly believes that Africa could be the next China. “Africa today is not dissimilar to where China was 15 years ago” he said. “Back then, there were few ways to play that market, but if you were one of the lucky ones to find a way to participate, the rewards were tremendous,” he added.

“Africa is clearly an uncrowded trade,” Leavitt said. “There are exceptional opportunities there, if you know how and where to invest,” he added.

William (Bill) Leavitt is an expert on alternative investments and writes about water and energy. Mr. Leavitt is the president of Leavitt Capital Management, Inc., a registered investment advisory firm established in 1985. His firm specializes in identifying and investing in unique investments, affording wealthy families and institutions exposure to a multitude of opportunities, including water, food, agriculture, energy, environmental solutions and timber, among others. Mr. Leavitt’s research and investments span to virtually all areas of the world, including sugarcane ethanol plants and cattle ranches in rural Brazil, timber harvesting sites in New Zealand and manufacturing facilities in Vietnam, Ukraine, Africa, and China.

Mr. Leavitt is a frequent guest speaker whose comments on alternative investments have been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, Financial News Network, Emerging Markets Week, MAR HEDGE, Smart Money Online, TheStreet.com and ABCNews.com.

Contact:
William S. Leavitt
Leavitt Capital Management, Inc.
3000 Dundee Road, Suite 101
Northbrook, IL 60062-2424
(847) 205-1300
leavitt(at)leavittcapital(dot)com
http://www.leavittcapital.com

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