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Empowering Caribbean Investment: An Exclusive Interview with David Mullings, CEO of Blue Mahoe Holdings

Empowering Caribbean Investment: An Exclusive Interview with David Mullings, CEO of Blue Mahoe Holdings

The Caribbean business landscape is evolving, driven by visionary leaders creating new growth and development opportunities.

One such trailblazer is David Mullings, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Mahoe Holdings.

Recently, the OCEAN Style media team interviewed Mullings to discuss his innovative approach to making investment opportunities accessible to retail investors, particularly in affordable housing and public equities.

 In this exclusive interview, Mullings shares his insights on the Caribbean market, his commitment to economic empowerment, and his vision for future investment in the region. 

 Join us as we delve into the mind of a leader who is transforming the Caribbean investment landscape, one opportunity at a time.

How Did It Feel to Achieve The Goal Of The First Step Towards Getting Listed on The Nasdaq? Was There a Particular Moment During This Process That Stands Out to You?

Our plan to direct list on the NASDAQ and accomplish the first step of an SEC-qualified offering of shares to the public in the USA via a Reg CF has been something that I have been working on for 6 years, and COVID-19 robbed us of 3 years. It was a great reminder that perseverance is required for real success.

The moment that stands out for me the most on this journey is my meeting with Michael Lee-Chin on June 11, 2019, when he made quite a few commitments to help ensure that Blue Mahoe Capital would become the vehicle in the USA to invest in Jamaica and the Caribbean. We want to unlock diaspora direct investment because it is more patient.

What Strategic Decisions Or Actions Do You Think Were Most Critical In Reaching This Achievement?

Three key decisions were working backward by studying companies that executed successful direct listings and understanding their steps, Connecting with NASDAQ to get direct support and introductions, and asking Michael Lee-Chin to help us. His team has been very supportive, and his strategic advice has increased the valuation while strengthening the growth plan.

What Kind of Preparation and Planning Went Into Getting Blue Mahoe Capital Ready for The NASDAQ Listing?

Getting Blue Mahoe Capital, Inc. ready for a NASDAQ listing has been quite a journey, especially around the audit, understanding the rules related to future investments to not become a regulated investment company under the 1940 act, board structure and governance as well as SEC reporting. We are excited to have all our ducks in a row.

How Would You Describe The Current Investment Landscape, Especially in The Context of Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery and Geopolitical Uncertainties?

I believe that there are always uncertainties, so that doesn't change how I feel about investing, it just changes where I seek to invest. There is always somewhere to deploy capital with relatively lower risk than all the offers on the table so due diligence is key.

 The world is getting hotter; oceans are rising, people are still being born and need to eat. This means that capital will change hands, so I focus on companies with durable competitive advantages in long-term industries and good management.

 The Caribbean is a prime investment ground as governments get their fiscal houses in order.

Where Do You See Particularly Attractive Investment Opportunities Right Now? Are There Specific Sectors Or Regions That You Believe Are Poised For Growth?

All emerging and frontier market countries that are fiscally prudent are poised for growth because that is where the majority of global growth is coming from and will continue to come from.

 India and Sub-Saharan Africa excite me but it is not time for us to go there as yet. We are staying close to home with the Caribbean region and investing in the same industries that grew in Singapore and India 20 years ago as GDP per capita climbed.

Conversely, What Do You Perceive As The Biggest Risks Or Challenges in The Current Investment Environment?

The biggest risks in today's environment are political instability in the USA, a lack of peaceful transfer of power is a real possibility again and instability there leads to instability everywhere because other countries rely on them for security.

More wars do not benefit anyone except arms manufacturers. Climate change and continued dithering by the richest countries also pose a grave threat, especially to small island developing states that can't do much about rising sea levels and beach erosion. Stronger hurricanes equal significantly more economic damage and loss of lives.

How Do You Think The NASDAQ Listing Will Impact Blue Mahoe Capital in Terms of Growth, Visibility, and Investor Confidence?

The NASDAQ listing of Blue Mahoe Capital will unleash a tsunami of equity capital into the Caribbean that is patient and won't run away as FDI does.

 The multiplier effect of that capital will help grow entire industries, and the owners of those businesses will then invest in other businesses and help to spur a true early-stage investment ecosystem that supports innovation unlike what presently exists.

It will also increase our visibility, and investor confidence will skyrocket, bringing even more capital.

We have become a viable way for Caribbean companies to get US market exposure, even unlocking possible mergers and acquisitions for the smartest business owners who want access to a larger, more liquid, and more sophisticated market without the headache of cross-listing. We can buy them with our shares and give them US dollar liquidity.

What Are Your Broader Objectives for Blue Mahoe Holdings in The Next 5 To 10 Years? What Are The Key Milestones You Aim to Achieve?

Blue Mahoe Holdings is focused on being the next Berkshire Hathaway with an asset management business like Blackstone, that is Michael Lee-Chin's ask of me. This means growing AUM over the next 10 years, launching multiple funds, owning operating companies that have moats, and then going beyond the Caribbean region to continue providing retail investors with access.

Key milestones for us are paying our first dividend because unlike Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, we will pay a dividend, acquiring control of one well-known Caribbean company, crossing the US$1 Billion market cap mark, and facilitating South-South trade by entering another emerging market.

What Impact Do You Hope Blue Mahoe Holdings Will Have on The Broader Financial And Investment Community, Particularly in The Caribbean?

In the USA, more people will see Blue Mahoe Capital as a repeatable case study and a new generation will learn about Buffett's approach to investing. In the Caribbean, we will be disruptive innovators in every industry we choose to invest, inspire 2 generations at the minimum, and reshape how private equity investments are made. Hopefully we will help to improve customer service and timeliness drastically.

What Advice Would You Give To Other Entrepreneurs Who Aspire to Achieve Similar Milestones, Such As Listing Their Company On a Major Stock Exchange?

Michael Lee-Chin said to identify the role model, get the recipe, and don't change the recipe. I am following Warren Buffett just like he did.

I was able to pick the role mode because I had clarity of purpose, I knew what problem I was passionate about solving, and I was willing to go through the pain to achieve that worthy fantasy, whatever it would take. That's a Stephen Schwarzman Blackstone reference.

 Entrepreneurs need to have clarity, narrow their focus on their primary customers, learn from the mistakes of others, learn from the successes of others, and get a group of advisors. Get your hands dirty and start building instead of complaining. Think bigger and persevere.

What Future Plans Or Innovations Do You Have In Store for Blue Mahoe Holdings? Are There Any Upcoming Projects Or Initiatives That You're Particularly Excited about?

I am most excited about a secret project in the entertainment space, and I still can't reveal it yet. We are building affordable houses in Jamaica and will move on to Barbados next, so I am excited to provide starter homes for people at reasonable prices, but must admit that entertainment is my first love because of Realvibez, and we have something very special in mind that should make Black people around the world very proud.

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