The Portico Podcast

Aleem Remtula on Investing in Refugees & Displaced Communities

October 05, 2022 Portico Advisers, LLC Episode 18
The Portico Podcast
Aleem Remtula on Investing in Refugees & Displaced Communities
Show Notes

In today’s episode, I speak with Aleem Remtula, a Partner on the private equity team at Developing World Markets.

DWM is an impact investing firm that has invested debt and equity in over 200 companies across 70 countries over the last two decades.

While this experience provides a broad canvas for discussion topics, the focus of my conversation with Aleem is DWM’s investments amongst refugees and displaced communities — a population that now exceeds 100 million people worldwide.

I’m passionate about this topic — and the dignity of displaced persons — for many reasons, including the fact that my maternal grandparents were refugees. By the end of this show, I hope that you will be, too.

In our discussion, Aleem shares some astonishing statistics and details that upend the conventional wisdom on what constitutes a displaced community. 

He discusses the roles that investment can play in assisting these communities, the unique challenges they face with respect to financial inclusion, the role of gender equity in DWM’s Displaced Communities Fund, and much more.

Like me, some listeners may wonder whether investing in refugees might result in predatory lending to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Aleem addresses this question head-on and he enumerates the safeguards DWM employs to ensure that it’s a responsible investor. So, listen in for a very thoughtful conversation.

Aleem also provides some book recommendations — one of which I’ve already scooped up. You can find links to the books and other resources in the show notes.

With that, I hope you enjoy this episode. And if you do, please share it with friends and colleagues.

This podcast was recorded in September 2022.


Learn more about Developing World Markets.

UNHCR: Global displacement hits another record, capping decade-long rising trend.

World Bank, Forcibly Displaced: Toward a Development Approach Supporting Refugees, the Internally Displaced, and Their Hosts

Aleem’s book recommendations:

·       Christine Mahoney, Failure and Hope: Fighting for the Rights of the Forcibly Displaced

·       Dina Nayeri, The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You


Music credit: Daniel Allan, “Too Close” released on Sound. You can learn more about Daniel’s community-owned DAO that underwrote his latest EP here.

(Disclosure: In addition to the “Too Close” NFT, Portico’s founder Michael Casey owns $OVERSTIM tokens, as well as many other music NFTs; his Sound collector profile is available here).