As I sat in my seat onboard my Delta fight bound to LAX and then YYZ -yes I am a fan of airport codes- I suddenly realised that it was my 10th time attending PDAC in Toronto. Wow! The fist time I went there was in 2005; it feels like a lifetime ago. I used to go every year until I moved to Australia, when I had to skip a few.
People usually complain about how long it takes to get places from Australia and I guess they are right. It does take me longer to get to Toronto in comparison to flight times from Argentina. But flying has always been exciting for me, no matter the destination, who I’m going with or whether it’s work or pleasure. I enjoy walking around airports, getting there and then just flying.
Somehow I ended up getting a seat window today -even though our very reliable agent Lisa couldn’t get me one-, and despite the fact that I forgot a few things, like the cable for using my wireless headphones during flight, it’s seemed like it would be a great start. And it was! I got in late on Saturday and as usual adjusted to Toronto time in a snap. Lucky for me, as the agenda was jam packed from early Sunday. Some 25,000 people gathered in what is probably the largest Convention I’ve attended.
Aside from the multiple activities and amount of people -over 24,000 according to PDAC’s account-, I think the most remarkable thing was that everyone was very excited. Happiness was everywhere; people were smiling, talking about their recent capital raise, about their IPO, how they were about to drill their flagship project or some combination of the above. Everybody was busy doing something interesting. People were just walking around catching up, coming to say hello, and the sentiment was infectious.
Latin America had quite a place in the spotlight, with presence from Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Argentina.
I had time to attend most of the capital markets program. The private equity panel was of special interest to me. Eric N. Vincent, from Electrum Group LLC; Isser Elishis, Waterton Global Resource Management; Gareth Turner, Apollo Private Equity and Warren Gilman, from CEF Holdings Ltd. spent sharing their criteria on how they pick investments. More on that can be found here.
On a not so serious note, there was one important change to the otherwise very stable agenda, which caused a lot of talk, particularly among the Argentinean delegation… the official party was moved to Wednesday! If you missed another stellar performance of the Dave Murphy Band, take note for next year, you better leave on Thursday. It was fantastic!
So that was my take. Anyone care to venture their opinions?
Paola Rojas is an investment specialist from Argentina, focused on connecting capital and opportunities in Latin America, mainly in resources and technology. She is Managing Director at Synergy Resource Capital, based in Sydney. She holds a Master of Commerce in Finance, from the University of New South Wales and is an Associate at FINSIA (Financial Services Institute of Australasia).