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Updated On: Tuesday, November 21 2017

New OPIC chief: 'I'm here to build it' not wind it down

Content by: Devex

WASHINGTON — For the better part of the past year, a cloud of uncertainty has shrouded the future of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, but its new CEO is unequivocal about one thing: he’s there to build the organization, not shut it down.

“I think OPIC has a very exciting future. I'm a builder of businesses, I'm not a lawyer or someone who's an administrator to wind something down or babysit it, I'm here to build it,” Ray Washburne told Devex in an exclusive interview.

Washburne, a Texas-based investor and businessman, also served as vice chairman of the Trump Victory Committee and chair of the transition’s commerce team. He’s been involved in private equity investing for his entire career, about 37 years, and plans to draw on that experience as he leads the U.S. development finance agency, which has a $21.5 billion portfolio of loans and guarantees in approximately 100 countries.

While he doesn’t have any experience investing in emerging markets, he has “been involved involved in a vast array of businesses” and many of the projects he has developed or goods he has helped manufacture “are very interchangeable with what people do in other countries.”

Washburne has been spending his early days learning about the geopolitical issues that impact OPIC’s decisions. For much of that, he’s relying on OPIC’s “very professional staff that has tremendous knowledge that I’m able to leverage off of,” he said.

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