Everyone on the commuter ferry to the tiny coastal village of Gezaulole in Tanzania recognized Michael Laverty. Not only was he one of a few foreigners living in the rural settlement, but Laverty’s thrill-seeking demeanor had caught people’s attention too. He had taught himself to ride a motorbike on the streets in full view of the community. “I was probably the only person in Tanzania with a Japanese motorcycle,” he says.
Laverty, a die-hard adventurer, has spent close to a decade launching and managing businesses at the farthest edges of the investment universe. In Dar es Salaam, Laverty designed a research study to help antimalarial medicines reach the country’s outermost villages. And in the midst of a civil war in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, he ran a logistics business and oversaw a downstream petroleum company with $5 million a week in turnover. His next challenge: fraught, difficult Cuba.