- Former President, Banco Nacional de Mexico (Financial Services)
Born Mexico City, Mexico, 1935. BA, Universidad Iberoamericana (1957); BBA Georgetown University (1957).
“I had to pay close attention if I was going to make a fifteen year loan, so I wouldn’t be lending to an industry that was threatened by a company with new technology or better prices, or quality.”
Agustín Legorreta, former President of Banco Nacional de Mexico, discusses how he navigated several major crises, including the nationalization of private banks during the economic crisis of 1982. In the interview he describes how, after receiving his BBA from Georgetown University in 1957, he briefly worked at a few banks in France before returning to Mexico, where he worked at a subsidiary of Banco Nacional de Mexico called Casa de Bolsa Banamex. There he was quickly promoted to the department of methods and systems, where he helped contribute to the modernization of the Bank by establishing streamlined systems and processes. From there he was appointed General Director, and under that title was able to build a board of Directors that more accurately represented the nation. He was shortly thereafter tasked with handling the heated negotiations that followed expropriation in 1982. As Legorreta explains in the interview, when the government took over the private banks, it could not sell its new shares without damaging the market; therefore the only alternative was to negotiate a “book” price for the shares and give them back to the private banks' former owners as partial compensation. Legorreta describes how he was able to avoid bankruptcy and maintain relationships by employing strong negotiation and communication tactics. He then comments on progress since 1984, focusing on how he helped to strengthen the relationship between the government and banking sectors by establishing strong ties with individuals on both sides.