News & Highlights

  • JANUARY 2019

Executive Education: Agribusiness Seminar

Every January for the past 59 years, Harvard Business School has been host to the Agribusiness Seminar. Founded by Professor Emeritus Ray Goldberg, the program seeks to help leaders in the world of food and agriculture to better understand the trends that will impact their field. The program creates 12 new case studies annually that span the globe and value chain. With all of the turmoil in global trade over the past several years, the faculty team decided that a case on global soy production could be informative for participants. The Latin America Research Center, engaged a highly respected agribusiness company in Argentina, Duhau Group, to act as the guide. Duhau Group provided access to their farms and company personnel and facilitated meetings with notable economists and agribusiness experts in Argentina. The group offered perspectives on the acute and significant rupture in prices between the Chicago Board of Trade and the Buenos Aires Exchange for Soybeans. This significant development generates important questions about the future of price discovery in this market as well as how soy growers should be thinking about long term investments on their farms. Renowned HBS Professor and Argentinian economist, Alberto Cavallo, taught a case on Duhau Group at this year’s Agribusiness Seminar.
  • DECEMBER 2018
  • Alumni News

Alumni Impact: Raising the Barrio

Can the shantytowns of Buenos Aires be integrated into the city that long neglected them? Buenos Aires mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (MBA 1993) is working to reintegrate the barrios of his city. In August 2016, eight months after taking office, Rodríguez Larreta pledged to develop the neighborhood. His first step: establishing a mayoral office in the heart of the barrio, reclaiming a building that had until recently been the headquarters of a drug dealer known as “Tarzan.” It was a symbolic gesture, Rodríguez Larreta acknowledges, but an important one.
  • MAY 2018

Alumni Achievement Award

Harvard Business School conferred its most important honor, the Alumni Achievement Award, on five distinguished graduates as part of the Class Day ceremony for the MBA Class of 2018. One of the recipients was Claudio Hadda (OMP 1987), chairman of Insper Institute of Education and Research, a university he helped launch in São Paulo, Brazil. Haddad’s career began in academia and includes serving as director of Brazil’s Central Bank and building Banco Garantia into one of South America’s most prestigious banks. Together with a group of Brazilian investors, in 1999 he acquired Insper and has since expanded it into one of Brazil’s leading educational institutions.

New Research on the Region

  • March 2019 (Revised April 2019)
  • Case

GENTERA: Facing the Digital Age

By: Michael Chu and Carla Larangeira

After long dominating Mexican microfinance, Compartamos Banco faces the emergence of fintech, just as for the first time its loan portfolio and clients have declined. Enrique Majós, CEO of GENTERA, the bank´s parent company, is keenly aware of the profound changes since the Compartamos IPO in April 2007, when it was valued at $1.5 billion and became the first bank wholly dedicated to microfinance to be quoted in a major stock exchange. Since then, the market has become intensely competitive, with both large established institutions and new entrants vying for the same customers. Simultaneously, the digital era has spawned fintech, threatening to disrupt Compartamos’ highly successful model but also providing opportunities for the bank to reshape it. While challenged to manage key innovation within a leading incumbent, Majós must consider whether to commit his team to a major cost reduction in the next few years to his board of directors at their next meeting at the end of the month.

  • February 2019
  • Case

Mexico: Shifting Left with AMLO

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador became president of Mexico on December 1, 2018. His election, and the victory of his new Party, MORENA, represent a sharp shift to the left by Mexico’s political system. Previously, President Pena Nieto and his party, the PRI, had initiated and implemented the Pacto – a long overdue series of institutional and structural reforms. Yet even after several years, Mexico had not shown significant improvements in productivity, or growth. With U.S. relations at a low point, thanks to President Trump’s neo-isolationism, Mexico elected Obrador as a nationalistic response. It remained to be seen how his new policies would affect Mexico’s growth.

  • February 2019 (Revised March 2019)
  • Case

Banorte and the Capital Call Facility: Infrastructure Finance in Mexico

By: John D. Macomber, Carla Larangeira and Fernanda Miguel

As a result of Mexico´s pension industry deregulation, pension funds were able to invest in energy and infrastructure projects through a variety of financial instruments, particularly through Capital Development Certificates (CKDs), an asset class that served as a vehicle for investing in unlisted companies. By the end of 2017, pension funds had invested more than $16 billion in infrastructure, with CKDs as the primary investment vehicle for this sector. Motivated by increased domestic liquidity and opportunities for investment, Rodrigo Jair launched Jair Infrastructure Investments, a specialized fund with the majority of its capital raised from pension funds. Jair was approached by Felipe Duarte, head of Banorte´s Infrastructure and Energy Group, who offered him a short-term credit line to increase the fund´s liquidity during its investment phase. Jair had to decide whether he should deploy this line or rely exclusively on capital calls from his investors to fund his pipeline. Was it worth paying the commitment fees to achieve increased liquidity? What risks should he consider when making this decision? What are the upsides and downsides of relying on equity or debt for a fund like Jair Infrastructure Investments? Will techniques like this bring significantly more capital into infrastructure investing?

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Buenos Aires Staff

Fernanda Miguel
Mariana Cal
Senior Researcher
Maria Martha Ruiz Melo
Office Manager

São Paulo Staff

Priscilla Zogbi
Ruth Costas
Senior Researcher
Patricia Thome
Office & Program Manager

Mexico City Staff

Carla Larangeira
Senior Researcher