Latin American Business Series

The Latin American Business Series engages the audience in interactive conversations with prominent and influential private and public sector leaders, that address the region’s important and influential role in the global economy, and the world. Through balanced discourse, leaders share experiences, insights and forecasts on the economic, political and social prospects for the region, and discuss business and investment opportunities. The series serves as a platform to build networks, exchange ideas and understand the trends, opportunities and challenges of doing business in, and with Latin America.

Series Highlights

Brazil’s Role and Advances in Fintech and Digital Payment Systems with Roberto Campos Neto (B.S. ’93, M.A. ’95), President, Central Bank of Brazil

January 19, 2023

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Brazil receives over half of all investments made in fintech in Latin America and is home to the highest number of unicorns in the region. The rise of fintech in Brazil represents many of the main challenges and opportunities in the country. Despite facing many policy challenges, Brazil is highly digitized. While mobile banking has been commonplace for years, the recent pandemic accelerated trends in the banking sector where the adoption of digital payments and digital wallets had been rising fast, especially among citizens who previously had no access to banking services – propelling Brazilian fintech forward.

The Center for Global Management (CGM) was honored to welcome Roberto Campos Neto (B.S. ’93, M.A. ’95), governor of the Central Bank of Brazil, back to his alma mater for a fascinating discussion on the Central Bank of Brazil’s innovation agenda and Brazil’s role and advances in fintech. During his 20+ year tenure at Santander, he initiated a global project on technology innovation as part of the "Digital Bank" initiative. He also launched initiatives on blockchain, digital assets, and other innovations shaping the financial markets of the future. During the discussion, the in-person audience, made up of students and alumni from UCLA Anderson’s MBA, PhD and MFE programs and students studying economics at UCLA, had the opportunity to hear from Governor Neto, a strong believer in technology and financial innovation, as he reviewed these technological developments and the Central Bank’s technology agenda, including Pix, an instant payment platform created and managed by the Central Bank of Brazil, which enables the quick execution of payments and transfers. He explored the impact and implications for Brazil, the U.S. and the world; discussed the risks and challenges faced by financial institutions and examined opportunities for startups, venture investors and the global investment community. The conversation, that was also broadcast live to a remote audience of alumni and interested members of the general community, was moderated by Sebastian Edwards, distinguished professor and Henry Ford II Chair in International Management. Dean Tony Bernardo delivered opening remarks. The discussion was a featured event in the CGM’s Latin American Business Series. The UCLA Latin American Institute and Anderson’s Latin American Business Association were supporting organizations. 

The Latin American Business Series engages the audience in interactive conversations with prominent and influential private and public sector leaders, that address the region’s important and influential role in the global economy, and the world. Through balanced discourse, leaders share experiences, insights and forecasts on the economic, political and social prospects for the region, and discuss business and investment opportunities. The series serves as a platform to build networks, exchange ideas and understand the trends, opportunities and challenges of doing business in, and with Latin America.

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Global Consulting and Business Challenges in Latin America Amid COVID-19 with Marcial Rapela, Partner, Bain and Co.

December 3, 2020


 

The Center for Global Management and Latin American Business Association (LABA) hosted a virtual lunchtime discussion with Chile-based Marcial Rapela, partner at Bain & Co. and head of the Santiago, Chile office, where he is an expert in the firm’s Energy & Natural Resources, Advancing Manufacturing & Services and Metals & Mining practices. The luncheon provided an opportunity for interested students from across MBA programs to meet with Rapela in an informal and interactive virtual setting and hear about his extensive consulting career with Bain & Co. in Latin and Central America and the types of projects that he has worked on. He discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the consulting sector and on his organization and shared his predictions on the implications in the short and longer terms as a result of pandemic. Over 30 students from the full-time, fully employed and executive MBA programs, including members of LABA, the Management Consulting Association (MCA) and students interested in global management joined the interactive session. Rapela talked about the recruitment process for consulting and the important skillsets for new hires. He provided tangible advice for students looking to enter the consulting world – both post full-time MBA as well as more experienced hires. He also addressed how Bain has fostered social engagement and maintained culture in the virtual environment with various engagement tools both internally and with its clients. Rapela has worked with top management of large national and multinational groups in several industries such as financial services, healthcare, consumer goods, transportation and logistics, technology, retail and agrochemicals, in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Central America. He has led engagements addressing strategic planning, business unit and corporate strategy, internationalization strategy, M&A, corporate and organizational restructuring, operational excellence programs, distribution strategy, customer loyalty, IT, and product portfolio optimization. The lunch, organized by the Latin American Business Association in partnership with the Center for Global Management, was supported by the Management Consulting Association.
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Global Investment Banking and Doing Business in Latin America with Jim Allen ('93), Head of M and A LatAm, Morgan Stanley

December 1, 2020


 

The Center for Global Management hosted a virtual lunchtime discussion with Jim Allen (’93), an alumnus of the full-time MBA program and member of the CGM’s advisory board. Allen is a senior investment banker and strategic advisor, with over 27 years of experience in investment banking in the U.S. and across Latin America. Since earning his MBA from Anderson in 1993, Allen has been in the Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley, having held positions in U.S. M&A, the Global Media & Communications banking group, and since 2008, as head of M&A for the Latin America region. During his career at Morgan Stanley, Allen has been involved in equity and debt capital markets transactions, and has advised corporations, family-controlled businesses, and governments in M&A transactions, privatizations and debt restructurings. Students from the full-time, fully employed and executive MBA programs, interested in global management and business, including members of the Investment Finance Association and Latin American Business Association joined the intimate and interactive session to hear from Allen. He discussed his experience as a global investment banker and strategic advisor and his career transition from U.S. Navy enabled by UCLA Anderson and talked about his career trajectory since graduating. Allen also shared his experience doing business internationally within a highly global, U.S.-based multinational and addressed the cultural challenges for a non-native speaker and U.S. citizen of doing business in Latin America. He shared some leadership lessons with students and addressed the importance of cultural awareness and being able to adapt as the environment evolves. Students received tangible advice as they think about their own careers. Allen also shared his thoughts on the future of global finance in what some would describe as a current anti-globalization environment. Prior to Anderson, Allen served for seven years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, including six months as an exchange officer in the Chilean Navy.

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A Global Consulting Career and COVID-19: Implications for Businesses Across Latin America with Lino Abram (’99), Senior Partner, McKinsey and Co.

October 14, 2020


 

The Center for Global Management and the Latin American Business Association (LABA) hosted a virtual lunchtime discussion with Lima-based UCLA Anderson alumnus Lino Abram (’99), senior partner at McKinsey & Co. who founded the Lima, Peru office where he leads the financial services practice for many Latin American countries. The luncheon provided an opportunity for interested MBA students to meet with Abram in an informal and interactive virtual setting and hear about his successful career trajectory post-Anderson and extensive consulting career with McKinsey & Co. in Latin America and the Caribbean. He shared his thoughts on comparative challenges helping companies do business across the region in light of the digital revolution and limited access to talent and addressed the implications for businesses across the region, in the short and longer terms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 40 students from the full-time, fully employed and executive MBA programs, including members of LABA, the Management Consulting Association (MCA) and students interested in global management joined the interactive lunchtime session joined to hear Abram share his experiences and insights around recent learnings from COVID-19 and digital transformations. Since joining McKinsey & Co. in 1999, Abram has worked across much of Latin America and the Caribbean. During his 21 years with McKinsey, he has served clients in financial services, private equity, consumer goods, and mining and metals. More recently, he has been leading the assessment of digital transformation of Latin American businesses and how this is changing the consulting services industry. The lunch, organized by the Latin American Business Association in partnership with the Center for Global Management, was supported by the Management Consulting Association.
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