Business & Leadership

Ten Financial Leaders from Emerging Countries

Leaders League has identified ten financial leaders from emerging countries. Their names may not yet sound familiar to you, but they are making waves in many young and dynamic markets all over the world.

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Leaders League has identified ten financial leaders from emerging countries. Their names may not yet sound familiar to you, but they are making waves in many young and dynamic markets all over the world.

Claudio Bergamo


*Graduated in Business Administration from Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV)

*Has an MBA from the Institute for Management Development (IMD), Switzerland

*An Investment Officer of Monte Cristalina since 2001

CEO at Brazil’s biggest health and hygiene company since 2007, Claudio Bergamo already had extensive experience with corporate restructuring and growth planning, having worked at McKinsey & Company as a global consultant before joining Hypermarcas. Founded in 2001, his company spent 10 aggressive years in the M&A market, acquiring close to 40 companies up to 2010, when Bergamo began re-organizing its structure. During the last five years, Hypermarcas sold many of its acquisitions in the food and cleaning sectors and decided to focus mainly on health and cosmetics. In November 2015, Bergamo decided to take an even bigger step and sold Hypermarcas’ cosmetics arm for $1.2 billion (R$3.8 billion) to French company Coty. Hypermarcas currently has almost 14% of the health market and Bergamo believes this operation will cement their position as Brazil’s number one.



Peter Paul Estermann


*Graduated in Agricultural Engineering at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

*VP of Infrastructure and Strategy at GPA

Since assuming Via Varejo’s presidency in October 2015, Estermann has already engaged the company in a deal that eyes new e-commerce opportunities to counter last year’s weaker sales. On May 20th 2016, Via Varejo announced plans to incorporate Cnova’s e-commerce operations into a new, more complete organization. Cnova, operator of some of Via Varejo’s websites, is owned by French company Casino, which also controls GPA. Before joining GPA and VV, Mr. Estermann worked in many market sectors including agriculture, heavy industry, telecommunications and health insurance. In 2014 he volunteered in the orientation of young entrepreneurs taking part in the Oi Futuro project.




Jianlin Wang


*Operates China’s largest entertainment group

*“A man of Napoleonic ambitionaccording to The Economist

*The richest person in Asia in 2015 and 2016, as estimated by Forbes

Son of a Red Army hero, Wang joined the People’s Liberation Army at the age of 15. He spent 16 years in the Chinese military. After realizing that being a government official didn’t suit him, he became a property developer and using $80,000 founded what would become China’s biggest private property development company. Wang has been Wanda’s chairman since 1989 and under his stewardship the company has turned countless properties in deficit into cash cows, usually in a short space of time. Spending more than $10 billion on M&A since 2012, the rapidly-growing enterprise is looking to establish a global presence by implementing inorganic growth. Examples of this include the acquisition of Infront Sports & Media for $1.2 billion in 2015, and the $3.5 billion acquisition of Legendary Entertainment earlier this year. Wang is looking to complete at least five purchases worldwide in 2016, focusing on entertainment as well as financial services.




Danie Meintjes


*Serves as a member of Mediclinc’s Quality Committee

*Born in 1983, Mediclinic currently owns seventy-three hospitals and thirty-four clinics

Operations in South Africa, Namibia, Switzerland and UAE Danie Meintjes spent his youth on a farm in his native South Africa, but had bigger dreams. A self-made man, he started his career as a creditor’s clerk before becoming an HR Officer at the Mediclinic Corporation. He then landed top-management positions in the healthcare industry one of them being CEO of Mediclinic International starting in 2010. Due to his previous positions, he gained the know-how and experience that not only allowed him to half staff turnover in difficult times but also to maximize revenue and profit through business partnerships in Dubai. Meintjes is leading the M&A scene in the Middle East. With its completed $2.2 billion merger with UAE based Al Noor Hospitals Group on February 15th 2016, Mediclinic became the world’s largest private hospital group and the third largest international health care group outside the United States.





Carlos Mario Giraldo Moreno


*CEO of Industrias Alimenticias Noel S.A. from 1997 to 2005

*Chairman of Coca-Cola’s Retail Council for Latin America

Carlos Mario Giraldo Moreno is prominent figure in the food and retail industries in Latin America. At Exito, a Colombian retail leader, he served as Chief Operating Officer from 2008 to 2013. As CEO Giraldo Moreno has accompanied the group in its international expansion. Under his leadership, Exito acquired the 50% of Grupo Pão de Açúcar in Brazil and 100% of Libertad in Argentina for a total deal value of $1.826 billion. Thanks to this transaction Grupo Éxito, which also operates in Colombia under the upscale Carulla and discount Surtimax brands, has reached over 280 million people in the largest economies of the continent. Considered to be first ”multi-Latino” group, they aim to become the largest retail company in South-America.




Jianxin Ren


*Named Fortune’s China Businessperson of the Year in 2008

*Has been awarded the French Legion of Honor

Ren is the mystery man behind what The Economist describes as the “most dynamic globaliser among China’s state enterprises”: in 2015 ChemChina acquired the Italian tire manufacturer

Pirelli for $7.7 bn and the German machinery maker Krauss-Maffei for $1 billion. In 2016, the group made a $43 billion offer for Syngenta, the Swiss agribusiness giant. Yet Ren’s reputation as the “king of mergers” started long before. In 1984, with a loan of 10,000 yuan ($1,500), he led seven employees to found Bluestar, China’s first industrial cleaning factory. Since, his startup has absorbed or merged with more than 100 SOEs before formally becoming ChemChina in 2004. It’s clear that this entrepreneur has embarked another acquisition spree, this time overseas.




John Gokongwei


*Has attended business programs at De La Salle and Harvard Universities

*Was listed as one of the Heroes of Philanthropy by Forbes Asia Magazine in 2008

After the death of his father and the subsequent loss of all his family fortune, Gokongwei started supporting his family at the tender age of 13 by peddling items on the street. He started his first company along with his siblings in the import business and soon shifted to manufacturing when he realized that trading did not allow for very high margins. Presently he is Chairman Emeritus of JG Summit Holdings, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines. His company recently bought the San Miguel Corporation’s stake in the country’s largest power distributor, MERALCO for close to $1.8 billion and owns a portfolio of companies in real estate, food and beverage, financial services, telecoms, aviation and petrochemicals.





Huiman Yi


*Joined ICBC in 1985 and worked his way up from cashier to senior management in 2005

*Has served as President, Vice Chairman and Executive Director since 2013

*His ingredients for success: a great dream, a decent IQ and a high EQ

In June 2016, Huiman Yi succeeded long-serving top executive Jianqing Jiang to become Chairman of ICBC, the world’s largest bank with more than $3 trillion in assets. His future path will not be smooth: after becoming the world’s most profitable bank, ICBC has entered a challenging phase with slowing profit growth, the potential for a rise in bad loans and the impact of Internet-based finance. However, the man who made his mark at the bank by helping shape its e-banking and Internet banking strategy seems confident he can continue the legacy. He is set to restructure this colossal organization, which has some 20,000 branches, 400,000 employees and 490 million retail customers, develop specific business lines to strengthen the quality and diversity of the bank’s balance sheet, deepen its push into digital banking, as well as streamline its risk control and risk management.




Luis Alberto Moreno


*Assumed the presidency of the IDB in October 2005

*Served as Minister of Economic Development in Colombia

During Moreno’s mandate, the IDB has undergone several changes, such as increasing the number of women in positions of leadership and strengthening transparency and accountability mechanisms. As President, Moreno launched the first Environmental Safeguards Unit at a multilateral bank and the ninth General Capital Increase, an expansion of financial and technical assistance to Latin America. Over the last 10 years or so, Moreno has led 30 IDB international summits and overseen new platforms and initiatives, such as Emerging and Sustainable Cities and Connect Americas, the first social network for Latin America and Caribbean businesses. Moreno also leads the Group of Presidents of Multilateral Development Banks.



Eugenio Garza


*Graduated in Chemical Engineering at Monterrey Tec

*Member of the GSB Alumni Association’s Board of Directors at Stanford

Eugenio Garza was CFO at Casas Javer from February 2008 until December 2012, when he became CEO. With great experience in finance, Garza was Vice President at Goldman Sachs for almost eight years and Managing Director at Merrill Lynch for another two years, where he also served as head of Investment Banking for Mexico. Thanks to Mr. Garza’s growth strategy for the company, Javer consolidated its position as the largest housing development company in Mexico and was actually Latin America’s first company to launch an Initial Public Offering in 2016. Although the LATAM market has experienced a severe decline in recent years, Mexican companies remained on top of their game releasing seven IPOs in 2015.



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