Eng. Manuel A. Laboy Rivera is the Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DEDC) and Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO) with the mission to attract new investment, promote the creation of new jobs and strengthening of small and medium enterprises. He is responsible for the formulation and strategic implementation of the Puerto Rico economic development plan, including competitiveness-related reform, infrastructure projects and the innovation of technology agenda. Secretary Laboy Rivera oversees over seven government instrumentalities that include agencies and public corporations.
Engineer Laboy Rivera has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez Campus, a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Turabo in Puerto Rico. He is also a member of the College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico, and holds s Certified Safety Professional certification from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.
Nicholas Prouty is the founder and CEO of Putnam Bridge Funding, a firm engaged in the acquisition and management of distressed landmark properties in the United States and abroad. Mr. Prouty has been a real estate principal in several companies, including a General Partner of Hudson Cross Financial, a company engaged in the acquisition and disposition of foreclosed houses on a nationwide basis. In addition, he has served as an advisor to many specialty real estate companies.
Within the last year, Mr. Prouty's firm has been active in Puerto Rico and has made two significant nine figure investments. Those investments include the acquisition of Ciudadela, a mixed-use real estate development in Santurce and Puerto del Rey, the largest marina in Puerto Rico.
Mr. Prouty formerly headed acquisitions and restructuring for a $1+ billion hedge fund focused on asset based lending and real estate finance. Prior experience also includes serving as Managing Partner to a prominent family office, and as treasury analyst at Lazard Freres & Co.
Mr. Prouty is the founder of the Habitat Support Foundation, a non-profit entity based in Washington, D.C. engaged in providing non-recourse loan guarantees to Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Prouty received a Bachelor's of Arts in European History from the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, California. He is married, has two children and lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Bio coming soon.
Margaret Chinwe Anadu is head of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (UIG), a domestic investing and lending business that provides capital to real estate projects and social enterprises. UIG commits more than $1.4 billion annually to community and economic development investments, benefiting underserved communities and serving as a catalyst in the revitalization of distressed urban neighborhoods. Margaret serves on the Goldman Sachs Bank USA Management Committee.
Margaret joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 2003, and was named managing director in 2013 and partner in 2018. She serves on the boards of several community and economic development nonprofit organizations, including the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, Center for an Urban Future, and Core Innovation Capital.
Margaret earned a BA in Computer Science from Harvard College in 2003.
Bio coming soon.
An award winning developer of planned communities, Federico “ Friedel” Stubbe is a civil engineer, and one of Puerto Rico’s largest developer-builders of upscale residential, master-planned communities with over $100 million in annual sales and more than 800 employees. In addition Stubbe chairs the board of the Peninsula de Cantera project.
With a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, he worked as project engineer and project manager for a general building contractor from 1971 to 1977. He turned toward public service when he became an aide to the then-Governor Carlos Romero Barceló, and later chief of staff. He attended Harvard Business School’s Program of Management Development.
A twice president of the Puerto Rico chapter of the National Association of Home Builders, recipient of the Frank Ramírez de Arellano Homebuilders Award, member of the Georgia Tech Engineering Advisory Board as well as of the Governor’s Advisory Board for the Construction Industry, Stubbe personifies the modern-day entrepreneur.
Edgar Ríos-Méndez is an attorney. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law and went on to receive a LL.M. is Taxation from the New York University School of Law.
Mr. Ríos-Méndez' practice focuses on international tax matters, inbound and outbound corporate reorganizations, registered investment companies, structured investment vehicles and other complex federal, international and Puerto Rico tax law matters. He has been active in some of the major Puerto Rico tourism related projects with respect to the negotiation of tax incentive grants and the sale of tourism investment tax credits. In the Puerto Rico industrial tax incentive area, he has assisted clients in the industrial and service sectors and in recent times has actively participated in the negotiation of tax incentives for clients in the financial services industry. Edgar has acted as tax counsel in the structuring of financing transactions with borrowers located in Puerto Rico, the Baltic region, Eastern Europe and Asia.
Gabriel Hernández is the Head of the Tax Division at BDO Puerto Rico, the 4th largest local accounting firm in Puerto Rico serving a portfolio of over 600 clients through a talented group of more than 120 professionals. In the past 25 years Gabriel has become an expert in restructuring companies and operations, executing buy-sell agreements and supervising other non-tax corporate functions. Prior to founding BDO in Puerto Rico, he worked in the Tax Departments of global firms PwC, Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young. Gabriel has specialized in providing tax consulting services to clients in all aspects of U.S. and P.R. taxation, mainly structuring mergers and acquisitions and outbound and inbound investments, including experience in assisting clients in negotiating tax exemption packages under the various tax incentive laws available in P.R.
Mr. Hernández has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Major in Accounting, and Magna Cum Laude from the University of Puerto Rico.
Bio coming soon.
Francisco Luis has over twenty years of experience in public accounting, including the "Big Four" and private consulting practice. He engages in the design and development of tax planning and consulting strategies and has assisted clients before the International Revenue Service, the Puerto Rico Treasury Department, the Municipal Revenue Collection Center, and various municipalities.
He is a former president of the San Juan Chapter of the Puerto Rico State Society of Certified Public Accountants, past member of the Board of Directors and has also led various committees, including Strategic, Planning, Ethics and Regulations.
He is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico with a bachelor's degree in business administration, major in accounting. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Puerto Rico Law School.
With more than a decade of corporate counsel experience, Adriana Ramírez leads the Legal, Regulatory Affairs, and Government and Industry Partnerships Team at Abarca, a pharmacy benefit manager in San Juan, Puerto Rico, serving over 2 million lives in Puerto Rico and the Continental United States. In this role, Adriana manages the company’s overall legal and compliance strategy.
Prior to joining Abarca, Adriana held legal positions of increasing responsibility at McConnell Valdés, PRIDCO, and the Department of Economic Development and Commerce where she was involved in key government initiatives, including the enactment of Act 20 of 2012, for promoting export services. Adriana is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she received a BS in Health Systems Management, and the University of Puerto Rico Law School, where she earned her Juris Doctor Magna Cum Laude.
Adriana is based in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is an active member in several non-profit organizations promoting Puerto Rico economic development initiatives, including Invest Puerto Rico.
Jeff Carmichael is the CEO of Yingke Caribbean China Center in Puerto Rico. His strong commitment to providing excellence in senior resident care, having served as an advisor to multiple Chinese senior housing companies with investment interest across China and the United States, has resulted in speaking engagements on these subjects as China copes with the largest senior population in world. Carmichael had extensive experience in trade with China, and co-founded the first residential lighting buying co-operative in North America, with an annual volume exceeding $500 million and over 130 locations throughout the U.S. Prior to his importing experience, Carmichael practiced as a certified public accountant with an emphasis on mergers, acquisitions and strategic planning for privately held businesses, including major Coca-Cola bottlers across the United States prior to and including their consolidation into Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE).
He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Bair Foundation, one of the largest non-profit foster care agencies in the United States, serving over 7,000 children per year across 9 states. His contribution and passion for assisting underprivileged children and senior adults have enormously benefited people from China and the United States.
Keith St. Clair has been a leader in the travel industry and a recognized international speaker at forums and events for the last 30 years. He has managed and or founded some of the most successful travel companies in the world, including Sol Holidays and Traveleaders, the largest independent travel distribution company in Florida and top 10 national enterprise. Under his leadership, his companies have traveled hundreds of thousands of people and generated billions of dollars in revenues on a global level.
Most recently Keith has brought his expertise to Puerto Rico where he has been instrumental in a $100+ million dollar redevelopment of Isla Verde Beach through his purchasing and renovation of the Iconic ESJ Towers Resort, in addition to building two new resorts in the area. He is also leading the way to build a world-class digital movie and production studio in San Juan.
As a recent citizen of Puerto Rico, Keith has become one of the most significant movers and shakers on the island, actively involved in economic and humanitarian ventures, generating thousands of jobs and a greater future for Puerto Rico.
Ryan G. Christiansen, CCIM was born in Springfield, Virginia and graduated in 2002 from the University of Dayton with a B.A. in International Business. In 2004, he became a licensed real estate broker in Puerto Rico, specializing in the commercial and office space markets, investment real estate, and managing multinational corporation accounts. He also holds the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation and served as the 2012 & 2013 President of the Puerto Rico CCIM Chapter. Additional organizations include Puerto Rico is the Answer, Club Náutico de San Juan, AFDA, The Billfish Foundation, International Gamefish Association (IGFA) & Puerto Rico Light Tackle Anglers.
Driven and energetic, Christiansen possesses superior knowledge of the office, commercial & industrial real estate markets and investment property landscape in Puerto Rico. Always making effective use of local market knowledge and up-to-date technological tools to ensure prompt and positive results.
Mr. Brian Su has extensive experience in international trade, business development, marketing management, strategic planning and government affairs. Mr. Su is a recipient of the US China Outstanding Contribution Award from the US China Business Association in 2012.
He is the Founder and CEO of Artisan Business Group, Inc., a Springfield Illinois based cross-border business and investment services consulting firm, working with financial and investment companies including real estate developers, banks, wealth management firms, private equity firms, family offices, insurance companies, government agencies and others.
Mr. Su also serves as Managing Director of Yingke Chicago China Center and Yingke Caribbean China Center, a business platform between the U.S. and China. Yingke is Asia's largest law firm headquartered in Beijing China. Yingke China Center provides consultation services to Chinese and American companies through Yingke Ecosystem with 45 offices in China and over 40 offices throughout the world.
Mr. Su has a MPA degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield in the U.S. His extensive network of government and business connections, together with the amalgam of his Chinese background, U.S. education and multinational work experience, leave him well placed to bridge the business knowledge gap between the two cultures. He has facilitated many business and trade missions to China, and assisted Chinese trade missions and government delegations to the U.S. He has been interviewed by Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg/Newsroom, Bloomberg Business News, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Reuters, Los Angeles Business Journal, Newsweek, Commercial Real Estate Direct, NHK (Japan), The Daily (U.K.), China Daily, China Press, South China Morning Post, etc.
Bio coming soon.
Walter Keenan is Chief Executive Officer of Advantage Insurance Holdings Ltd., a leading international specialty insurance firm with offices in Puerto Rico. Advantage administers over $2 billion of insurance assets for captive insurance companies, private placement life insurance and other insurance structures.
Prior to leading Advantage's recapitalization and growth plan in 2013, Mr. Keenan was a private equity investment professional in San Francisco and New York focused on financial services investments. He began his business career as a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley in 1989.
Craig Lemasters, former CEO of a Fortune 500 subsidiary, is an entrepreneur, investor, advisor, and board member with more than two decades of success in executive leadership positions, now dedicated to helping senior leaders get unstuck on the major growth challenges to their businesses. When Craig took over Atlanta-based Assurant Solutions in 2005, it was a $2 billion purely domestic business focused almost entirely on a dying industry: Credit Insurance. Today, Assurant (NYSE: AIZ) is a high growth, digitally-astute global provider of protection products and other innovative digitally-focused risk management solutions.
Before taking early retirement in 2016, Craig led Assurant through two remarkable transformations and the global financial crisis. The company is now focused on Connected Living and what Craig calls, “the four most important square inches of real estate in the world”—the consumer’s smart phone screen. Craig reinvigorated the culture while focusing on growth—both internationally and through new businesses, expanding from a solely B2B to include B2C business and establishing Assurant in 25 new markets around the world.
Craig currently leads GXG, a learning firm that facilitates strategic conversations between experts and clients to help them get past the “hard stuff” and accelerate change in their organizations.
Throughout his career, Sam has been involved in businesses which support financial professionals. Sam spent the early part of his career at Fidelity Investments and Goldman Sachs, where he built and managed best-in-class sales, product, and marketing support in the broker/dealer, planner, bank and RIA channels in the US.
Sam became an entrepreneur in 2000 and cofounded, built, and managed Cofunds, an investment platform for financial intermediaries in the UK. Cofunds became the largest fund platform in the UK and, when it was sold to Legal and General in 2013, had over £50 billion in AUAs. More recently, Sam cofounded, built and sold Enspire Investments, a Private Placement insurance platform for financial advisors in the US, which is now being used to power Envestnet’s insurance platform.
Sam has direct experience with insurance products, separate accounts and mutual fund product structures, platforms, pricing and distribution, as well as in life insurance underwriting. He understands that relationships are built on trust, transparency, and doing the right thing for the end investor.
Sam has a BA from Harvard College.
Bio coming soon.
George Joyner has worked in a variety of senior leadership roles within the Puerto Rico banking industry for over 35 years, specializing in all aspects of the finance industry.
Prior to his appointment as Commissioner of Financial Institutions, Mr. Joyner had an active consulting practice in the Financial and Technical Arena under George Joyner Consulting LLC with customers in both Puerto Rico and the U.S.
His professional experience includes Vice President for Corporate and Public Finance at Citibank, President of Santander Mortgage Corporation, Senior Vice President of the Mortgage Division of Oriental Bank & Trust and Executive Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer & Chief Information Officer at Reliable Financial Services Inc., a unit of Wells Fargo, among others.
George Joyner has a Master's in Business Administration from University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and a Bachelor's in Mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico. He also has a designation as a certified PMI Project Management Professional and is currently in the process of finishing the testing requirement necessary to become a licensed CPA (FAR, AUD and BEC passed, REG remaining).
Jay is the founding partner of JA Walker & Associates, Inc., a law firm specializing in international insurance, re-insurance and finance matters. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia with honors (member of the Omicron Delta Epsilon International Honors Society in Economics) and his law degree Cum Laude from the University of Georgia (member Georgia Law Review).
Jay is a nationally recognized expert on international life insurance and annuities and a frequent speaker on insurance topics. He is a contributing author to the textbook International Life Insurance published by Chancellor Publications and has been actively involved in drafting insurance related legislation for the State of Georgia, Puerto Rico and The Cayman Islands. He is a founding member of the Puerto Rico International Insurers Association (PRIIA).
His global insurance expertise and experience allows Jay to effectively co-ordinate with (Rexach & Picó) the Puerto Rico legal counsel of US Commonwealth Life and other legal, insurance and tax experts at firms used by US Commonwealth Life in the US, Canada, Europe, Israel, Mexico, and Latin American, including Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Bio coming soon.
John B. Helmers manages the investments on behalf of Long Focus Capital Management, a firm he founded in 2011. Mr. Helmers began his career as a fixed income trader at J.P. Morgan before becoming a market maker in the CBOT bond pit. Subsequently, Mr. Helmers ran the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index business. Later he held portfolio management positions at Tudor Investment Corporation, Swiftwater Capital Management, and Citadel Investment Group. Mr. Helmers graduated from Princeton University. He relocated from South Carolina to Puerto Rico in 2013.
Allison Kern is a Partner at Morro Ventures, a $20 million early-stage venture capital fund and the newest fund sponsored by long-standing Puerto Rican private equity firm Advent-Morro Equity Partners. Morro Ventures is an Act 185 fund, investing in early-stage technology companies across Latin America and leveraging the Puerto Rico’s unique geopolitical position to promote companies’ cross-border growth between Latin America and the U.S.
Allison joined the Advent-Morro family in 2017 from StarVest Partners, a $250 million expansion-stage venture capital fund based in New York. At StarVest Partners, she led deal sourcing and due diligence for the fund. Prior to StarVest, Allison was an investment analyst reporting to the CIO of a $5 billion emerging markets hedge fund within the Carlyle Group. At Carlyle, she analyzed emerging market stocks based on macro trends and industry disruptions. Allison began her career in London working across equities, debt, mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”), and restructuring to progress the Royal Bank of Scotland’s strategic plan to dispose of assets in its government-mandated “bad bank” and promote the future operations of the firm. Allison graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Bio coming soon.
Eduardo Colón is President of Advantage International Bank Corp., a newly-formed bank intended to serve the needs of specialty insurance companies and their private clients. Eduardo has over 30 years of experience with leading banking, securities and non-bank financial services companies. Prior to joining Advantage in 2015, Eduardo was the Chief Operating Officer of Citi International Financial Services, a broker dealer subsidiary of Citibank. Eduardo’s other previous leadership roles include being First Vice President of Corporate Banking of SunTrust Bank; Senior Vice President, Treasurer and Head of Corporate and Commercial of Scotiabank Puerto Rico; President of BBVA Securities Puerto Rico; Senior Vice President and Head of Capital Markets and Trading of Santander Securities; and Vice President and General Manager of Chase Securities Puerto Rico. Eduardo earned his BBA from the University of Puerto Rico, Cum Laude and his MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
C. Ignacio Matos joined Rexach & Picó, CSP, in 2003, where he focuses on insurance regulatory law as well as the Puerto Rico International Insurance Center. He has a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico and a JD from the Interamerican University Law School. A member of the Federation of Regulatory Counsel, he has over fifteen years of experience advising intermediaries, brokers, agents, insurers and reinsurers doing business in Puerto Rico, and representing clients in all major segments of the industry, including property and casualty, life and health, reinsurance and insurance holding companies.
Matos is also experienced handling matters before the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Puerto Rico, ranging from organization and authorization of new domestic and international insurers and reinsurers, to authorization of foreign and alien insurers and reinsurers and subsequent regulatory compliance, licensing application preparation, and representation in regulatory enforcement actions, among others. His practice focuses on Puerto Rico's International & Offshore Insurance and Reinsurers legislation, a platform for specialty insurers and reinsurers of US and non-US risks, and Latin American offshore operations. He advises and supports captive insurers' governing bodies, including serving as a board member.