Puerto Rico Investment Summit

Guest Speakers


  • José Carrión José B.
    Carrión III
    HUB International
    CLC, LLC
  • Luis Fortuño Luis G.
    Steptoe & Johnson LLP
    Former Governor
    of Puerto Rico
  • Johnny Wimbrey Johnny
    #1 International
    Best-Selling Author,
  • Noel Zamot Noel

José B. Carrión is a proven leader, producer, and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in the insurance brokerage industry, an extensive network in the Puerto Rico business community, and a deeply rooted commitment to public affairs and social development.

Born in Puerto Rico, Carrión obtained his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in History and Political Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He later pursued his business education at the Tobin College of Business at St. John's University in New York, where he obtained a Diploma in Risk and Insurance in 1994 and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree in 1995.

Upon graduation, he joined the Puerto Rico office of Aon Risk Services—the second-largest insurance broker in the world—where he first served as Client Service Representative and, later, Client Service Director. In 1998 he was appointed Senior Vice President and went on to become President in 2000. At Aon Risk Services of Puerto Rico, Carrión ran an office with more than $15 million in commission income across all lines during a difficult period when federal law changed to allow banks (who had been key clients) to enter the insurance business.

In 2001, Carrión co-founded his own firm—Carrión, Laffitte & Casellas—serving as lead owner and one of the principal producers of what became the second largest locally owned insurance brokerage in Puerto Rico. For twelve years, as Principal and President, Carrión played a key role in driving revenues of more than $14 million, a retention rate of more than 95%, and operating margins of 36% and positioning the firm for sale in 2012, in spite of the worst economic situation in Puerto Rico's history.

In 2012, Carrión, Laffitte & Casellas was purchased by Hub International, the largest privately owned, full-service insurance brokerage and the tenth largest brokerage in the world, with offices throughout the United States and Canada. Following the purchase, Carrión was retained in an executive leadership role as President of Hub/Carrión, Laffitte & Casellas, leading strategic planning, budgeting, and production efforts across all lines, and as member of HUB International's executive management committee.

Mr. Carrión has played myriad leadership roles in a number of professional and community organizations including the Young Presidents' Organizations, the Automobile Accidents Compensation Authority, the State Insurance Fund, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce, the American Cancer Society, the Ponce Museum of Art, the San Juan Rotary Club and the Salvation Army, among others.

In 2016, Carrión was nominated by House Speaker Paul Ryan and appointed by President Barack Obama Chairman of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, pursuant to the bipartisan Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act ("PROMESA") enacted by Congress to address Puerto Rico's economic and fiscal crisis by providing the Island with the tools it needs to implement fiscal reforms, restructure its debts, embark on a path to economic recovery and restore opportunity to its people.

Former Governor of Puerto Rico Luis G. Fortuño is a partner in Steptoe's Washington office, where he is a member of the Corporate, Securities & Finance Group and the Government Affairs and Public Policy Group. He is also involved in Steptoe's Latin American practice. In private practice, Mr. Fortuño has represented Fortune 500 companies in regulatory, financial, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and other corporate matters throughout Latin America.

Under Mr. Fortuño's leadership as governor, between 2009 and 2013, Puerto Rico implemented the largest tax cut in the territory's history, right-sized its government, reined in deficit spending, and developed new sources of government revenue. This resulted in a year and a half long period of economic growth, the only period of economic growth the island has experienced in the last decade. Additionally, Mr. Fortuño's signature public-private partnerships law paved the way for two of the largest recent infrastructure investments in the US, one in Puerto Rico's highway system and the island's main international airport. Other P3 transactions during his tenure included schools, energy projects and ferry services.

Prior to being elected Governor, Mr. Fortuño has served as executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, president of Puerto Rico's Hotel Development Corporation and Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce. He has also served as Puerto Rico's National Committeeman at the Republican National Committee and in 2004 was elected as Puerto Rico's sole representative in the US House of Representatives. His peers in Congress then elected him vice-president of the House Republican freshman class.

Mr. Fortuño is a member of the American Law Institute. He served as President of the Council of State Governments (2011-2012) and as Chairman of the Southern Governors Association (2011-2012). He also served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Best Practices of the National Governors Association (2010-2012) and was appointed by President Obama to be one of ten governors serving in the Council of Governors (2010-2012).

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of a publicly traded company, Georgetown University's Latin American Board, and the Board of Directors of the Republican State Leadership Committee, American Action Network, Congressional Leadership Fund and The American Conservative Union, as well as the Advisory Board of the International Republican Institute. Additionally, Mr. Fortuño was a fellow at Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service in the Fall 2015 semester.

Johnny Wimbrey is a world-renowned speaker, #1 international best-selling author, trainer and motivator, working with sales teams, high-profile athletes, politicians and personalities around the world. Leaving behind a world of drugs and crime at 18, Johnny redirected his entire life and began a professional career in insurance and motivational speaking. He has since launched three companies (Wimbrey Training Systems, Wimbrey Royal and Royal Success Club International) and heads a sales team of thousands in more than 30 countries, overseeing an active customer database of half million families.

He is the author of the international best-seller “From the Hood to Doing Good” and the author of the successful training program, “Journey to Wealth”. Johnny has a wide media following and has appeared on day-time television segments and shows including E! News, the Steve Harvey Show and Today. He now does business in Puerto Rico under Act 20.

Noel Zamot was recently appointed Infrastructure Revitalization Coordinator by the Puerto Rico Oversight and Management Board. He has over twenty-five years of experience in the aerospace & defense (A&D) industry, including government, commercial and startup ventures.

Zamot is the founder and president of the cyber security firm, Corvus Analytics in Bedford, MA, former Director of Air Force Programs, providing cyber security and system engineering brainpower. He provided Program Management, Systems Engineering and Subject Matter expertise to US Air Force, US Navy, US Coast Guard and Federal Government customers and directed the US Air Force’s elite Test Pilot School. He also represented the United States as Senior National Representative to NATO leadership.

He has a Masters of Business Administration in Sloan School of Management of MIT, a Masters in National Security Strategy of the National Defense University, a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering of the University of Michigan and a Bachelors of Science in Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering of MIT.

    Managing Partner of
    Putnam Bridge
  • Richard Cooper Richard
    Cleary Gottlieb
    Steen & Hamilton LLP
  • Jeff Carmichael Jeff
    Caribbean Center
  • Walter Keenan Walter
    Advantage Insurance

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.

Richard Cooper is a partner based in Cleary Gottlieb's New York office. His practice focuses on international and domestic restructurings both in the private and public sectors. He has represented corporate, sovereign and municipal debtors; creditors, creditor committees, buyers and sellers of distressed assets and securities, DIP lenders, and other participants in out-of-court and in-court bankruptcy proceedings.

Mr. Cooper led the team that advised the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico with the restructuring of approximately $73 billion of indebtedness prior to the change in administrations. He also played a lead role in the development and passage of the federal statute known as the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, or "PROMESA", which creates the first federal debt restructuring regime available to U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico. Additionally, Rich led the team that advised the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the largest municipal utility in the U.S., in its restructuring of over $9.5 billion of indebtedness and related matters, and the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico in its negotiations with creditors.

In Latin America, Mr. Cooper has advised on many of the most high profile restructuring transactions in recent years, including OGPar, Oi, GVO, OAS, Odebrecht Oil and Gas, Rioprevidencia, Embraport and Tonon in Brazil; ICA, GEO, Oceanografía, Oro Negro, Cemex, Comerci Mexicana and Vitro in Mexico; San Antonio Oil and Gas, Edenor, Metrogas, Telecom Argentina and Easa in Argentina; and Gildemeister and Alsacia and Express in Chile, among others.

Mr. Cooper has also worked on the U.S. restructurings of Aleris, America West Airlines, Circle K, Color Tile, Continental Airlines, Foxwoods Casino, Insight Healthcare, Lehman Brothers, Milagro Holdings, Pan American Airways, Revco and Van Camp Seafood, among others.

Mr. Cooper was recognized by Law360 as an MVP in bankruptcy and restructuring, by TMA as one of twelve outstanding restructuring lawyers in the U.S., by Global M&A Network as a Top 100 restructuring professional and by the Financial Times in its fifth annual North America Innovative Lawyers Report for his role in representing a consortium of creditors in OGX's bankruptcy. He is internationally distinguished as one of the world's leading lawyers by The Legal 500 Latin America, Latin Lawyer 250, Latinvex's Top 100 Lawyers, Global M&A Network, Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Chambers Latin America, The Legal 500 U.S., IFLR 1000, The Best Lawyers in America and Global M&A Network.

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.

  • Mark Curry Mark
    Sol Partners
  • Edgar Ríos Edgar
    Pietrantoni Méndez &
    Alvarez LLC
  • Gabriel Hernández Gabriel
    BDO Puerto Rico
  • Mark Leeds Mark
    Tax Partner,
    Mayer Brown LLP

Mark Curry serves as CEO of SOL Partners, providing business strategy, relationship management, software design, customer acquisition and customer service outsourcing to the online financial services sector. Prior to establishing SOL Partners, Mark helped usher in the era of online consumer finance as a partner in one of the industry's pioneering internet-based finance companies. As the original founder of the Online Lenders Alliance, the first trade association ever established to serve the fintech industry, Mark helped to develop the first legal and ethical best practices for the industry to follow. As an online lending industry pioneer, Mark is committed to providing a safe, secure borrowing experience for consumers. He serves as Chair of the Mark E. Curry Family Foundation, where he devotes his time to various community charitable organizations including San Jorge Children's Foundation, The Shade Tree, Child Focus, Camp To Belong, Red Cross, Hope House and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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.

Mark H. Leeds is a Tax Transactions & Consulting partner in Mayer Brown's New York office. His practice is focused on the tax consequences of a variety of capital markets products and strategies, including over-the-counter derivative transactions, swaps, tax-exempt derivatives and strategies for efficient utilization of tax attributes—such as net operating losses. Mark advises on the tax aspects of capital markets, structured finance, derivatives, financial products and insurance transactions and has extensive experience working with both buyers and sellers to develop and structure complex derivatives. He also advises on hedge fund and other investment vehicle formation matters.

Mark is a former managing director and senior tax counselor with Deutsche Bank in New York. He was a partner at Deloitte & Touche, where he led the capital markets tax practice. Mark is a frequent writer and speaker on tax topics affecting the capital markets.

  • Denisse Flores Denisse
    Tax Partner,
  • Matt Rodrigue Matt
    Miller Buckfire
  • Fernando Goyco-Covas Fernando
    Pietrantoni Méndez
    & Alvarez LLC
  • Rich Hartnett Rich
    ESJ Azul

Matt Rodrigue is a Managing Director of Miller Buckfire, specializing in restructuring and complex leveraged finance situations.

Since joining Miller Buckfire, Mr. Rodrigue’s experience includes representing equity owners and sponsors, debtors, official creditors committees and ad hoc creditors committees across a range of in-court and out-of-court restructurings and mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Rodrigue’s practice includes representing clients in both private and public finance. He has written on the topics of secured creditors’ rights, and his work has been published in the Bond Buyer and Forbes, among others.

Mr. Rodrigue holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Maine, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maine. He currently serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of Maine.

Bio coming soon

Fernando Goyco has more than 40 years of experience in the entire spectrum of Puerto Rico tax matters. His practice includes tax litigation; structuring of tax exempt and taxable operations in Puerto Rico; structuring of complex business transactions, investment vehicles, private equity funds and mutual funds; tax planning and counsel and advice on Puerto Rico and United States federal international income tax matters.

Lately, Fernando has been very active in advising clients and obtaining grants of tax exemption under Puerto Rico’s Act to Promote the Transfer of Investors to Puerto Rico and Act to Promote the Exportation of Services.

Chambers and Partners has consistently ranked Fernando as one of the top tax lawyers in Puerto Rico. He was named Best Lawyers 2016 Tax Law “Lawyer of the Year” in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Fernando is a frequent speaker on Puerto Rico income tax matters at seminars in Puerto Rico and outside of Puerto Rico.

Bio coming soon.

  • Francisco Luis Francisco
    Tax Partner,
    Grant Thornton LLP
  • Federico Stubbe Federico
    PRISA Group
  • Pat Foley Pat Foley CEO,
    Lufthansa Technik
    Puerto Rico
  • David Barnes David
    Global Equity
    Linked Products,
    Royal Bank of Canada

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.

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.

Pat Foley is CEO of Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico. Pat served in various positions at Lufthansa Technik Shannon (formerly Shannon Aerospace) in Ireland, from 1992 to 2005. He was Chief Operations Officer at another subsidiary, Lufthansa Technik Budapest in Hungary and in 2007 he returned to Lufthansa Technik Shannon, serving as Head of Production and later Head of Aviation Services. In 2014 he was named Head of Production with Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico, the position he held until his latest appointment as CEO of the company. Pat completed an apprenticeship as an aircraft mechanic at Shannon Aerospace. He later studied business administration at the University of Limerick, graduating with a first class honors degree.

David Barnes has an MBA with a concentration in Economics and Finance from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto. Ten years ago David began his career in equity derivatives as a Structured Note sales person at a competitor firm in Canada. Since joining The Royal Bank of Canada in 2007 David has helped grow all aspects of the Structured Note business in Canada and the United States. David’s role is includes working with trading and quantitative staff in Toronto, New York and London on new product creation as well as developing and maintaining client relationships at various wealth management firms, family offices and institutions across North America.

  • Frank Holder Frank
    Berkeley Research
  • Ryan Christiansen Ryan
  • Thelma López Thelma
    GFR Customer
    Engagement Solutions

Frank Holder is the managing director of BRG's Latin America Practice. He has directed corporate investigations and security consulting assignments in Latin America and the United States including due diligence and reputational investigations related to politically motivated allegations and defamation campaigns, and hostile takeovers among others. As a security expert, he has designed the security for international airports, seaports, and many more.

Before joining BRG, Mr. Holder was the chief executive officer of Holder International and president of Kroll Inc.'s Consulting Services Group, responsible for operations in more than 35 countries. He was the president of Holder Associates in Buenos Aires.

Mr. Holder began his career with the U.S. Air Force as a political-military analyst for the U.S. embassy in Argentina and as a special agent for the Office of Special Investigations.

He is an accomplished public speaker and has written articles on similar topics for U.S. and Latin American newspapers.

Thelma López joined GFR Customer Engagement Solutions in June 2017. López has over twenty years of experience in executive positions ranging from Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Operations, Vice President of Sales & Marketing and General Manager for country operations for AT&T and DIRECTV. She has also held regional executive responsibilities in Latin America managing a budget of $1.6 billion dollars.

López has ample experience in world-class engagement strategies, which improve the experiences for customers as well as employees. In addition, López's forte is partnership negotiation and structuring alliances which result in benefits for partners, employees and communities.

Lopez is also an active community leader leading fund raising efforts for St Jude's Children's Hospital, co-founder of the "Uno a Uno" initiative to feed the homeless and is an active member of the Robinson School Board of Directors.

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.

  • Alicia Figueroa Alicia
    Pietrantoni Méndez
    & Alvarez LLC
  • Ryan Christiansen Margaret
    International Realty

After 28 years as Senior Vice President and Associate Broker with Sotheby's International Realty in New York City, Margaret gracefully transitioned to become Founder/President of Puerto Rico Sotheby's International Realty, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A seasoned, savvy and skilled negotiator, Margaret has sold in excess of $700 million worth of properties and has created stellar sales including the most recent sale of 5th Avenue property selling at $32,000,000 substantially above the asking price and featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Margaret speaks Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.

Alicia Figueroa-Llinás provides counseling in business immigration law, particularly on investors' visas, employment visas, labor certifications and employment-based permanent residence. She has represented both buyers and sellers in complex acquisition transactions with significant employment related issues. Alicia has been a member of the Labor Law Committees of the Puerto Rico Bar Association and the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, and was designated as the Government Affairs Director of the Puerto Rico Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) in 2012 and 2013.

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