In this blog series, the Yale ICF will highlight ICF Advisory Board Members who are practitioners from various finance fields and alumni of the Yale School of Management and/or Yale University. Our board members enjoy giving back to the Yale community by participating in panels, guest lecturing, and taking part in Q&A sessions with students. Their generous financial support allows the Yale ICF to host events, sponsor academic initiatives, provide research support to faculty, and much more. The Yale ICF is grateful for their continued support!
What is your current role and industry?
I’m a Managing Director of Quadrant Capital Advisors, Inc., a New York-based institutional investment firm with long-term interests in consumer goods companies globally, among others. I oversee a portfolio of direct minority investments in publicly-traded and private companies globally, manage an Investment Grade-rated European affiliate and serve on the Board of Directors or Advisors of several portfolio companies, among other responsibilities.
How did you get into this field?
I have always been focused on finance, having co-founded an investment banking advisory firm at 23 years old with experienced partners and having led several billion dollars of M&A transactions within a few years. I was then asked to join Bavaria, an international beer company, as Corporate V.P. M&A and Planning. Since then, I have led Quadrant’s role in the successor position in the global beer industry across several mergers; have deployed capital in a portfolio of long-term equity investments; and have overseen corporate finance transactions including acquisitions, divestments and equity and debt issuances.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities that professionals in your industry face today?
Corporate Finance has materially evolved in the last 25 years. The regulatory environment of investment and I-Banking firms reduced profitability and exercises continuous pressure on returns; therefore on compensation. Several product lines are becoming commoditized or being replaced by lower-cost tools. In this context, attracting, retaining, compensating and motivating talent continues to be the focus for buy-side and I-banking firms. For professionals, challenges include developing professional interests in areas/sectors that are long-term value creators (especially in the context of continuous disruption) as well as building attractive career paths that align personal values and life choices with sound firms.
In my experience, there is always room for high value-added strategic thinking, Board-level insight on strategic and capital structure decisions, and efficient allocation of capital to the right companies. At a more junior level, I have always considered that opportunities present themselves to individuals with integrity, a high and collaborative work ethic, mastery of technical skills and -especially- industry/product or thought leadership.
Where do you see the industry going in the future?
Capital deployment will always be part of the economy and will attract talented firms and professionals. Shorter term investors (including hedge funds) will continue to attract capital and talent, but returns may be volatile and cycles of capital inflows and outwill will likely continue. Additionally, dispersion of returns will continue to create a tiered industry with a smaller proportion of winners (with increasing scale each), a large proportion of average performers and a long tail of low risk-adjusted return investors. I think longer term institutional investors and permanent capital vehicles will continue to gain importance as favored by co-investors and investees.
What advice do you have for someone new to the industry?
My advice is to develop the highest work ethic from day one and focus on collaborating horizontally and vertically. It is also important to create and nurture networks within the firm and in industries or regions you are either working in, or attracted to for the future. Also, select your employer based on the firm’s accomplishments, medium term prospects and its ability to create value, instead of short term compensation or other shinny attributes. Use every opportunity to learn and make positive contributions to individuals, teams and the firm, even if -and particularly when- there’s no immediate reward.
Juan Carlos García is Managing Director of Quadrant Capital Advisors, Inc. in New York City.
Quadrant is the New York-based investment advisory firm of the Santo Domingo Group (SDG).
Mr. García is an investor and former investment banker with experience in over $30 billion in mergers, acquisitions and acquisition financing over a period of more than 25 years. Mr. García joined the Santo Domingo Group in 2000 as Vice President, Planning & M&A for Bavaria, S.A., one of Latin America’s leading breweries, where he was responsible for the design and execution of a $4 billion acquisition program and the subsequent $8 billion merger with LSE-listed SABMiller plc, creating the world’s second largest beer company. In recent years, he led SDG’s role in the merger between SABMiller and Anheuser Busch Inbev, in which SDG received a long-term equity interest in AB InBev.
Mr. García created the Strategic Investment Group at Quadrant, where he is responsible for SDG’s investment in AB InBev, a portfolio of minority interests in private and publicly traded companies, SDG’s Luxembourg-based financing affiliate and deploys capital in the USA and Europe, primarily in the consumer sector. Mr. García holds a B.Sc. from Universidad Javeriana in Colombia, completed corporate strategy and management development programs in IMD Switzerland and earned an MBA jointly granted by NYU Stern School of Business, London School of Economics and HEC Paris. He has served in multiple Board of Directors including SDG’s Beer Companies in eight countries (including Bavaria since 2005), Samson & Surrey S.a.r.l. (Luxembourg), BTG Pactual Group (Brazil) and Genesis Foundation (USA), among others. He currently serves in the Boards of Bevco Lux (Luxembourg), Inmobiliaria Colonial (Spain), and Bavaria and Valorem (Colombia) and Yale School of Management International Center for Finance Advisory Board, among others. Continuing with his long term interest in financial history and financial education, Mr. García established the Garcia Uribe Fund for Financial History and Education for the benefit of Yale School of Management. Mr. García’s extracurricular activities include equestrian sports, tennis, contemporary art and classical music.
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