Speaker line-up

Flavia Santoro 

President, ProColombia

 

Flavia Santoro is a lawyer from the Pontifical Javieriana University in Bogota and holds a specialization and a master's degree in insurance law from the same university. She has extensive experience in corporate and government affairs with the private sector, in strengthening partnerships, and in strategic fundraising. 

 

Her professional experience covers various sectors, from information services consulting, insurance sales, and fundraising for non-profit organizations. She has actively participated in the recruitment and organization of important events for the country including Expogestion Caribbean 2012 and the first Latin American Women's Leadership meeting.

José Manuel Restrepo

Minister for Trade, Industry and Tourism, Colombia

Minister Restrepo is an economist and specialist in finances from Rosario University, with a master’s degree in economics form the London School of Economics (LSE) and in senior management form INALDE. He holds a doctorate in High Education Management from the University of Bath.         

 

He has written extensively both nationally and internationally on Colombia’s economy and Colombia’s higher education sector, including the book Corporate Governance in Colombia’s Higher Education Institutions.

Michael Stott 

Latin America Editor

Financial Times

Michael Stott is the Latin America editor of the Financial Times based in London. He was previously in Tokyo as managing editor of the Nikkei Asian Review, a sister publication covering Asian business and politics. Prior to that he was the FT's UK news editor.

 

Michael reported from Latin America between 1990-1998, living in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Formerly Moscow bureau chief and Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa at Reuters, he joined the FT in 2014.

 

Michael graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in Modern Languages and speaks fluent Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Russian.    

Oliver Wack 

General Manager for Colombia and the Andean Region

Control Risks

Oliver Wack is the General Manager for Colombia and the Andean Region for Control Risks. Oliver specializes in supporting clients in the management of strategic and operational risks, working with practice and regional leadership teams to best utilise Control Risks’ global resources and to develop tailored solutions to solve their most complex problems.

 

Oliver has worked in and on Colombia for the better part of 15 years. Prior to joining Control Risks, he worked for the Organisation of American States (OAS) in the US and Colombia. As a Verification Officer with the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP/OAS), Oliver participated in the peace process between the Colombian Government and the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) paramilitary umbrella group. He holds a First Class BA (Hons) in Development Studies and International Relations from London Metropolitan University and graduated summa cum laude from a Masters of International Affairs in International Security at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Oliver speaks fluent English, French, German and Spanish.

Ángela María Orozco

Minister for Transport, Colombia

 

Ángela María Orozco Gómez has been serving as Minister of Transport of Colombia since 2018. Throughout the years, she has been officing as Minister of Foreign Trade, as President of Proexport and Vice Minister of Foreign Trade. She is a lawyer from Javeriana University with a Master's degree in Comparative Jurisprudence from the University of Texas (United States), a specialist in Economic Law from the Externado University of Colombia and a Fellow at the Yale World Yale University (2003). She was designated as one of the 100 global leaders of tomorrow by the World Economic Forum (2000), as one of the 10 outstanding young people of Colombia by the Junior Chamber of Colombia (2000) and as the year's Foreign Trade executive by the Association of Foreign Trade Directors (2001).

Diego Mesa 

Minister of Mines & Energy, Colombia

Diego Mesa Puyo is a Globally-minded energy and extractive industries leader with over 15 years of experience in management and advisory roles in government, multilaterals and private sector. As Colombia’s Deputy Energy Minister between 2018 and 2020, he co-led the design and implementation of the country`s energy transformation policy, including increasing the share of variable renewable energy from 1% to 12% of the power generation matrix. 
Before joining the Colombian government, he spent 6 years at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where he led technical assistance missions to advise African, Asian, European, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries on fiscal issues for extractive industries. Prior to the IMF, he spent 4 years as a Manger and Senior Economist in the Consulting and Deals Practice of (PwC) in Canada. The new Minister holds an M.A. in Economics from McGill University and is a CFA®️ chart holder since 2012.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel Kt 

Minister for Investment, UK

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel Kt was appointed unpaid Minister for Investment jointly at the Department for International Trade and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy on 18 March 2020. Before joining government, his career spanned the private and public sectors extensively across many sectors and served as one of the UK’s Business Ambassadors.

 

He also:

  • conducted the Cabinet Office’s triennial review of the Civil Service Commission

  • conducted the Cabinet Office’s Review of Public Appointments in the UK, which led to the Public Appointments Code

  • led a taskforce to establish the new Centre for Public Services Leadership

  • He has a particular interest in UK-China and UK-India relations. He has joined several Prime Ministerial visits, including the annual Economic and Financial Dialogues between the countries. He also chaired TheCityUK China Market Advisory Group.

 

Lord Grimstone was knighted in 2014 for public service to defence and business.

Alex Yew

Managing Director, John Laing

Alex is the regional head of John Laing's Latin America business. Alex has been at John Laing for 12 years, previously holding roles in project finance, new markets, strategy, and partnerships. Before John Laing, Alex worked as an investment banker and a lawyer, both in London and in Southeast Asia.

John Laing is an equity investor focussing in greenfield infrastructure and energy projects. It is a publicly-listed, FTSE 250 company. John Laing is active in Europe, Australia, North America and now, its fourth region, Latin America. John Laing has had an office in Bogota since 2018 staffed with half a dozen senior local investment executives. In 2019 John Laing made its first investment in Latin America when it invested in the Ruta del Cacao 4th Generation PPP project in Colombia. In the coming years, in addition to pursuing further investments in Colombia, John Laing will also be seeking investment opportunities in other Latin American countries.

Carlos Sánchez 

Partner, Durán & Osorio Abogados

Carlos Sánchez García is an attorney from Universidad de Los Andes (2000), LLM in Telecommunications Law from Carlos III University (Madrid, 2003) and Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Durham University Business School (2011). He is member of Durán & Osorio Abogados since 2000 and currently is a junior partner and manager of the firm´s branch in London.

He is a recognized transportation advisor in Colombia, as he was the leader of the PPP project of the Northeast Airports and the advisory to the Bogotá municipality for the operation contract of TransMiCable, the cable-car line that feeds the Transmilenio system with the passengers from the mountain of the south-east of the city. He is currently leading the legal advisory of the Manizales Transportation System and the Antioquia train.

He has lectured Telecommunications Law and PPP contracts in Universidad de Los Andes and since December of 2018 Carlos Andrés is one of the pool of experts of the UNOPS as a Senior Advisor in Public-Private Partnerships and Infrastructure Finance.

Marc Bunch

Partner, EMEIA Tax Center, Global Trade, EY

Marc is the Leader of the UK Global Trade team in EY’s EMEIA Tax Center.  He has been advising on Global Trade and wider indirect taxes, including VAT, GST, excise tax and other consumption taxes, for 23 years.

Starting in the UK, he spent 17 years in Asia – Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney.  He then returned to the UK in January 2017.

This has encompassed trade performance improvement, supply chain reorganizations, the development of regional and global trade strategies, ERP systems implementation, customs valuation, HS classification, application and implementation of trade regimes, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and advanced indirect tax data analytics.

Marc currently has focus on the customs and trade aspects of Brexit working with some of the highest profile Brexit impacted companies and is a key contributor to EY’s thought leadership.

Jaime Vargas

Leader EMEIA Latin American Business Center, EY

Jaime is a recognized leading tax advisors in Colombia and has been published in publications such as Chambers Law, International Tax Review, Euromoney, plc Which Lawyer, among others. He has joined Ernst & Young Colombia in November 2014. Prior to this, he was the tax managing partner of EY Colombia and the Business Tax Services Leader for LATAM North. Before joining the Firm, Jaime was partner of Baker & McKenzie (2010-2014), corporate and international tax manager of Coca Cola Femsa (Mexico, 2007-2010), managing tax partner of Deloitte Colombia (2002-2007), managing tax partner of Andersen Colombia (2000-2002) and partner of Baker & McKenzie (1995-2000). 

He has substantial experience in mergers and acquisitions, national and international tax planning, and taxes applied to the oil & gas industry.

Nick Pickthall 

COO, CPL Aromas

 

Nick Pickthall is Chief Operating Officer and member of the founding family of CPL Aromas, a British multinational fragrance house with offices in 18 countries and manufacturing sites in UK, Spain, Colombia, UAE and Hong Kong.  Nick started at CPL over 20 years ago and in that time has worked in Colombia and USA before returning to UK where he is now based.  Nick is past Chairman and current board member of the International Fragrance Association (UK) and board member of the Research Institute of Fragrance Materials.

Simon Adamsdale

Director & Founder, Control Risks

Simon Adamsdale is the Chairman of the British & Colombian Chamber of Commerce in London and one of the founders of Control Risks. During a 40-year career he has worked in a wide variety of roles in the company including a 3 year period in Washington DC when its first US office was set up in 1980. He was responsible for helping create and establish policies & procedures for providing advice to companies and families affected by kidnap and a wide variety of extortions. Simon was appointed as the first director of special accounts in 1989 the forerunner of today's client account management structure, since when he has been involved in business development in various parts of the world. He remains active in this capacity.

Mark Menzies MP

HM Government

Trade Envoy to Colombia, Chile, Peru and Argentina

Mark was re-elected with an increased vote share and an increased majority; he polled 60.9 per cent of the vote, 28,432 votes, a majority of 16,611.

 

Mark was first elected in 2010 as the Conservative MP for the seat. He was first selected for the seat in November 2008 and elected in May 2010 before he was returned, with an increased majority, in May 2015.

 

He has been an active member of the Conservative Party since 1987.

 

His main political priorities are UK energy security, changing the planning system to empower local communities and limit inappropriate development and ensuring a vibrant future for the defence industry within the UK.

 

Mark has served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Charles Hendry MP, former Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Mark Prisk MP, former Minister of State for Housing, and Alan Duncan, Minister of State for International Development.

Germán Ronderos

General Manager, CPL Colombia

Germán Ronderos is the General Manager for CPL Colombia. Germán started at CPL 17 year ago and during that time has worked mainly in Colombia but also spent two years in US. He also had worked developing new markets in LatAm.

Raúl Basalo

Area Export Manager, Rodríguez López Auto (RLA)

Raul is Key Account Manager at Rodriguez Lopez Auto S.L.U the biggest manufacturer of ambulances and special vehicles in Spain. He has spent the last 17 years dedicated to the world of bodybuilders, after his IT studies he began his professional career in one of the largest Bus bodybuilders in Spain and soon, given his technical capacity and command of several languages, he was channelled into the commercial technical world, managing to open and consolidate several new export markets and also generate very close relationships with various brands of vehicles manufacturers, becoming an Export Manager basing its activity on the German, Scandinavian and Eastern markets.

In 2017, he joined the Rodriguez Lopez Auto team as Key Account Manager to assist and guide the largest company in the world in emergency services and transportation of people, managing to sign a 6-year contract to supply special vehicles and open several new markets over the course of 3 years at RLA.

Juan David Barbosa

Partner, International Trade Practice Area, Posse Herrera Ruiz

Juan David is partner of the international trade practice area at Posse Herrera Ruiz. He has more than 16 years of experience in customs and international trade proceedings and litigations as well as in the development of import-export tax efficient strategies. Juan David has also worked in several international unfair trade practices (dumping) and safeguard investigations, as well as in the negotiation and implementation of free trade agreements. In free trade agreements he has experience in projects in Latin America and recently he has been involved in the creation and development of offshore FTAs.

Before joining Posse Herrera Ruiz, he worked in the Colombian government as Deputy Director of Trade Remedies at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. He led the negotiations of the trade remedies chapter in several free trade agreements and acted as Technical Secretary of the Committee on Customs and Tariffs matters.

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