Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jaime Gilinski (Colombian Banker)

This blog features articles about famous Latin American magnates

Early on in his career, Gilinski spent one year as an associate at Morgan Stanley and Company Inc. in the investment banking area; and then spent the next nine years planning and implementing business strategies in South America for multinationalconsumer product and snack food corporations. Through the Gilinski Group, Jaime Gilinski and his father Isaac Gilinski manage several companies and investments in Latin America and the United States. In the late 1970's, Issac Gilinski purchased Compañía Financiera Internacional [International Financing Company]. In the 1990's his son Jaime Gilinski acquired Banco Andino. At the time of the purchase, Banco Andino was hemorrhaging $8 million a month, but within four years it became one of the most efficient banks in the Colombian banking system. The Gilinski Group sold the reconstituted bank which they had purchased for a nominal sum to Ecuador’s Nicolás Landes for a reported $70 million. [1].

The family then moved to purchase Banco de Colombia, partly with a $50 million investment for privatization from international financier George Soros. They later sold the control of the bank to Banco Industrial Colombiano, and its controlling stakeholder Sindicato Antioqueño, for $418 million — a transaction that ranks among Colombia’s largest. After the sale, Sindicato Antioqueño merged the institutions and called the entity Bancolombia. The Gilinski Group maintained a 19 percent share in the new bank as part of the deal. As of 2009, the market capitalization of Bancolombia in the NYSE is in the order of $6 billion. [2].

To this day, the Gilinski Group is growing in Colombia. They acquired and subsequently merged Banco Sudameris and Banco Tequendema in 2003. This merger created GNB Sudameris, a bank with assets of over US $4 billion. The purchase of Servibanca, an ATM network with over 1,500 machines, and Suma Valores, a stock exchange commission agent company, has further expanded the network. [3].

The Yupi products company shows that the Gilinski Group continues to pursue excellence in manufacturing and technology. Based in Cali, Colombia, Yupi is a well-known snack food company in Latin America, and exports to nine countries. Yupi has a 30% market share in the Colombian snack food products segment, second only behind Frito Lay. Gilinski Group also owns Rimax Plastics, which was founded by Issac Gilinski. [4].
Jaime Gilinski has served on the boards of many financial institutions. From 1994 to 1997, he was the Chairman and controlling shareholder of Banco de Colombia, the largest bank in Colombia.[5] Jaime Gilinski serves as the Chairman for JGB Financial Holding Company, which owns JGB Bank, since 1994. JGB Bank is a South Florida-based financial institution.[6]

In partnership with London & Regional Properties, Jaime Gilinski is developing the Panama Pacifico[7] business and residential development in Panama CityPanama. Jaime Gilinski and his partners Ian and Richard Livingstone bested 16 other international firms to develop the project. The US $700 million project, based on the former Howard Air Force Base in Panama, includes 2,750 acres of land, which makes it one of the largest development projects in the world. Due to the site's proximity to the Panama Canal and an unused air strip, Panama Pacifico is an excellent location to build a hub for international trade, commerce, and industry. The favorable business climate in Panama offers many benefits and incentives to international companies. Many multinational corporations have made plans to invest in the project, including Singapore Airlines, 3M, and Caterpillar. Jaime Gilinski and London & Regional Properties expect Panama Pacifico will be very attractive to global corporations looking to set up regional headquarters in Central America.[8].

Jaime Gilinski and his partners are also committed to make Panama Pacifico an exceptional place to live. 20,000 homes will be surrounded by a stunning natural environment of mangroves, wetlands, and tropical forests. Many innovative, eco-friendly technologies will be used to preserve the lushness of the area. Golf courses, gardens, walking paths, and open spaces will enhance everyone’s experience. Luxury hotels will also be on-property for vacationers and workers from around the world. A downtown plaza will serve as a central point for Panama Pacifico’s premium retail, restaurant, and entertainment properties.[9]

Panama Pacifico is expected to create 20,000 jobs. It is also projected to be worth around US $10 billion when finished, which is equivalent to more than half of Panama's gross national product[10].

Part of Panama Pacifico is being developed as a Media Village -- a huge film and production complex that is expected to occupy approximately 30 acres of the business park. Jaime Gilinski and London & Regional Partners will invest more than $26 million this year in the Media Village mega-complex, which will house film, movie, and other media productions[11].Mr. Gilinski is the Chair of Capital Projects for The Chabad House at Harvard University[12]. The Chabad House at Harvard is a Jewish student organization that provides educational, social, and recreational programming for students and faculty.[13]

Through the Jaime and Raquel Gilinski Endowment, Mr. Gilinski supports the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.[14]

Jaime Gilinski and his wife Raquel have developed the Jaime and Raquel Gilinski Hillel Ambassador Program, which will award up to 15 merit-based scholarships per year at Hillel Community Day School in North Miami Beach, Florida. This program, the first of its kind at Hillel, has been developed to recognize students in Grades 6-12 who show their commitment to learning in extraordinary ways. Gilinski Ambassadors demonstrate leadership and achieve in academics, extracurricular activities, or service learning. They represent the school’s core values, striving to reach their maximum potential as lifelong learners, and stand tall among our community’s next generation of leaders.[15]