Former Top Mexico Finance Figure Aportela Opens Consulting FirmBy
Altor will advise on financing, structuring, infrastructure
Clients likely to be companies, state and local governments
Fernando Aportela, who served as the second-in-command to Luis Videgaray at Mexico’s finance ministry for almost four years, has opened a consultancy focused on structuring finance for companies and governments.
Aportela, 45, who often represented Mexico in meetings with investors and at the Group of 20, opened the firm, known as Altor, in January. He plans to help companies obtain financing for expansion and to advise state and local governments, with a focus on infrastructure and public-private partnerships.
At the finance ministry, Aportela helped create the country’s first-ever education-infrastructure debt to renovate schools. Mexico plans to issue 50 billion pesos ($2.6 billion) of the securities by 2018. Aportela previously worked in investment banking at Protego Asesores and Evercore Partners, where he helped refinance the debt of the State of Mexico.
“The goal is to add value for my clients,” Aportela said in an interview in his 15th-floor office in the tony Bosques de las Lomas neighborhood of Mexico City. “We want to solve problems.”
Aportela left the finance ministry in September following the resignation of Videgaray, who stepped down amid fallout from a controversial visit to Mexico by then-U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump that Videgaray helped arrange. After Trump’s election, Videgaray returned to the government as President Enrique Pena Nieto’s foreign relations minister to face Trump, who has demanded Mexico pay for a border wall to stop undocumented immigration and vowed to end or renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Aportela isn’t the first former official from the finance ministry to join the private sector. Gerardo Rodriguez, a deputy finance minister under President Felipe Calderon, is a portfolio manager at BlackRock Inc.; Ernesto Revilla, the ministry’s former chief economist, works at Citibanamex; and former finance minister Pedro Aspe last month retired as chairman of Evercore’s Mexico business.
If Aportela had joined a larger or existing firm, he might have needed to wait for at least a year to start, based on a Mexican law that prohibits former public officials from accepting employment at any entity they regulated, supervised or had links to while in office.
Aportela said Altor, which is Latin for “one who sustains or protects another,” is already working with its first clients, including Sucroliq, a Mexican liquid sugar refining company that’s looking to expand to the U.S.