The Business Year

Alonso Madero

MEXICO - Finance

Alonso Madero

CEO, Alterna

Bio

Alonso Madero has 23 years of experience in the financial sector, including investment banking, private banking, investment management, and asset management experience in the US and Latin America. He holds a BA in business administration from ITESM and an MBA from UCLA.

Alterna looks at providing unrivaled standards of customer service to its clients, helping them to diversify and consider investing in international markets as well.

What is the current state of the financial sector in Mexico?

Although we have a number of well-established commercial banks, the financial sector is still very much in its infancy in terms of investments. The mutual fund industry represents between 11 and 12% of Mexico’s GDP. By comparison, in Brazil, the sector accounts for around 60%, and is at close to 100% in Chile; however, despite this huge growth opportunity, Mexicans tend to be conservative. They still do not understand what mutual funds are and think investing in stock markets is risky even though many of them are interested in cryptocurrencies, which are even more high risk.

What role do financial institutions have when it comes to promoting the use of investment tools in Mexico?

Financial institutions have to educate people about the advantages of becoming investors as opposed to simply saving. What is more, traditional banks are under threat for the first time in many years as a result of the pandemic. The institutions that seize new opportunities, adapt their business models, and collaborate with fintechs are those that will succeed in the years to come. Mexico currently has four unicorn companies, and we expect to see many more emerge in the near future.

What is the main added value Alterna brings to the Mexican market?

Alterna was formerly the international arm of Actinver, which is one of Mexico’s leading companies. It is well known for providing services to tech investors in the region. In June 2021, it was decided to spin off the international arm of the company as the board believed that this would make it easier to reach foreign markets and comply with financial regulations. In other words, the decision was made in order to help our clients achieve their financial goals.

What sets you apart from other institutions in terms of wealth management?

We completely differ from commercial banks and other financial services companies. We mainly target retail clients, and our US competitors would not be interested in serving our clients. We are a niche player, and we treat our clients as if they were billionaires. If any of them ever wanted to switch to a bigger financial institution, they would be lucky to be taken care of by a call center. We aim to provide an unrivaled standard of customer service.

You specialize in helping retail clients expand and make in investments in European markets. Which investment strategies do you most often suggest to your clients?

We live in a global world. This means that clients are asking for diversification not only in terms of assets, such as stocks and bonds, but also in geographical terms. They want to be able to invest their money here in Mexico, in the US, and in Europe. For this reason, we have decided to open an office in Madrid.

Your company hopes to double in size over the next five years. How do you plan to achieve this?

Right now, Alterna manages around USD3 billion worth of investments, and the aim is to reach USD6 billion in five years. We are focused on digitalization, investing heavily in apps, and are working to offer every Latin American the chance to open a bank account for themselves with a minimal amount of money. We are also interested in international markets. In addition to Spain, we are looking to form alliances across Latin America. There are a number financial advisors, broker dealers, and small wealth management firms that have not managed to break into the European or US markets. We are keen to begin collaborating with them and to help their clients make overseas investments. We are also extremely attracted by the US market. We are currently in negotiations with several US banks and hope to set up alliances with them. These are local banks that will provide our clients with banking products and will also enable us to offer our wealth management products to their respective clients.

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