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Hugo Villacrés Endara

ECUADOR - Economy

Socially Secure

President of the Board, Ecuadorean Institute of Social Security (IESS)


Hugo Villacrés Endara was born in Quito and graduated in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. He has a Master’s of Science in Economics (MSE) from University of Lausanne in Switzerland and an MBA from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. He has taken several courses on governance, public policy and marketing management from the George Washington University and one in Development Planning for Developing Countries in Beijing. He began his career in the public sector as Manager of Mercado Mayorista de Quito. In 2009, he joined Banco del Estado where he held various management positions. He was appointed Deputy General Manager of the Central Bank of Ecuador in 2013, where he served until March 2014.

What do you see as your mission and goals as president of the board of the Ecuadorean Institute of Social Security (IESS)? We have some important goals in health and […]

What do you see as your mission and goals as president of the board of the Ecuadorean Institute of Social Security (IESS)?

We have some important goals in health and banking, and we are trying to improve public healthcare by bringing more doctors into the system over the next few months. We will be hiring approximately 900 family doctors and 600 specialist doctors, who will work around the country at 96 hospitals and health centers. We are trying to improve the way that we serve our members nationally, and to generate a new system based on value. We want to bring a more human face to our health services, while improving the manner in which we provide access to medicine. There are three ways to do this: we can do it ourselves, which is what we have been doing until now; secondly, we can distribute medicine through private pharmacies, and thirdly, we have a public business called Enfarma, which is a government enterprise, through which we also distribute medicine. We work with both private and public hospitals, and are keen to link them in a broader, stronger system. In terms of banking, we work with mortgage credit and consumer credit, with a value of $1.32 billion in the former and $1.44 billion in the latter.

IESS is involved in the Ecuadorean economy. How important is its role in funding national development?

One of the key ways in which we improve the rate of national growth is through construction. If we can increase construction credit then we can expedite growth, which naturally is of direct benefit to the national economy.

How could the public and private sectors best cooperate in Ecuador?

We have a productive relationship with the private sector, and utilize its services for the benefit of our members. We also work together with private banks for access to credit. We are not trying to increase our market share, but rather to improve the quality and value of our service offering. We have also worked with the private sector on construction projects, building hospitals, and housing. The best path for us, for the country, and for our members, is for the private and public sectors to work in tandem, because there are certain areas in which the private sector is stronger, and others better suited to the public sector. We also need to increase the quality of human value we give our members, in terms of transparency, honesty, and good service.

What role would you like IESS and BIESS to play in the Ecuadorean economy over the coming years?

I envisage a social security system in which people have confidence, and one able to give members all the services they need in terms of healthcare and pensions. It will be a system that can work for everyone from the beginning of their working lives right through to retirement.



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