CEO OF CONSULTATIO
Argentina 2017 I Economy I Leader
BIOGRAPHY With a Bachelor in Economics from Universidad Católica Argentina and a Master of Arts in Quantitative Economics from the University of East Anglia, England, he founded Consultatio in 1991. Through the Eduardo F. Costantini Foundation, he created the prestigious Latin American Art Museum in Buenos Aires which receives over 400,000 visitors annually.
"ARGENTINA IS AIMING AT ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND IF IT REACHES A YEARLY GROWTH RATE OF AROUND 3%, IT CAN GRADUALLY SOLVE ITS FISCAL PROBLEM, REDUCE INFLATION AND FISCAL DEFICIT, IMPROVE THE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH AND REDUCE POVERTY."
CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE COMPANY’S HISTORY AND MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS IN ARGENTINA?
For over 30 years, we have successfully developed innovative high-end real estate projects in prime locations. We were the first to introduce the concept of master-planned communities in Argentina. Our first project was Nordelta, launched in 1999 with an investment of USD 1.9 billion and that is today the largest and most successful of its kind in Latin America. In 2010, we launched Puertos with 425 hectares already developed and another 975 hectares expected to be fully developed by 2040. We have also invested in a prime waterfront land of 11,500m2 in Puerto Madero where we plan to replicate and improve on the success of the Oceana’s towers in Miami, launching the project by the end of 2017.
We have been successful in our commercial diversification strategy, adding leasable area and increasing stability in the cash flows of the company. Today we have three office buildings strategically located in the most representative commercial area of Buenos Aires City. Our company has a strong reputation, solid track-record and brand recognition. We are conservative and keep substantial cash reserves while operating without leverage. Our customers know they can trust us to deliver our projects. We have two cities and they are 30-year projects, we decide not to have leverage in a cyclic environment. We have also acquired strategically located properties in the US and we are developing luxury residential towers, leveraging from our expertise in the high-end market. The Oceana residential projects are located in Miami and are aimed at the ultra-high net worth segment. As part of our geographical diversification strategy, we are also developing Las Garzas, an ultra-exclusive gated residential resort near Punta del Este, Uruguay, 20-minutes from the famous Jose Ignacio. The project is already 41% sold with USD 82 million invested.
Finally, we have also diversified our business to the financial services sector. Our financial arm, Consultatio Asset Management, is today the biggest and fastest growing non-banking asset manager in Argentina. In the last two years, we have grown to become the leading company in this segment from a total of thirty.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MAIN CHANGES IN THE ECONOMY WITH THE NEW MACRI GOVERNMENT?
Argentina is following through a gradual strategy of macroeconomic convergence which is the global setting. The country has got out of default, returned to the western world and prioritized strategic relations with important western powers. As we know, this is a transition process that is bringing more institutionalization and transparency to attain macroeconomic balance.
Argentina is aiming at economic recovery and if it reaches a yearly growth rate of around 3%, it can gradually solve its fiscal problem, reduce inflation and fiscal deficit, improve the distribution of wealth and reduce poverty. At this moment, there is actually a drop in the inflation rate compared to last year, which was exaggeratedly high because of the beginning of the process of reducing subsidies and raising water, gas, and power prices.
At the same time, the government is trying to improve productivity in the public sector by reducing expenses. Argentina has been able to reduce its fiscal deficit as a percentage of its GDP and also a marginal reduction in the fiscal burden. What can be seen in Argentina is a better understanding of the risks in the country, a different approach and a fluid dialog between government authorities and different sectors, such as the unions, political sectors, governors, mayors, business owners and the society in general.
SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ARE PART OF THE DNA OF CONSULTATIO. WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?
Since I have started Consultatio, I believe that a company needs to have a comprehensive vision that includes social responsibility and sustainability of a project. In our case, we are developing two cities that will house over 80,000 people each, so we want to have a positive impact offering education about water management, energy conservation, use of low energy consumption materials, waste treatment and others. Argentina today has over 30% of its population in a poverty situation so these cities also create jobs and other economic opportunities as it employs nearly 10,000 people.
In Nordelta project, we have established from the beginning a foundation with different social programs, including work insertion, nutrition, health and education which are essential not only for the families living within the project but also for the surrounding low-income neighborhoods. Our concept is that we don’t only build houses, roads or bridges, we are building a community that has a comprehensive vision of its needs.