How did you come to be in the energy industry?
I was born into the industry, having lived in oil fields and processing facilities across México. In the past decade I was involved in structuring investments and financings for service providers and long term projects for the leading Mexican firms in México.
What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?
The proudest work achievement, I would separate in two, the first and most significant personal achievement was to close the first EXI fund and invest it in less than 12 months. From a society point of view and in a previous life, I was instrumental in funding the expansion of Gentera formerly Compartamos, paving the way to what is today a bank serving the lowest income segment of the population not only in México but other countries.
What is your role in your job?
I identify and originate business opportunities for our funds, while devising and sustaining an investment portfolio consistent with the objectives in each of our investment vehicles.
What is your or your business’ main area of growth?
We are identifying opportunities in generation sector, not only in renewables, but across the industry. We are also working with several opportunities in the midstream sector, all in México.
Where do you see the greatest opportunity in the Mexican/regional energy market?
There are different types of opportunities for different risk/return profiles in the México/regional energy market. They range from small startups, to fully operational (brownfield) large projects.
Where do you see the greatest challenges?
In México after the big reforms, the specific regulation is being implemented. And there is where the main challenges affecting specific projects would be. And this is complemented with changes in the existing regulation, which may destroy projects being developed.
What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?
In what we call the importance of quality time from the mentor, rather than quantity. I once received the advice to pass on a 600 million investment, fully contracted, but subject to renewal risk. As time would have it the risk materialized before the maturity of the original contracts.
What advice would you pass onto a recent graduate wishing to work in your line of business?
Get involved and fully as early as possible and be on the lookout for new opportunities and risks, complemented with being and integral individual.
What are the strategic priorities for your company in the next 12 months and beyond?
We recently launched our second fund, we intend to continue identifying investment opportunities for our portfolio, and look for increased geographic scope.
If you could wave a magic wand over the global/regional industry, what would you change and why?
I would seek for more less volatile price, technology and market indicators, and better hedging mechanisms.
What’s the one interesting fact about you that no one would suspect?
I am fan of opera
How do you prefer to spend your spare time?
With family, playing tennis and traveling.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
Spending time at the beach and sailing
All-time favourite book?
All-time favourite film?
What three items would you take with you to a desert island?
An encyclopaedia, matches, and canvass
About Luis Villalobos
Mr. Villalobos is a Partner in Mexico Infraestructure Partners, an Independent Asset Manager which manages the EXI CKD Fund, and other investment vehicles, where he is the Chief New Business Officer. Previously, he served as CEO of ASII Recursos, a public finance investment bank in Mexico, where he advised projects on transmission lines, solar and wind generation, toll roads, tunnels, airports, mass transportation systems, water treatment and solid waste management. Prior to this he served as Managing Director in Macquarie Capital, where he advised on several infrastructure projects in the transportation, water, social infrastructure and electricity generation. He was the CEO of Citigroup Casa de Bolsa in Mexico City underwriting more than $6.5 billion in over 60 transactions in the Mexican debt capital markets.
He is a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management and of Instituto Technologico de Monterrey.