A Decades-Long Focus on Improving, Changing and Evolving
Corporate Communications: Hola, Jorge! It’s great to catch up with you. Please give us a glimpse into your background.
Jorge: I’m the father of two boys with my wife Cecilia, whom I married in 1999. She is from Peru but has lived most of her life in Mexico. I am the third child out of ten and the eldest son – I have seven sisters and two younger brothers. I’m a Roman Catholic, which provides the basis for my decisions, both personal and professional. I’m Mexican-born and raised, I love my country and part of my role in life is to make my country a better place for everyone. Mexico rocks! Regarding my education, after a year at boarding school in England, I went on to earn my industrial engineering degree from Universidad Panamericana and my MBA from Universidad Iberoamericana and AD1 at IPADE. I also teach finance for an MBA program at Ibero University, which I do pro-bono.
Corporate Communications: How did your career path lead you to Prologis?
Jorge: I started working in 1994 with Luis Gutiérrez (FIBRA Prologis CEO and president of Prologis Latin America) and Héctor Ibarzabal (FIBRA Prologis chief operating officer and managing director/head of operations for Prologis Mexico) at G. Acción and have been with them ever since. In 2000, we signed a JV with AMB Property Corporation. In 2008, AMB acquired 100 percent of G. Acción, so we ended up being part of the AMB family thanks to the support of Prologis chairman and CEO Hamid Moghadam and now-retired Guy Jaquier (who at the time was AMB’s chief investment officer) in those early days.
Corporate Communications: How does your work complement Prologis’ strategy for success and innovation?
Jorge: I’m in charge of the finance division for FIBRA Prologis and like to find new ways of doing things. I work closely with Prologis, Inc. on financial and other innovations around the world, and along those same lines I seek out ideas that can be applied to our work in Mexico. For example, in 2020 we completed our first green bond as a publicly traded real estate company in Mexico. We raised US$375 million, an unprecedented amount for an instrument done for the first time in Mexico. In the spirit of staying ahead of what’s next and leading in the industry, we launched our first-ever sustainable line of credit, at US$400 million. We are definitely moving in the right direction.
Corporate Communications: How do you approach the Prologis 3Cs (Customer Centricity; Change Through Innovation and Operational Excellence; and Culture and Talent) in your daily work and as you collaborate with other teams?
Jorge: The 3Cs are now fully integrated into the company’s DNA, which means it comes naturally to me. Everything we do, from the financial side to operations, focuses on continuous improvement. We can’t improve if we don’t prioritize our customers, employees, communities and investors. I am not much for staying in my comfort zone. I’d rather put effort into improving, changing and evolving. If something does not work, the goal is to react quickly to the results, discard the project if needed and keep testing new ways of doing things. Overall, the idea is to look for things that work for everyone and to resist the temptation to always aim for “perfect.” With time and the right attitude, things will begin to fall into place.
Corporate Communications: What hobbies/interests do you enjoy?
Jorge: I like any sport or activity that connects me to the outdoors, from horses, paddle tennis and water and snow skiing to exploring in my RV. I’m not very good at most of these pursuits, but I’m good enough and, importantly, I have fun.
Corporate Communications: What is the best career/life advice you’ve gotten or given?
Jorge: Don’t fall into the trap of quick success or a high salary because people and teams are more important. If you feel you can trust your team and your boss, if they have the correct moral standards, if they do what they say, if they care about other people and the right way of doing things, if you complement each other, then that is more important than always thinking about making more money. In my 27 years in the real estate business, I have seen people move to another company because of better pay and they end up unhappy – yes, probably with more money, but not happy. People, culture and vision are crucial to happiness. Money will come in time if you work hard and stay focused.
To learn more about FIBRA Prologis’ work and progress in Mexico, please see their 2020 Annual Report here.