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Investment Advice from Integracion AFAP -
Winner of the World Finance Global Pension Awards 2012 and 2013

Martin Rodriguez, the chairperson of the marcus evans Latin Investors Summit 2014, discusses why investors must be extra careful in Latin America today.

Interview with: Martin Rodriguez, Chief Information Officer, Integracion AFAP


“Latin America had great investment opportunities in recent years, but investors today must be very careful with their entry point. That is the first step to achieving a successful investment. Ten years ago prices had reached a low point due to the crisis, but today they seem to have hit a ceiling,” says Martin Rodriguez, Chief Information Officer, Integracion AFAP, the winning pension fund at the World Finance Global Pension Awards 2012 and 2013.

Rodriguez is the chairperson of the marcus evans Latin Investors Summit 2014, taking place in Panama City, Panama, March 24-25.

What do investors need to know about the Latin American investment landscape?

They have fix income, corporate bonds and equities, but the biggest growth has been in alternative investments, such as real estate, forestry and land. Latin America had great investment opportunities in recent years, but investors today must be very careful with their entry point.

What investment opportunities would you point investors to?

Given the volatile environment that the markets are facing, investors should follow an investment strategy that is based more on economic fundamentals and not be driven by the “animal spirits” of the short-term. In this landscape, risking too much could bring in more losses than profits. With interest rates rising in emerging markets, there will be opportunities in the region again, mostly in hard currencies. In this sense, it becomes more relevant to weigh the macroeconomic stability of the economies and government management.

What changes should Chief Investment Officers (CIOs) prepare for?

This will be a particular year for the pension industry in Uruguay, as a new law will be introduced that will give members of pension funds the possibility to opt-out and return to a defined benefit plan that is being offered by the government. This will be a challenge for CIOs, as we will have to communicate to our affiliates the best standards of risk exposure and profitability in an environment that is non-favourable for emerging markets.

However, we are investing for the long-term. If we look back to 1996 when the new pension system was established, yields have been good despite market ups and downs. That is what we should look at.

In this environment, how diversified should a fund be?

First, we must consider the type of investor. In our case, the new law enables the creation of a new fund for people who are close to retirement, so investments must be in liquid assets. However, as in every portfolio, you should focus on correlations, and looking for uncorrelated assets in such a globalized world is not easy. It is necessary to distinguish right from wrong very sharply. For example, in emerging markets not everything is all good or bad. It is time to assess the different economies separately. We are in a new phase now.

How do you manage portfolio risk?

We measure the risk exposure of our portfolio on a daily basis. We use different ratios to measure it, such as Value At Risk, tracking error in the portfolio against our benchmark and sensitivity analysis of the portfolio among others. Our biggest challenge in this area, as an Uruguayan pension fund, is about reducing our risk exposure in a volatile environment with ad hoc constraints such as illiquidity of sovereign bonds (the main investment asset of our portfolio) and legal barriers established by the local regulatory authority for investing in other markets.
Interview by:
Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager

For more information, contact: Jennifer Keljik, marketing manager
Tel: + 357 22 849 313

About the Latin Investors Summit 2014

This unique forum will take place at the Trump Ocean Club, Panama City, Panama, March 24-25, 2014. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on the global economy, alternative investments, diversification of pension funds, and stewarding the family wealth.

The Investment Network – marcus evans Summits group delivers peer-to-peer information on strategic matters, professional trends and breakthrough innovations.


Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-on-one business meetings. All rights reserved. The above content may be republished or reproduced. Kindly inform us by sending an email to

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Friday, March 03, 2006

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