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Antonio Correia-Sampaio

  • Programme: Project and Infrastructure Finance
  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Job Post-programme: Senior Manager, Oil and Gas, Wipro Technologies

Professional background

Tony has worked for a number of large international clients and governments. These include the EU, major global finance institutions and oil companies, and Fortune 100 and CAC 40 companies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering and an MSc in Systems Engineering from Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro. 

Forward career planning

My initial reasons for taking this programme stemmed from wanting to gain a general understanding of project finance. I also had a specific interest in learning how to structure financial transactions. I have a business consulting role at Wipro which involves analysing the needs of the organisation and translating them internally to the IT team. I don’t currently require a great deal of in-depth finance knowledge for my job, but I wanted to round out my financial skill-set and professional expertise in anticipation of knowledge needed for more senior positions to come. 

London Business School’s programme appealed partly because of the London base – it was hugely convenient for me to be able to hop on a tube and be in class in 20 minutes. The School also has a great brand, and the fact that it has a strong finance portfolio and faculty was a big incentive. I was lucky enough to have the time and the inclination to study something that really interested me, so I took the opportunity and went for it.

An engaging class dynamic

One thing that really struck me about the programme was the strength and depth of the class network. It involved very intense eight-hour days, so it was great to interact with people from such diverse backgrounds. Everyone brought their own views and experiences to the table, creating an engaging dynamic which meant that even though we were covering a good deal of work, the long days went by in a flash. I met a range of very interesting people across different industries – my class was a veritable UN, with participants from countries as far-reaching as Brazil, Qatar, Morocco, Portugal and Australia. I also managed to make a number of new contacts on the technology front, which was a totally unexpected benefit. 

On my particular programme we had a number of different professors teaching from across a range of finance topics – no two days were the same, and I felt very privileged to have such a variety of viewpoints to consider. Different faculty looked at project finance problems from different angles. I found the class with Christopher Hennessy particularly interesting because of his quantitative approach and a focus on the use of option modelling to ascertain the asset’s value at the end of a project. He was also very helpful in providing me with additional articles to read.

Ordered thinking and financial frameworks

Even though I hadn’t identified specific takeaways before the programme, one benefit of my experience is that it really helped me coalesce my ideas. I now approach engagements with a more structured way of thinking enabling me to order things more effectively in my mind. This alignment happened not so much because of the programme content itself, but as a result of discussions and interaction between classmates and professors.

Project finance is an area that I enjoy; it also has good synergies with Oil & Gas. I’ve achieved what I wanted and improved my skill set. As well as understanding the Information Technology that enables Oil & Gas to be produced, I now have a better grasp of how the financial aspects work. I have proper frameworks to use, and because I’m able to talk with more confidence about financial issues, I have more credibility. Within Wipro and with my clients, I have more weight as a well-rounded professional who understands different facets of the business.