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Pedro Cabrero is a tireless entrepreneur.
Straight after graduating in industrial engineering from Mexico’s Universidad Ibericoamericana, he launched his first startup – an online pharmaceutical company. Fast forward to 2018 and with a further two startups under his belt, Pedro now has his sights set on founding an asset management and payment fintech company.
The world of finance has long held a fascination for him.
“My first degree in engineering gave me the kind of intellectual challenge that I wanted but also there was a breadth to the programme and it touched on a range of business subjects. Even then I knew that finance was the field for me. And that I wanted to be a business owner.”
Between 2010 and 2018 Pedro worked as an equity trader for the likes of Citi and UBS in his native Mexico. The banking timetable also gave him wiggle room to pursue his entrepreneurial goals.
“In Mexico the market closes at 3.00pm. So I had plenty of time each day to devote to my other interests. In 2015 I co-founded a four-member architectural company that now has a portfolio of nine high-quality projects. A year later I started CLUSCAP, an angel fund that invests in and gives financial advice to companies in fintech and the sharing economy.”
His ambition to launch a new venture in fintech is the principal factor that brought him to the Masters in Finance programme at London Business School (LBS).
“I have experience in banking and in starting up, but I knew I needed to expand my knowledge and understanding of business in finance. I also wanted to expand my own network and make connections with other people from different backgrounds to mine.”
The choice of LBS was easy, says Pedro. The school not only offered the “best and brightest in terms of students,” but also a “best-in-class faculty that I was looking for.”
“London Business School also offered an entrepreneurship platform, and access to London itself which is the most dynamic city for fintech and for networking.”
And his expectations have not been disappointed, he says.
The diversity and dynamism of his cohort have impressed him in particular. “My classmates are very smart people and true leaders in their own right. Each person brings their unique experience and intelligence but there’s also a real fellow feeling and a sense of support for each other that has been there since day one.”
There are 34 nationalities in class and strong representation from Asia, which Pedro welcomes. “It’s great to have a perspective from China where a lot of innovative things are happening in the fintech space. Growing my network with Chinese friends and colleagues is a real bonus to the programme.”
Another bonus is the spread of electives that means that Pedro can sharpen his focus, matching the subjects he chooses to his own very specific needs.
“The sheer breadth of the offering and the chance to take electives with students from other LBS programmes like the MBA is really crucial to me. It’s opening doors to knowledge and greater opportunities for networking.”
Networking is of critical importance to Pedro.
“Building out connections to maximise opportunity and learning is key. And the learning happens all the time on the programme – not just in the lectures or the classroom, but also in the corridors, on the soccer field, talking to fellow students, networking in social and academic clubs. There’s a lot going on and it can be hard to juggle it all, but at the end of the day I’m here to create ties and bonds and a global network that can sustain me personally and professionally in my next venture and beyond.”
Pedro’s ambition is to put what he is learning and the network he is building at LBS to good use when he launches his fintech startup in the near future.
“The plan is to bundle two financial services – asset management and payment – to offer better returns on investments. I see this as very much in line with the future for finance, leveraging AI and technology to predict cash flows and build better portfolios for investors. What I’m learning at LBS from faculty and my classmates – the kind of outside the box thinking, and a mindset that looks beyond the financial statement – is a bedrock for innovation. I’m learning to keep my mind wide open.”
Pedro has solid advice for anyone looking to accelerate their success in finance and thinking of pursuing the Masters programme.
“Be good at time management. You’ll be exposed to so much when you get here, from classes and activities to clubs and gatherings. To get the most out of the experience, you need to manage your time. Be guided by your objectives and keep them clearly in your mind. Base your choices on what you expect to achieve from your time at London Business School.”
Pedro Cabrero was a recipient of the MiFFT British Chevening Scholarship