A Global Community

Acumen’s dedicated team works across its five global offices in Accra, Karachi, Mumbai, Nairobi, and New York to support our work investing in companies, leaders, and ideas. Our entire global community — including our staff, board, and advisors — are integral to the success of our team.

  • Close Drawer Bio2013 VBarco

    Virgilio Barco

    Latin America Director, Bogota, Colombia

    “Virgilio joined Acumen as Director of Latin America in September 2013. He is responsible for all Latin America related investments, operations and business development activities. Before...” [READ MORE]

    Virgilio joined Acumen as Director of Latin America in September 2013. He is responsible for all Latin America related investments, operations and business development activities.

    Before joining Acumen, he was the Executive Director of the non-profit Social Investment Bank (Banca de Inversión Social), which has helped lead the development of the impact investing space in Colombia. Prior to that, he was the Founding Director of Invest in Bogota, a public-private partnership that promotes foreign direct investment to the Greater Bogota region. In 2009, Invest in Bogota was ranked as the top non-OECD investment promotion agency in the world by the IFC. Virgilio also headed the privatization unit at the Colombian Ministry of Finance and was an advisor on local economic development for the Bogota Planning Department. He has worked in private equity with FondElec Group, as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton in Brazil and as a financial analyst at Citibank Spain. He holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard College, an M.S. from the MIT Sloan School of Management and an M.A. in Economics from NYU.

    CONTACT

    E:vbarco@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer foto Catalina Torres P[1]

    Catalina Torres

    Senior Portfolio Associate, BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

    “It is an oft-quoted saying, and one full of social wisdom: “Give a man a fish, and he will be hungry again tomorrow; teach him to catch a fish, and he will be richer all his life.” Acumen focus on building lasting solutions that fundamentally change the system, alleviating poverty by facilitating self-sufficiency.” [READ MORE]

    Catalina joins Acumen with a diverse background in project management and business development across a variety of industries. Prior to Acumen, Catalina worked at Edge Growth, an impact investing fund in South Africa where she focused in the development of tools to optimize the due diligence process. Before that, Catalina was structuring and developing a social business aimed at offering nutritional and affordable products for the base of the pyramid. This social business was then incubated within a large Colombian diary company called Alpina. Catalina holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia and an MBA from IE Business School, Spain.

    CONTACT

    E:ctorres@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer SANTIAGO ALVAREZ_LatinAmerica

    SANTIAGO ALVAREZ

    Investment Director, BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

    “Acumen is changing the way we address important social issues, such as inequality and lack of opportunity, by investing in sustainable and scalable business models, which I believe is a driving force to truly achieving systemic change.” [READ MORE]

    Before joining Acumen, Santiago was Investment Manager at Bamboo Finance in Bogota where he was responsible for sourcing, structuring and monitoring investments across Latin America, primarily in the access to financial services, energy and education sectors. Prior to that he was an Associate at ACTIS in London, a leading global private equity fund that invests in emerging markets, where he was particularly focused on energy transactions in Latin America and Africa.  Previously, Santiago was involved in supporting the start-up of Adobe Capital, a leading impact investing fund in Mexico. Before that he was a Consultant at Stratco, one of the leading management consulting firms in Colombia. He has also spent time working for Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and Zoona, a financial mobile payment company in Zambia. Santiago was an Investors Circle Fellow and a Skoll Centre Associate Fellow.

    Santiago holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Los Andes University in Colombia, an MS in Poverty Reduction and Development Management at the University of Birmingham in the UK and an MBA from the Saïd Business School at Oxford University.

    CONTACT

    E:salvarez@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer SMelo

    Santiago Melo

    Portfolio Manager, Bogota, Colombia

    “What is most interesting about Acumen’s model is that it focus on developing a sustainable solution to eradicate poverty by listening and standing by those who are more in need” [READ MORE]

    As a Portfolio Manager at Acumen, Santiago is focused on growing the Latin America portfolio and providing management support to existing portfolio companies. Prior to joining Acumen, Santiago worked for Endeavor where he was in charge of searching and selecting high impact entrepreneurs, as well as providing strategic and operational assessment for the portfolio companies. He previously worked in the real estate and oil & gas industries performing business development and strategic activities and evaluating new investment opportunities. Santiago holds BSc in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia.

     

    CONTACT

    T:+(057) 3208005678
    E:smelo@acumen.org

  • Close Drawer CAMILO CORTES_LatinAmerica

    CAMILO CORTES

    Portfolio Analyst, BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

    “A true system change doesn't come from charity or philanthropy, it comes from hard work, patience and a true understanding of the social context, and this is exactly that Acumen's model does.” [READ MORE]

    Camilo joined Acumen on January 2015 as Short Term Portfolio Associate and in November 2015 joined as a Portfolio Analyst. Since then, he has supported the Latin America team conducting industry research, financial modeling and pipeline development. Prior to joining Acumen, Camilo worked as an intern at Coca Cola Femsa and as a finance team leader at AIESEC-Colombia where he helped develop multiple social projects. During the summer of 2015, Camilo spent two months in Egypt designing initiatives to develop the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Camilo holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and industrial engineering from Los Andes University in Colombia.

    CONTACT

    E:ccortes@acumen.org