“We want to progress”

Rafael del Pino participates in Alumni Day

28/06/2013

Alumni

Optimism, prudence and, above all, a determination to face the future are traits that have marked the professional career of Rafael del Pino, president of Ferrovial. Del Pino traced his career and reflected on the current economic situation at Alumni Day, held June 27 on IESE’s Madrid campus.

In spite of the deep crisis in Spain and the rest of the eurozone, Del Pino said he was convinced that the region will prosper in the long run. “Although we are experiencing difficult and uncertain times, we are a society that wants to progress. We are almost at the end of the crisis, but certainly we will get there.”

Trained as a civil engineer, Del Pino took the helm of Ferrovial in 2000. Founded 61 years ago, Ferrovial is one of Spain’s largest multinationals, with operations in diverse countries including Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, Colombia and Chile.

Del Pino said that two main criteria that govern global companies are legal security and market transparency. During a chat with IESE Prof. Santiago Álvarez de Mon, he also talked about two important lessons passed on to him by his father, who founded the company: the importance of teamwork and capacity for synthesis.

Sustainable system

Ferrovial’s president was clear about several aspects of the crisis that is currently punishing the eurozone.  For example, Western European countries cannot guarantee current benefits, given demographic data. “The pension system is unsustainable. More services are needed, as well as greater efficiency, and we should review the size of the government,” he said.

IESE professors José Manuel Campa and Javier Díaz-Giménez also analyzed today’s economic situation.

“To grow, reforms are needed. But it is very difficult to carry these out if people are not willing to make certain sacrifices,” said Prof. Campa, who warned of dangers that “extreme economic policies” have had on the eurozone over the last few years.

“Growth with an interest rate of zero is impossible and this is what we’ve had for the last four years,” he said.

Prof. Díaz-Giménez noted that one of Europe’s problems is the lack of a plan that fosters confidence. “Job creation should be a priority objective of economic policy,” he said, as well as fulfilling deficit reduction goals.

Nevertheless, “we are starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel,” he said, signaled by a trade balance surplus and slowing down of job losses.

During the event, IESE alumni who graduated in 1988 – 25 years ago – were honored. IESE’s Dean Jordi Canals said that alumni are “essential” for maintaining the spirit of the school. “IESE is like a river that tries to give life to all the lands it touches,” he said.

“We should keep giving the best of ourselves to society because the best is yet to come,” said Tomás Garcia Madrid, president of the Regional Alumni Chapter in Madrid, in his concluding remarks.