I have been traveling quite a bit since the holidays. I’ve always traveled extensively for my work with NAHREP but this year I have supplemented that travel with a 20-city tour promoting L’ATTITUDE. The plan is to meet with Latino business leaders in twenty major markets throughout the country, creating awareness about L’ATTITUDE and getting perspective from many of them. The goal is to make L’ATTITUDE a better event and expand the brand among the leading Latino business professionals.
So far, we have been to New York, Dallas, and Houston, and I have already learned a ton. In New York, I met Angel Morales. Angel is in his mid-forties and used to run private equity for Merrill Lynch before running his own funds. Angel is part of a cabal of Latinos in capital management. The group is small, but super smart and hyper-successful. These guys manage billions of dollars and have some very specific ideas about what it will take to move the ball forward in terms of economic mobility for the Latino community. Angel is compadres with Xavier Gutierrez. Xavier is a managing partner of Clearlake Capital; Clearlake manages more than ten billion dollars and is headed by José Feliciano (not the singer). Feliciano is worth two billion dollars – yes, billions with a “B”. Sol Trujillo and I believe L’ATTITUDE needs to become more than a great event, it needs to become a marketplace where deals get done and capital is allocated to businesses, film projects, and organizations. Sol uses the term “resource allocators” when he refers to CEOs, board members, and heads of larges pension funds.
To date, we have been modestly successful in bringing people like that to our event to learn about the Latino market and meet some of the players. However, Angel and Xavier says we’re missing a big piece of the puzzle. Xavier says, CEOs have bosses also…they are called shareholders. Private equity and other institutional investors have a lot of say on what goes on inside of companies. Xavier and Angel believe that if we can get more Latinos managing more money, we can have tremendous influence on what happens in major corporations including media companies, technology firms and some of the biggest employers in the world.
Ultimately, this would mean that more Latinos would occupy the c-suites of these companies and more capital would flow to Latino entrepreneurs, filmmakers, and other projects. This is big and Sol and I believe these guys know what they are talking about. We plan to make capital management a major focus at L’ATTITUDE. When I met Angel and Xavier, I kept thinking why haven’t we been hanging with these guys until now. Well, better late than never. Stay tuned, we are on to something with this L’ATTITUDE thing…. And we are just getting started.