Ankura Consulting opens Puerto Rico advisory office
The opening includes the appointments of Jorge L. San Miguel and Juan Carlos Batlle as senior managing directors. San Miguel and Batlle will lead Ankura’s efforts in assisting municipal and corporate clients in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America.
“I could not be happier having Jorge San Miguel and Juan Carlos Batlle, two great executives with a long track record of delivering extraordinary results, join our team,” said Kevin Lavin, Ankura co-president.
“Equally important, having such culturally like-minded professionals join us will allow Jorge and Juan Carlos to integrate effortlessly with their new colleagues at Ankura and bring their timely and relevant expertise to stakeholders in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and throughout Latin America,” he said.
San Miguel has more than 25 years of experience in environmental law, energy, land use, and government/regulatory affairs.
He has represented businesses in proceedings involving environmental issues, energy infrastructure projects, and associated compliance/public policy matters before government agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Congress, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the Environmental Quality Board, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, and the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce, among others.
“Ankura’s culture of excellence, collaboration, and respect can only breed gainful results for our clients in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. It is an unbeatable formula,” said San Miguel.
“Few national business advisory firms have made the commitment to this region as Ankura now has with this expansion of their presence here,” said San Miguel, who was most recently a capital member of the law firm Ferraiuoli LLC, where he chaired the firm’s Energy and Environmental Practice Groups, and co-chaired its Government and Legislative Affairs Practice Group.
In 2009, San Miguel led a team that drafted Puerto Rico’s Permits Process Reform Act, which helped increase private investment and economic growth in 2011-2012, when Puerto Rico’s Index of Economic Activity broke into positive territory for the first time since 2006. As a result, regulatory and permitting efficiency also improved 50 positions by 2012 according to the World Economic Forum.
Last year, he testified before the U.S. Congress on energy infrastructure and permitting issues related to Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act of June, 2016.
Meanwhile, Batlle joins Ankura with more than 20 years of financial services industry experience in both the public and private sectors. His areas of expertise include public finance, public-private partnerships, capital markets, investment banking, asset management, securities brokerage, and distressed debt management.
He has also arranged financing for projects in the infrastructure, energy, hospitality, and real estate sectors, as well as developed and enacted economic development initiatives in the public sector. He served as president of the Puerto Rico Government Development Bank under the administration of Gov. Luis Fortuño.
“As Puerto Rico deals with the deepening challenges presented by a decade-long fiscal and economic crisis, Ankura’s commitment to our island is in evidence,” said Batlle.
“The opening of this new San Juan Ankura office shows their confidence in Puerto Rico’s ability to overcome the challenges we have been facing and our dedication to its reemergence in the near future as a vibrant center of economic activity,” he said.
“As a Puerto Rican and business professional committed to Puerto Rico, I am galvanized by this new challenge, joining Ankura and its professional team at this exciting time, and I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute to the success of both Ankura and Puerto Rico,” Batlle said.
As part of this track record, Batlle has executed financing plans for public corporations and the central government and its agencies, as well as municipalities in Puerto Rico.
In addition, he has implemented initiatives to promote and support access to credit for small and medium-sized businesses and been part of the completion of public- private partnership transactions, including the long-term concessions of major toll roads on the island with total consideration of more than $1.4 billion, as well as the island’s Luis Marin International Airport with total consideration of more than $2 billion.
He testified on issues related to Puerto Rico’s fiscal and economic crisis before United States Congress in 2016. Batlle was most recently with CPG Island Servicing LLC where he was responsible for the overall supervision of a $1 billion distressed commercial real estate debt portfolio.