As a new member of Darden’s Global Advisory Council, Agustín Otero Monsegur (MBA ’06) champions Darden in South America, especially in Argentina.
“Darden is probably one of the best kept secrets in the world,” said Monsegur. “We have a mission to make the secret known. We need to get Darden more in touch with South America. We need management in South America to have a global perspective and adopt modern management techniques.”
Monsegur, who was born in Buenos Aires, discovered Darden through friends who had attended the School. “They counseled me and my wife to visit Darden,” he said. “We fell in love with it at a glance. My wife said there was no better place to be a student than at Darden because of the way the Darden community spirit works. It’s a transformational experience.”
Monsegur, who now runs Humus Capital — a private equity fund based in Buenos Aires — credits Darden for teaching him how to perform under pressure.
The 38-year-old advises American investors that his native country is ripe for investing. “I think it is possible to do good business in Argentina. But connecting with a savvy, local partner is the key to being successful in South America, especially Argentina,” he said.
Though Argentina is beset by debt and inflation woes, Monsegur noted that the country will start a new path to stabilization. “Moods are changing, and all of the prospective presidential candidates are looking to go back to the international markets,” said Monsegur, who co-founded Argentina Debate, a nonprofit organization that aims to bring the first presidential debate in Argentina to life. It was formed by politicians, businessmen, labor unions, members of the media and academics in Argentina along with international organizations such as the National Democratic Institute from the U.S. “The election will have a major impact on how the economy is being handled, and therefore it’s crucial to know the candidates’ plans. This will open the opportunity window for a country that’s been out of market for the last 12 years.”
Those years, Monsegur admitted, have been difficult. “It’s been hard, and to have some wind of change is definitely good news.”
Monsegur and his wife, Maria Miguens, have four children: Nicolas, 11; Luisa, 8; Violeta, 5; and Beltran, 2.