As the new president of the IE Alumni Association, Fernando Barnuevo (IMBA1985) hopes members will be proud of having belonged to IE and that they will continue as part of the institution as alumni, with a permanent vocation for learning and enterprise. From his position as managing director of the merchant bank Kleinwort Benson, he insists on an approach that is always customer-focused, where success is invariably defined accordingly.
What are the main reasons that led you to accept the presidency of the IE Alumni Association?
As you grow, you realise that you receive much more in life when you give. You receive the satisfaction of a job well done, respectful affection and, above all, the pride of putting others first. You put that vocation for service into practice in a very special way when you are at the fore of an association in which the main aim is basically to help others. For me, as a member of the banking world in which everything has a financial consideration, it is a motive of honour and happiness to be able to do something for others without expecting anything in exchange.
In the mid-term, what are the main challenges you wish to deal with?
The Association has to make sure its members are proud of having belonged to IE as students and of forming part of the institution as alumni. Ultimately, success will be measured by the capacity for creating a “pride of belonging” that nourishes a professional support network in which we all feel we are owners of IE’s success. Undoubtedly, that success or failure is everyone’s responsibility.
In an environment as competitive as the financial world, are more lessons learned from success or from failure?
The capacity for failing without falling into despair or succeeding without arrogance is an absolute triumph. The great lesson lies in that balance. One learns from the humility of undergoing both situations without forgetting who you really are. Personally, I have made many mistakes and I still have a lot to learn.