JOEL A. PEÑA
HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN
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Joel A. Peña
Joel A. Peña’s finance career has spanned 20 years, multiple countries, and plenty of on-the-ground experience. His journey goes from a small town to the big cities and leading global financial institutions. He has successfully built businesses and relationships within the Latin American market. His position as head of business development for Latin America at Los Angeles-headquartered DoubleLine Capital LP is his third role building and expanding these relationships. “When you have a team with this level of expertise, experience, drive, and client focus, you can accomplish anything. That’s what this company is about,” he says of DoubleLine. Founded in 2009, the firm has grown to almost $137 billion in AUM on the strengths of its performance, servicing, and focus on clients. DoubleLine is majority-owned by its employees and holds onto the entrepreneurial spirit of its early days.
Joel’s financial career started with earning a BA in economics from the Monterrey Institute of technology (ITESM) in Mexico, which included an international finance exchange program at the University of Alberta, in Canada. He worked for BBVA Bancomer Securities in operations, product selection, portfolio modeling, and client advisory in Houston, Texas, and then as a private banker for Israel’s Bank Hapoalim in Miami, advising offshore clients in Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. He then moved to New York to attend NYU’s Stern School of Business. After graduating, he joined PIMCO in New York, where he helped found and develop their Latin America unit until 2014, when he joined Dutch asset manager Robeco, heading their Latin American and US Offshore division. Both firms saw growth in assets in the region during his tenure.
Leveraging the experience that he gained from his previous roles, Joel joined DoubleLine Capital to develop its Latin American business. But there was a catch: In order to join, he first needed to convince management to have a Latin American division in the first place. “It entailed strong networking with the company’s decision makers and explaining in a clear way why they should consider adding this line of business to their existing one,” he explains. And that’s exactly what Joel did. DoubleLine approved the business plan, he landed the position, and immediately began helping the firm establish their Latin American branch. Today, much of his role entails business development for a unit that is still in early stages of development. On the wealth management side, Joel handles contract negotiations and marketing to advisors so that they can add DoubleLine’s funds to their portfolios. When he works with larger institutions, he helps them optimize their asset management capabilities, product selection, and efficient implementation of strategy mandates.
Joel won’t say the road to where he is now was easy. In fact, he says it was often arduous, but credits his strong educational background, which also includes the CFA charter and CAIA certification, in helping him work his way forward. Besides his formal education, Joel also credits his bicultural background for his success in bridging international relationships that cross national as well as cultural boundaries. Living and working in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, and managing accounts and clients from multiple countries in North, Central and South America and Europe, has made Joel qualified to lead projects that combine asset management, international business development, entrepreneurship, and strategic planning. His finance background allows him to not only understand the underpinnings of a product, but also to turn it into a marketable opportunity. And his bicultural background allows him to translate products and ideas into multiple markets across the globe. This specific combination of financial know-how, resilience, marketing ability, and multicultural experience is rare in the financial industry, and has been crucial to both him and DoubleLine in their success. DoubleLine itself is in its status as an employee-owned company that, despite how much it has grown over the past 12 years, still maintains a strong entrepreneurial focus and supportive culture for employees centered on clients’ needs.
Joel A. Peña
Head of Business Development, Latin American and Caribbean — DoubleLine Capital, LP
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