3. Driving Financial Transformation: Alfredo’s Journey from Ashinaga Africa Initiative to Future Corporate Finance Professor

Driving Financial Transformation: Alfredo’s Journey from Ashinaga Africa Initiative to Future Corporate Finance Professor

AAI Graduates 2024.05.08

Alfredo is an  Ashinaga Africa Initiative (AAI) Graduate from Angola whose inspirational journey is a testament to the transformative power of education, resilience, and a commitment to empowering communities.

Alfredo’s childhood in Angola was shaped by the challenges of a country striving for stability after years of conflict. Growing up in this struggle, he experienced firsthand the impact of economic hardships and limited educational opportunities. Raised by his aunt, Alfredo’s early years were marked by the struggle to afford school fees and the sacrifices his aunt made to ensure he had a chance at a better future. Their hardships together laid the foundation for his unwavering determination to create positive change in his community.

Despite these hurdles, Alfredo’s passion for economics and a deep connection to his community drove his journey. “Growing up in Angola taught me the value of resilience and community bonds. It ignited my passion for economics, its importance in development, and a desire to make a meaningful impact,” reflects Alfredo.

A pivotal moment in Alfredo’s life came when he joined the AAI leadership program. “Ashinaga opened doors I never knew existed. It wasn’t just about learning; it was about embracing responsibility and understanding the impact one can have on others,” shares Alfredo.

Alfredo completed his undergraduate degree in International Business in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His academic journey was characterized by a commitment to excellence and a thirst for learning. Reflecting on this phase, Alfredo notes, “Studying in Brazil provided me with a global perspective, exposing me to diverse academic insights and enhancing my analytical and critical thinking skills.”

Alfredo’s professional trajectory gained momentum through internships at major financial institutions worldwide. From KPMG (Audit – Financial Services) to Itau (Wealth Management Service) and Morgan Stanley (Investment Banking), each experience contributed to his expertise in corporate banking. Reflecting on this, Alfredo shares, “The internships taught me the intricacies of corporate finance, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and a holistic understanding of the financial sector. They also expanded my network and introduced me to people who greatly influenced my life.”

At the beginning of his career in finance, Alfredo took part in the Global Corporate Banking Analyst Program in New York. This program became a turning point, offering insights into deal origination and client-facing dynamics—a skill set crucial in the corporate finance landscape. “My global experiences have been instrumental in shaping my approach to corporate banking. It’s about understanding client needs and building lasting relationships,” explains Alfredo.

Motivated by a deep-rooted commitment to his homeland, Alfredo co-founded a company focused on supporting local businesses in Angola. Beyond offering financial consulting, the venture aims to educate entrepreneurs about effective business management, fostering economic growth, job creation, and increased tax contributions. “I noticed that most entrepreneurs back in Angola lacked the necessary skills to sustain and grow their businesses. Our goal is to empower local entrepreneurs, providing them with the knowledge and tools needed for sustainable success,” emphasizes Alfredo.

Reflecting on the profound impact of Ashinaga on his life, Alfredo emphasizes how the program fostered his transformation into a global leader. “Ashinaga was more than an educational support system; it was a guiding light that illuminated my path toward leadership. It instilled in me a sense of duty to give back and uplift others.” acknowledges Alfredo.

Alfredo works in the corporate finance sector, specifically in a client-facing role at Citi Bank in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. His focus lies on customer experience and engagement within the commercial realm of corporate banking. As he navigates the corporate landscape, his responsibilities include offering financial solutions, providing loans and finance facilities to CEOs, and addressing the working capital needs of global institutions. “My role emphasizes the importance of building relationships and trust with clients, showcasing the practical application of my internship-derived skills in corporate finance.”

Looking ahead, Alfredo envisions multiple paths. Whether through the World Bank’s Young Professionals Program, private equity ventures, or earning a Ph.D, his goal is to become a corporate finance professor and a leading figure. In this role, Alfredo aims to bridge communities, expand mindsets, and share practical finance insights to drive economic prosperity and development. “Teaching is my way of giving back. I want to inspire the next generation to dream beyond borders, just as Ashinaga and my journey have inspired me,” concludes Alfredo.

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