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Lima, Tuesday 18 September 2012 Isidro Fainé, Doctor Honoris Causa from Saint Ignatius of Loyola University in Lima
• The chairman of "la Caixa" joins a select group that also includes such personalities as the writer Mario Vargas Llosa, the Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus and the former Colombian president, Álvaro Uribe.

• In his investiture speech, Isidro Fainé reminded the gathered assembly that, due to increasing globalisation, “we are immersed in a long period of tight margins in all activities, a period when businesses must either adapt to changes and grow or go to the wall.”

At a ceremony that took place yesterday afternoon in Lima (Peru), Isidro Fainé, chairman of "la Caixa" and ”la Caixa” Foundation, was made a Doctor Honoris Causa by San Ignatius of Loyola University, the business school’s highest honour, in recognition of his outstanding professional and personal trajectory.

Yolanda Barcina, president of the Government of Navarre, was also distinguished with the same award at the ceremony in Lima, which was presided over by Raúl Diez Canseco Terry and Edward Roekaert Embrechts, president and rector, respectively, of San Ignatius of Loyola University.

In his investiture address, Isidro Fainé summed up the challenges that the entrepreneurs of the future face, suggesting the keys that business people will need in order to overcome the present situation. “Knowledge is created and transmitted quickly nowadays, and should be captured wherever it is generated, whether by attracting talent or by seeking to ensure that our companies are present in the world’s most dynamic cities, where all the new ideas, new trends and new lifestyles are first launched”.

The chairman of "la Caixa" and CaixaBank also reminded the assembly that, due to increasing globalisation, “we are immersed in a long period of tight margins in all activities, a period when businesses must either adapt to changes and grow or go to the wall.”

In his speech, Fainé also noted that “twenty-first century entrepreneurs need to combine enormous training and experience. Knowledge is not enough – you also need to know how to get things done”. The chairman of ”la Caixa” further added that “entrepreneurs need to be born motivators, able to inspire confidence in their co-workers and to form and develop managerial staff; entrepreneurs need to care passionately about their customers and, therefore, to ensure excellence in service”.

In order to overcome the present difficulties, he said, a model of business governance is required that “inspires confidence and furthers the interests of all stakeholders”, combined with a management model that “promotes initiative, self-improvement, and self-criticism”. Moreover, he went on, it is essential to look out for the short-, medium- and long-term, that is to say, profits, market share and quality of service. All these concerns should be included in a strategic plan that is consistent with the company’s trajectory and culture, and with its duties as regards corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Finally, Isidro Fainé ended his investiture address by insisting that “we can and will restore and maintain confidence; we are determined to achieve this, and will not accept failure. We love justice, understand our fellow men and women and defend freedom… Solutions exist, we just need to find them and put them into practice, in order to give both our partners and citizens in general the satisfaction that comes through work, the chance to feel useful and the energy to forge a life that has meaning, building a family and, most probably, a fairer society”.

Isidro Fainé, chairman of "la Caixa", Caixabank, Criteria Caixaholding and "la Caixa" Foundation, holds a PhD in Economic Science from Harvard University and a diploma in Senior Management from the IESE business school. He is a tenured member of both the Royal Academy of Economic and Financial Science and of the Royal Academy of Doctors of Spain. He is also the current chairman of the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks (CECA), vice-chairman of the European Savings Banks Group (ESBG), a founding member of the Management Committee of the Deposit Guarantee Fund for Savings Banks and a member of the Governing Committee of the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB). Moreover, he is vice-chairman of Telefónica, Abertis, Repsol YPF and Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona, a board member of The Bank of East Asia, and chairman of the Spanish Confederation of Directors and Executives (CEDE), the Spanish chapter of the Club of Rome and the Círculo Financiero business circle.

Yolanda Barcina, the current president of the Government of Navarre, was also made a Doctora Honoris Causa at the same ceremony. The holder of a PhD in Pharmacy from the University of Navarre, in the course of her political career Barcina has been minister for the Environment, Territorial Planning and Housing in the Government of Navarre, Mayor of Pamplona, and president of her party, Unión del Pueblo Navarro.

About Saint Ignatius of Loyola University

Saint Ignatius of Loyola University in Lima, Peru, is a school of the highest standing that has been preparing generations of entrepreneurs to contribute to the sustainable development of the country for 14 years. The University was founded in 1995 with an innovative educational approach aimed at promoting entrepreneurship based on firm values amongst young people.

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