Alejandro Betancourt López
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Alejandro Betancourt López
|Alma mater||Suffolk University of Massachusetts|
|Occupation||Chairman and CEO of Derwick Associates|
President of Hawkers
Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt López (born 1980) is a Venezuelan businessman who is Chairman and CEO of Derwick Associates, an engineering, procurement and construction company. He is the leader of the international investment group O'Hara Administration, and a director of Pacific Exploration & Production Corporation, a publicly held Canadian company and a leading explorer and producer of natural gas and crude oil which operates in various Latin American countries. Betancourt controls 19.95% of Pacific Exploration & Production. He is also president of Hawkers, a Spanish sunglasses company.
Personal life and early career
Betancourt started his career at a company specializing in the energy sector and in the exploration, production and trade of oil and its derivatives. The company has presence in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, South America and Africa. There, he served as business manager for Latin America.
He later worked at Guruceaga Group, a company dedicated to international trade in goods, finance, real estate and farm, in which he was manager of new business. He also worked at BGB Energy, a company that was responsible for representing, in joint venture with the old GESCA GAS in Venezuela, international corporation Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
Companies and affiliations
Betancourt is the co-founder, along with Pedro Trebbau López, of Derwick Associates Corp., a Venezuelan company working in the energy sector. He has also co-founded eponymous companies in Panama, the United States, Spain, and Barbados.
Since it started operations in 2003, the company has obtained eleven contracts for the construction of power plants in Venezuela; five contracts awarded by Electricidad de Caracas (to join Corpoelec in December 2011), five by Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA negotiated with Bariven, a PDVSA division), and one by Corporación Venezolana de Guayana (CVG).
As co-founder of Derwick Associates, Betancourt has been linked to corruption scandals in Venezuela. Derwick was reportedly awarded government projects despite having limited experience in the electricity sector. Derwick denies the allegations.
In January 2014, the business section of the Spanish daily ABC published an interview in which Alejandro Betancourt explained his strategy of turning Derwick into a major technology provider for Latin America.
Pacific Exploration & Production
In May 2015, O'Hara Administration, an international investment group led by Alejandro Betancourt, became the largest shareholder of the petroleum company Pacific Exploration & Production Corporation by controlling 19.5 percent of its shares.
By the end of August 2015 Betancourt increased his control over the shares of Pacific to 19.95% and was appointed director and member of the board. Betancourt publicly shared plans to expand the operations of the company and enter new markets to grow.
BDK Financial Group
In June 2015 the BDK Financial Group, of which Alejandro Betancourt is a major shareholder, inaugurated the Banque de Dakar headquarters in Senegal. The objective of the financial group is to offer banking services in French-speaking Africa. In March 2016 the group appointed Alfredo Sáenz Abad as president of the bank.
Betancourt leads the O’Hara administration group of international investors. The other key executive of the group as portfolio manager and director is Orlando J. Alvarado.
The group currently holds 19.95% of Pacific Exploration & Production Corporation shares. In August 2016, O’Hara together with the Mexican investor Fernando Chico Pardo presented a restructuring bid for Pacific worth $575 million.
As of October 2016 O’Hara together with the founders of the Spanish social network Tuenti, Felix Ruiz and Hugo Arévalo led a financing round of 50 million euros for the Spanish sunglasses startup company Hawkers. In November 2016 Hawkers appointed Alejandro Betancourt as its new president.
- "Alejandro Betancourt: «\'Venezuela tiene mucho potencial si la entiendes'" [Alejandro Betancourt: 'Venezuela has a lot of potential if you understand it']. ABC (in Spanish). 17 January 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- Willis, Andrew; Kurmanaev, Anatoly; Kary, Tiffany (21 August 2015). "Man Who Spoiled Pacific Rubiales Oil Deal Has a Growth Plan". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Negre, Javier (12 December 2016). "Él es el rey venezolano de las gafas de sol de Elche" [He is the Venezuelan King of Elche sunglasses]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 December 2016.
- Armengol, Luis. "Venezuela tendrá uno de los centros más innovadores de América del sur" [Venezuela will have one of the most innovative centers in South America]. Innovaspain. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- "Alejandro Betancourt, CEO Derwick". Alejandro Betancourt. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Los petrodólares venezolanos que se esconden tras las gafas de Hawkers" (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "DERWICK ASSOCIATES S.A." OpenCorporates. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Penaloza, Pedro Pablo (10 March 2019). "Más de una década de corrupción e improvisación dejan a Venezuela a oscuras" [More than a decade of corruption and improvisation leave Venezuela in the dark]. Univision (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-03-12.
- "La burguesía venezolana 'exilia' su dinero a España" [The Venezuelan bourgeoisie 'exiles' their money to Spain]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 7 April 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
- "Venezuela: detrás del apagón, decadencia y corrupción" [Venezuela: behind the blackout, decadence and corruption]. www.lanacion.com.ar (in Spanish). 2019-03-08. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
- Dube, Ryan and Maolis Castro (8 March 2019). "Venezuela blackout plunges millions into darkness; Maduro, without evidence, blames sabotage by local opponents and the U.S. for power outage". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
One company, Derwick Associates, formed by a number of well connected young businessmen with scant experience in the power business, received about $1.8 billion in contracts from Venezuelan state companies to buy and install turbines, paying a U.S. company about $1 billion to do the work. Derwick officials said they paid no bribes to any Venezuelan officials and the prices charged by the company reflected the high costs of doing business in Venezuela.
- "Thor Leonardo Halvorssen Mendoza sues Derwick, alleging corruption". Miami Herald. 27 March 2014. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "Banesco desmiente el pago de $50 millones a Cabello a través de ese banco". El Nuevo Herald (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 1 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- "Corte de EEUU desestima acusación contra Derwick Associates" [US Court dismisses accusation against Derwick Associates]. Globovision (in Spanish). 18 July 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
- "Alfa Oil Dream Nears Reality as Pacific Rubiales Accepts Bid". Bloomberg News. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- "Pacific Exploration & Production Announces Changes to its Board of Directors and Nomination Agreement with ALFA and the O'Hara Group". PR Newswire. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Navas, José Antonio (28 September 2015). "Alberto Cortina y Alex Betancourt ultiman la compra del Versus Bank en Costa de Marfil" (in Spanish). El Confidencial. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- Navás, José Antonio (8 March 2016). "Sáenz adquiere un 5% del 'holding' africano de Alberto Cortina y Alejandro Betancourt" (in Spanish). El Confidencial. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "O'Hara Administration Co., S.A.: Private Company Information". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- Willis, Andrew; Deveau, Scott (17 August 2016). "Mexico's Chico Pardo, O'Hara Said in Group Bid for Pacific E&P". Bloomberg Markets. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- Lunden, Ingrid (4 October 2016). "Spain's sunglasses startup Hawkers nabs $56M to take on the Ray-Bans of the world". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- Valladares, Elena Campos. "Hawkers nombra presidente a Alejandro Betancourt". FashionNetwork.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "El Hormiguero y Pablo Motos se alían con Hawkers y Alejandro Betancourt". The World News (in Spanish).
- "El Hormiguero y Pablo Motos se alían con Hawkers y Alejandro Betancourt". La Region (in Spanish).