Saturday, July 14, 2012

Profile: The Gilinski Group

Family enterprises are not uncommon in Latin America, where dynasties rule over large swaths of the region's economies. Still, among these captains of industry the Gilinski family stands out for its careful acquisitions in the areas of financial services and real estate, among other sectors.

Isaac and Jaime Gilinski have set The Gilinski Group on a growth course, keeping in mind the company's 80-year history, when it invested in one of the first industrial projects in the Valle del Cauca, on the Pacific Coast of Colombia. The Gilinski Group later became better known for its savvy investments Colombia's banking sector. In the late 1970s, Isaac Gilinski bought Compaa Financiera Internacional [International Financing Company] and in the 1990s his son Jaime Gilinski acquired Banco Andino and Banco de Colombia. The Banco de Colombia purchase, and subsequent sale to Banco Industrial Colombiano for 8 million, ranks among the largest transactions in that country's history. The Group later acquired Colombia's Banco Sudameris and Banco Tequendema, and merged them into then -billion-asset GNB Sudameris. Seeing opportunities outside of their native country, the Gilinski family acquired the South Florida-based Eagle National Bank, now known as JGB Bank.

More recently it's Panama that's attracted the Group's attention. The opportunities in that nation led Jaime Gilinski, in conjunction with London & Regional Partners, to be among the 16 international firms to bid on the Panam Pacfico Project, which is being built on the site of the former Howard Air Force Base near Panama City.

This massive 0-million real estate development project comprises 2,750 acres of land and is one of the largest in the world. It's part of the wave of investments that are pouring into Panama as a result of the country's multi-billion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal, and Panam Pacfico is expected to generate over 20,000 jobs for the region.
Panam Pacfico will serve as a hub for international trade, as well as residential and retail complexes in Panama City. The mixed-use master planned development is designed to take full advantage of an air strip on the property and close proximity to the Panama Canal. Several multinational corporations have made plans to invest in the project, including Singapore Airlines, 3M, and Caterpillar.

The residential component of Panam Pacfico is expected to include 20,000 homes that will be designed in an eco-friendly manner that complements the area's stunning natural environment of mangroves, wetlands, and tropical forests. Golf courses, gardens, walking paths, and open spaces are planned as well as luxury hotels. Once completed, the project is expected to be valued upwards of billion.

The Gilinski Group continues to seek investment opportunities in Colombia, where its business interests include the Cali, Colombia-based snack foods manufacturer Yupi and Rimax Plastics, which was founded by Isaac Gilinski.

With Isaac and Jaime Gilinski at the helm, the Gilinski Group is poised for global growth.

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