UCEMA Insights

Argentina: Challenges and Opportunities Post Covid and Post Default

About UCEMA

Our Mission and Values

Founded in 1978, UCEMA is one of Argentina’s leading private universities. It was first founded in 1978 as the Centro de Estudios Macroeconómicos (CEMA) and it became a University in 1995.

Our mission is to educate the country’s future leaders in business, humanities, government and academia with a unique philosophy that is based on three main pillars:

  • Striving to achieve academic standards in line with the world’s best universities, and open debate
  • Ensuring equal opportunity and non-discrimination based on race, gender, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin or any other status
  • Upholding the principles of individual freedom and responsibility

We currently offer eleven undergraduate programs, eight graduate level programs, three doctorate degrees and several executive education programs.

Many of our faculty hold advanced degrees from some of the world’s top ranked universities and is recognized by the high quality of their research.

We have seven research centers and regularly publish our faculty’s research through our own highly respected working paper series.

Our current student body includes 715 undergraduate students and 969 graduate and postgraduate students.

Our alumni include CEOs of the most important companies operating in Argentina and high ranking professionals in some of the world’s largest multinationals.

Our open campus consists of three buildings located in downtown Buenos Aires.

Our History

Our origins date back to July 1978, when following the initiative and leadership of Nicolas Catena Zapata, CEO of Catena Wines, a group of leading Argentine businessmen that included, among others, Mario Hirsch, Manuel Sacerdote and Carlos Correa, created and funded the Centro de Estudios Macroeconómicos de Argentina (CEMA).

CEMA’s initial objectives were education and applied research. The founders strongly believed that bringing the latest advances in economics and applying them to solve Argentina’s problems would contribute to improve the quality of economic policy and its results.

The first board members the newly created entity were Pedro Pou, Martin Lagos and Orlando Ferreres. All of them would later hold important policymaking positions in the Ministry of Economy and the Central Bank of Argentina.

CEMA’s first hires were Roque Fernández and Carlos Rodriguez, who had both obtained PhDs in Economics at the University of Chicago. Before joining CEMA, Dr. Fernández worked at the IMF in Washington, D.C. and Dr. Rodriguez was a professor at Columbia University in New York.

Thanks to their leadership, within a short period of time CEMA established itself as one of the leading economic research centers in Latin America. In the 1970s and 1980s economists of the caliber of Arnold Harberger, Larry Sjaastad, Jacob A. Frenkel, Rudiger Dornbusch, Carlos Díaz Alejandro, Guillermo Calvo, Leonardo Leiderman and Leonardo Auernheimer participated in CEMA’s research seminars as visiting scholars.

CEMA was a pioneer in postgraduate education in economics, business and finance in Argentina. Its first educational initiative was a graduate program in Economics (MAE), which was shortly followed by an MBA and a Master in Finance Program (MAF).

Over the years, teaching activities progressively expanded into other disciplines, giving birth in 1995 to Universidad del CEMA (UCEMA). The official accreditation process was completed in July 2007.

Our Governance

We are governed by a Board of Trustees whose members are appointed for life.

In April 2018, the Board appointed Edgardo Zablotsky (MAE’83, PhD in Economics, University of Chicago’92) and a member of the Argentine Academy of Education, as UCEMA’s President. It also appointed Antonio Marin, who is also a UCEMA graduate (MBA´97) and a former top executive of LEAR Corporation (Argentina), as Vice President.

The current Chairman of the Board is Roque Fernandez (PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago, former president of the BCRA, and former Minister of Economy). In addition to Dr. Zablostky and Mr. Marin, Board members include: Jorge Ávila (PhD in Economics, University of Chicago, full professor at UCEMA), Nicolás Catena (CEO of Catena Wines), Orlando J. Ferreres (Founder and CEO of OJF y Asociados, former deputy Minister of Economy), Martin Lagos (MA Economics, Columbia University, former Vice President of the Central Bank), Ricardo Lopez Murphy (M.A. Economics, University of Chicago, former Minister of Economy and Defense), Carlos Rodríguez (PhD in Economics, University of Chicago, former President of UCEMA), Manuel Sacerdote (former CEO of Bank of Boston Argentina), Fernando de Santibáñes (PhD in Economics, University of Chicago, former Chairman of Banco de Crédito Argentino), Mario Teijeiro (M.A. Economics, University of Chicago, former General Manager of Banco de Crédito Argentino).

Our Students and Degrees

Our Students

We have a diverse student body that includes 715 undergraduates and 969 postgraduate’s students from all over Argentina, 42% come from eighteen different provinces. We also have students from several Latin American countries, Europe and Asia.

UCEMA has Student Exchange partnerships with more than 50 universities worldwide.

Under this program, we receive every year more than 100 students from abroad, and about 40 UCEMA students travel to attend International Universities.

We have an extensive financial aid program for underprivileged students. Approximately 68% of our undergraduate students have full or half scholarships and 81% of our postgraduate students receive some form of financial aid.

Our Degrees

We offer our undergraduate and graduate students cutting edge scientific knowledge and training in business, applied economics, politics, international relations, economic policy, finance and engineering.

We strive to instill in our students an independent and critical spirit and a worldview places a high priority on individual freedom and responsibility.

At the undergraduate level our offering includes degrees in Business Administration, Economics, Finance, Digital Business, Business Analytics, Marketing, Accounting, Computer Engineering, Law, Political Science and International Relations.

We also offer six graduate degrees –MBA, Finance (MAF), Economics (MAE), Agribusiness (MAAB), Project Evaluation (MAPE) and International Studies (MAIS)– two specializations –Finance and Project Management– and doctorates in Business Administration (DBA), Finance (DF) and Economics (DE).

All of our post-graduate and specialization degrees are accredited in Argentina. In addition, the MBA Program has been accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), a London based global organization founded in 1967 that provides international business school accreditation according to highest quality standards.

In 2019 UCEMA’s Finance Department reached an agreement with Advanced Risk and Portfolio Management (ARPM), a prestigious New York based educational institution founded by Attilio Meucci. ARPM is a pioneer in risk management and portfolio management, and dedicated to promoting quantitative finance education with a focus on asset management, banking, and insurance. The agreement allows our students in the MAF program to take the ARPM Bootcamp as an optional course.

Our Impact

Our Impact on Public Policy

Some of the founders and original research staff of UCEMA played a leading role in the design and implementation of the economic policies that led to Argentina’s extraordinary combination of low inflation and high economic growth during the 1990s.

Orlando Ferreres was appointed Vice Minister of Economy in 1989. In 1991 Dr. Fernández took leave of absence from CEMA and was appointed president of the Central Bank. From 1996 until 1999 he was Argentina’s Minister of Economy. During his tenure at the ministry, Dr. Rodríguez served as his key advisor, and another member of our faculty, Pablo Guidotti (PhD in economics, University of Chicago) served as Deputy Minister of Economy.

Pedro Pou and Martin Lagos, the first members of CEMA’s Board, served respectively as President and Vice President of the Central Bank from 1996 until 2001. Aquiles Almansi (MAE’81), another professor of UCEMA, was a member of the Board of Governors of the Central Bank from 1998 until 2000.

José Luis Espert, a graduate (MAE’89, Phd in Economics’20) and member of our faculty, founded the DESPERTAR Alliance, a center right coalition, and was elected as its presidential candidate in Argentina’s October 2019 elections.

Our Alumni

UCEMA’s alumni network includes over 8,500 professionals in a variety of disciplines disseminated all over the world, of which 6,984 obtained graduate or advanced degrees.

The success of our graduates in Argentina and abroad is a testament to the quality of the education they received at UCEMA.

Our Alumni have achieved leadership positions in the private and public sector and acedemia in Argentina and abroad:

Currrent CEOs

  • Christian Albrecht (MAF’03), CEO at DB Schenker Argentina (Buenos Aires)

  • Rosario Altgelt (MAE’98) CEO Latam Airlines Argentina (Buenos Aires)

  • Javier Bolzico (MAE’91, DE’08) founder of Fit & Proper Consulting, current president of the Argentine Banking Association (ADEBA)

  • Alejandro Berney (MBA’92), Group CEO at BYMA Bolsas y Mercados Argentinos (Buenos Aires)

  • Marcelo Di Cugno (MAF’97), President/CEO at Allaria Securities and Allaria Asset Management (Miami)

  • Julio Figueroa (MAF’99), CEO Argentina & South America, Citigroup (Buenos Aires)

  • Roberto Fuhr (EP’19), CEO at Boreal Technologies (Buenos Aires)

  • Pablo Fonolla (MBA’01), CEO at Cobalt Technology Solutions (Texas)

  • Martín Galdeano (MBA’04), President and CEO, Ford Motor Company Argentina (Buenos Aires)

  • Cristino Javier Goñi (MBA’96), CEO at Ledesma (Buenos Aires)

  • Alejandro Emmanuel Lacanau - MBA 2013 - CFO at Petróleos Sudamericanos Energy

  • Sergio Lew (MAF’95), CEO Banco Santander Río (Buenos Aires)

  • Ernesto Mendizabal (MAF’00), CEO at OLX Autos Argentina (Buenos Aires)

  • Martin Migoya (MBA’97), co-founder and CEO, Globant (Buenos Aires)

  • Marcelo Mindlin (MADE´84), CEO at Pampa Energía (Buenos Aires)

  • Erica Molinero (MBA’02), CEO at Sony Mobile South America (Buenos Aires)

  • Luciano Morad (MAF’01), CEO, Pilay S.A. (Buenos Aires)

  • Antonio Mosteiro (MBA’97), CEO of The Clorox Company (Buenos Aires)

  • Santiago Moure (EP’07), CEO at Addeco Group-Perú (Lima)

  • Marcelo Otermin (MAF’96), Chairman and CEO at ICBC Investments Argentina (Buenos Aires)

  • Gastón Pérez Izquierdo (MBA’05), CEO at Bodegas Catena Zapata (Buenos Aires)

  • Diego Rivero (MAF’95), President at Octagon Argentina (Buenos Aires)

  • Guy Rodriguez - MBA 1994 - Chairman Nissan Latin America at Nissan Motor Corporation

  • Mariano Rodríguez Giesso (MBA’88), CEO at Giesso (Buenos Aires)

  • Juan Rodríguez Nouche (MBA’91), Chief Executive Officer - Grupo Bahia Energía (Buenos Aires). Former CEO Arcor Group (2013-2015).

  • Gustavo Salischiker (MAF’01), CEO Citigroup Chile (Santiago)

  • Pablo Sibila (MBA’99), CEO at Renault Argentina (Buenos Aires)

  • Gabriel Vidal (MAF’93), CEO at AR Vida Seguros (Buenos Aires)

  • Ignacio Vivas (BBA’09 - CPA’11), CEO at C5N Noticias (Buenos Aires)

  • Mauricio Zanatta (EP’04), CEO at Prudential Seguros S.A. (Buenos Aires)

  • Martin Zarich (MAE’86), CEO of Banco BBVA-Frances (Buenos Aires)

  • Rodrigo Zavala (MBA’04), CEO Americas PUMA Energy (Puerto Rico)

Entrepreneurs

  • Cecilia Retegui (MBA’03), co founder and CEO at Zolvers (Buenos Aires)

  • William Samedy (MAF’03), Founder & CEO, High Crown (New York)

  • Francisco Santolo (MBA’12), CEO & Founder at Scalabl (Buenos Aires)

Finance:

  • Pablo Albina (MAB’95), Country Head Argentina & Uruguay / Head of Investments, Latin America at Schroders (Buenos Aires)

  • Alejandro Bedoya (MAF’91), Deputy General Manager, Banco de Valores (Buenos Aires)

  • Klaus R Bohner (MAB’96), Co-founding partner of Metro Capital (Buenos Aires)

  • Gabriel Botto (MAF’97), Global Ventures, General Manager – Finance, The Coca Cola Company (Atlanta)

  • Luciano Buyo (MAF’01), Head Portfolio Manager Latin American Equities, Santander Asset Management (London)

  • Alejo Czerwonko (BEc’07), Chief Investment Officer, Emerging Markets Americas, UBS Global Wealth Management (New York)

  • Guillermo Girard (MAF’96), Chief Investment Officer, Zurich Insurance Mexico (Mexico City)

  • María José Noguera (MAF’11), Senior Vice President-Credit Markets, Itau BBA USA Securities Inc (New York)

  • Santiago Víctor Redondo (MAF’04), Chief Financial Officer - Global Operations, Baker Hughes (Houston, TX)

  • Mauro Roca (MAE’02), Managing Director, The TCW Group (New York)

  • Gustavo de Rosa (MAB’97), Chief Financial Officer, Inter-American Development Bank (Washington, D.C.)

  • Gabriel Roitman (MAB’96), Managing Director, Head of Latam Client Coverage, Deutsche Bank (New York)

  • David Sekiguchi (MAE’90), Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, QFR Capital Management (New York)

  • Leslie Shih (MAF’98), Regional Finance Director & CFO Americas at Russell Reynolds Associates (New York)

  • Sebastián Sommer (MAB’99), Director Recap Investments (New York)

  • Silvina Vatnick (MAE’83), co-Founder and Partner, Global Outcomes (Washington, D.C.)

Academia:

  • •Eric Árias (BIR’09), Assistant Professor, Government Department College of William & Mary

  • Marina Halac (BE’01), Professor, Department of Economics, Yale University

  • Germán Gieczewski (BE’09), Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, Princeton University.

  • Guillermo Noguera (BE’01), Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, Yale University

  • Gustavo Torrens (MAE’05), Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Indiana University (Bloomington)

  • Martin Uribe (MAE’88), Professor of Economics at Columbia University and Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

Government and Public Sector

  • Sergio Julián Barrios (DF’20), Deputy Head Portfolio Management Unit, Central Bank of Argentina (Buenos Aires).

  • Gabriel Delgado (MAF’00, DF’08) former Secretary of Agriculture, Republic of Argentina (2013-2015).

  • Valentín Díaz Gilligan (MAF’02), former Deputy Chief of Staff, Presidency of the Republic of Argentina (2015-2018).

  • Gustavo Kippes (MAE’83), former Chief Planning Officer at AySA.

  • Gabriel Lopetegui (MAE’93), former Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund (Washington, D.C.)

  • Eduardo Macchiavelli (MBA’04), former Minister of Environment and Public Spaces and National Secretary at PRO Party.

  • José Luis Maia (MAE’86), Former Director of Macroeconomic Policy of the Ministry of Economy.

  • Federico Pretzel (MAE’05, MAF’14), Advisor, Secretary of Energy, Republic of Argentina (2018-present).

  • Matias Sala (BBA’11, CPA’13), Director of Planning and Coordination, Government of the City of Buenos Aires (2016-present)

  • Rodrigo Sbarra (MAF’10), Advisor to the Chief of Cabinet, Ministry of Economic Development of the City of Buenos Aires (2012-present)

Our Faculty

We currently have 34 full time professors, 58% of which have graduate or post-graduate degrees from top-ranked universities in Europe or the United States.

Over the years we have hosted seminar or conferences by some of the world’s leading economists. The list includes:

  • Guillermo Calvo, Professor of Economics, International and Public Affairs, and Director of the Program in Economic Policy Management (PEPM), Columbia University.

  • Deirdre Mc Closkey, Professor of Economics, History, English and Communication, University of Illinois at Chicago.

  • Edmund Phelps, Director of the Center on Capitalism and Society, Columbia University, Nobel Prize in Economics (2006)

  • Alvin Roth, Professor of Economics, Stanford University and Professor of Economics and Business Administration Emeritus, Harvard. Nobel Prize in Economics, (2012)

  • Hugo Sonnenschein, Professor Emeritus in Economics and the College, Chicago University.

  • John Taylor, Professor of Economics, Stanford University. Former Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs.

During the Northern hemisphere summer, academics from the US and Europe come to Buenos Aires to teach short courses or seminars at UCEMA. In recent years, the list has included the following:

  • Fernando López Álvez, Professor of Sociology, University of California-Santa Barbara.

  • Nicolás Cachanosky, Associate Professor of Economics, Metropolitan State University of Denver.

  • Germán Gieczewski, (BE’09), Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, Princeton University.

  • Federico Guerrero, Associate Professor of Economics, College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno.

  • Marina Halac. (BE’01), Professor of Economics, Yale University.

  • Guillermo Noguera (BE’01), Senior Lecturer, Yale University.

  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé, Professor of Economics, Columbia University and research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and CEPR.

  • Gustavo Torrens (MAE’05), Assistant Professor of Economics, Indiana University.

  • Martin Uribe (MAE’88), Professor of Economics, Columbia University and Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

  • Carlos Waisman, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of California-San Diego.

In 2020 together with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation we launched the Naumann Chair, a forum for prestigious intellectual and political leaders to discuss current issues at the local and global levels. The Naumann Chair is coordinated by Dr. Lars André Richter and Lic. Juan Manuel Agüero, respectively representative and project coordinator of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Argentina.

Our Research

We have long been recognized for the high quality of our faculty’s research in economics and finance.

Since 1979 we have published faculty research as working papers in our own Serie Documentos de Trabajo (SDT) edited by Jorge Streb (PhD in Economics, University of California-Berkeley). UCEMA SDT currently ranks #11 worldwide according to the scores published Ideas/Repec Aggregate Rankings for the last ten years.

UCEMA working papers are currently ranked 11th, according to statistics of published by IDEAS (RePEc), the largest online bibliographic database dedicated to economics. UCEMA’s working paper series includes works authored by Leonardo Auernheimer, Larry Sjaastad, Jacob A. Frenkel, Guillermo Calvo and Carlos Díaz Alejandro.

In 1998 we launched the Journal of Applied Economics (JAE), a peer-reviewed academic journal that focused on applied issues in micro and macroeconomics. Routledge acquired it in 2018 and converted it into a fully open-access journal. The JAE is currently published by Taylor & Francis.

In 2010 we launched the Center for the Economics of Creativity, a joint effort of Julio Elias and David Galenson, professor of economics at The University of Chicago, who since its founding has served as Academic Director. Dr. Galenson visits Argentina regularly to participate in the Center’s events and seminars.

We currently have seven research centers that hold regular seminars and conferences on a variety of economic, business and political issues both at the national and international level:

  • Center for Applied Economics (CEA) under the direction of Jorge Ávila.
  • Center for Research in Management, Entrepreneurship and Investments (CIMEeI), under the direction of Sergio Nardini.
  • Center for the Economics of Creativity (CEC), under the direction of David Galenson.
  • Center for Studies in Banking and Finance, under the direction of Emiliano Delfau, Miguel Delfiner and David Melmerstein.
  • Center for Sectoral Studies and Business Performance directed by Antonio Marin.
  • Center for the Study of Economic History (CEHE), directed by Emilio Ocampo.
  • Foreign Policy Observer led by Andrés Cisneros y Alejandro Corbacho.
  • Center for Studies in Neuromanagement under the direction of Alejandra Falco.

In 2018 we launched Ediciones UCEMA, our own university press, with the objective of publishing works that contribute to the general public’s understanding of Argentina’s problems.

In 2019 we reached an agreement with the University of Chicago to launch the Joint Initiative for Latin American Experimental Economics (LAEE). The Initiative will be based in Buenos Aires and co-directed by John List, Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics of the University of Chicago and Julio Elías, Director of the Master's Program in Economics at UCEMA.

Our Honoris Causa Degrees

We have awarded doctor’s degrees honoris causa to distinguished personalities that have excelled in their respective disciplines and are representatives of our humanistic philosophy.

Past recipients include:

Juan Carlos de Pablo (2009)

Born in Buenos Aires, he is one of the most influential economists in the country. A graduate from the Argentine Catholic University and Harvard, Dr. De Pablo has been professor at UCEMA since. He is a member of the Argentine Academy of Economic Science. He is the recipient of several awards including Premio Ovidio Giménez, Fundación Ovidio Giménez (1972); Premio Dr Daniel Goytía, Asociación Argentina para el Progreso de las Ciencias (1975); Premio Economía Argentina, Fundación Judía Argentina (1977); Cruz de Plata Esquiú (1981); Premio Konex en Comunicación-periodismo, Fundación Konex (1987); Premio Longines al periodismo destacado (1995); Martín Fierro (1997, 1998, 1999, 2002 y 2006); Santa Clara de Asís, Liga de Madres de Familia (2000); Premio Perfil (2007, 2008, 2010); Premio Tomás Bulat (2015).

Marcos Aguinis (2015)

Born in Buenos Aires in 1935, he is an Argentine doctor, writer and essayist. Trained in medical studies, music and psychoanalysis, his work and his ideas are focused on the notions of independence, democracy and the rejection of authoritarianism. Dr. Aguinis has received several awards including: Premio Planeta (Spain), Fernando Jeno Award (Mexico), National Book Award, Argentina Society of Writers Honor Award, the Pranavananda Swami Award, Esteban Echeverría Award (Free People), the Juan B. Alberdi award (Hispanic American Center for Economic Research). He has a Doctor Honoris Causa degree from Tel Aviv University (2002) and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2010). He was named a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the American University and Public Policy Scholar by the Wilson Center both in Washington, D.C.

Ricardo López Murphy (2015)

After graduating in economics from University of La Plata, Dr. Lopez Murphy attended the University of Chicago and Economics from the University of Chicago and obtained a M.A. degree in economics. For the last three decades he has taught UCEMA, University of La Plata, University of San Andrés, University of Buenos Aires and University of Mar del Plata. He served as Chief Economist of the Latin American Economic Research Foundation (FIEL) during the 1990s. During the presidency of Antonio de la Rúa he was Minister of Defense (1999-2001) and Minister of Economy (2001). In 2003 he was a presidential candidate for RECREAR, a center right coalition, and secured the third place with 15% of the votes. Dr. López Murphy is a prolific writer, author and co-author of numerous books. He has toured Latin America and the world as a speaker and speaker on economic, political and social issues. He currently works as a consultant and economic advisor in Argentina and Latin America.

Víctor J. Elías (2016)

Víctor J. ElíasBorn in Tucumán, Argentina in 1937, Víctor Elías received his undergraduate degree from the National University of Tucumán in 1960, and a MA degree and PhD. in economics from the University of Chicago (1964 and 1969). From 1965 until his retirement Dr. Elías was Professor of Economics at the National University of Tucumán and also served as director of the university's graduate program in economics. He was elected twice President of the Argentine Economic Association (1970-1972 and 1978-1980). He was also the President of the Latin American Standing Committee of the Econometric Society from 1984 to 1986 and again, from 1994 to 1996. Dr. Elias has been a visiting researcher at Torcuato Di Tella Institute in 1965 and 1968, and at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, D.C., as well as a visiting professor at both Harvard (1973) and Stanford (1975, 1988). He was also an advisor to the National Research Council of Argentina Social Science Committee. Dr. Elias is an expert on economic growth. He received the Konex Prize (1996) and the Anita Harberger Prize awarded by the Marroquin Foundation (2003). He is a member of the Argentine Academy of Economics and was a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Father Pedro Opeka (2018)

Father Pedro OpekaIs an Argentine Catholic priest who for the last four decades has been working as a missionary in Madagascar. In 1989 Father Pedro Opeka created a local non-governmental organization called Akamasoa (the good and faithful friends) to continue his work with the Malagasy people. Today Akamasoa sustains about thirty thousand people in 18 villages, among them 10,000 children, who all receive education at one of 37 schools built since its founding. In 2007 France awarded Father Opeka the Legion of Honor.

Fernando Monckeberg Barros (2019)

Is a Chilean surgeon, doctor of medicine specializing in nutrition, professor and researcher at the University of Chile. He is the founder of the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology of the University of Chile (INTA) and president of the Corporation for Child Nutrition (CONIN). Thanks to his research and the plans he developed to combat malnutrition in underprivileged areas, in the last 50 years, infant mortality in the first year of life in Chile dropped from 180 children per thousand to only seven.