We are proud to be part of the growing Deetken Impact team, and are excited to introduce this diverse and talented group of investment professionals. Each month, we will feature one of our colleagues so you can get to know them better!
Meet Maria Fernanda Correa, affectionately known as Mafe, Investor Relations Officer at Deetken Impact responsible for managing the firm’s onboarding relationship with its global investor base, supporting the mobilization of capital for investment funds, and ensuring high quality and consistent communications with investors.
With over 12 years of experience working in risk management, strategic planning and corporate reporting in the renewables sector in Latin America, her previous experience includes designing decision-making practices and spearheading the business and risk outlook analysis at ISAGEN, one of the largest electricity generators in Colombia, currently owned by Brookfield Asset Management. Maria Fernanda holds a Masters in Business Administration from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico and a MA in Economics from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada.
Originally from Colombia, Maria Fernanda has become an integral part of our Vancouver office and speaks Spanish, English, and French.
With numerous degrees and professional development credentials, your passion for learning and growth is clear. What drives your pursuit of education?
I have always loved discovering the unknown, and I have always admired people who can engage in conversations covering a wide variety of topics. My experiences, education, and academic activities have provided me with opportunities to interact with such individuals, whether by sharing a classroom, having them as a professor or instructor, or studying alongside them. It’s the joy of learning and gaining new perspectives that has motivated me to pursue degrees in a range of fields: engineering, business, and economics.
What drew you to the renewable energy industry, and what brought you to Deetken Impact specifically?
I’ve always believed that the renewable energy industry brings about positive outcomes for communities and is essential for a strong economy. Following my undergraduate studies, I was eager to work in a sector that positively impacted my country, Colombia, and pursued a job in the sustainable electricity sector. I deepened my understanding of that market during my MA in Economics at UBC, and even focused my final paper on demonstrating that cities with power plants have lower rates of violence than those without.
My journey to Deetken Impact began through UBC where I had the opportunity to meet one of the directors of Deetken Insight, Deetken Impact’s sister company focused on management consulting and data analytics. Ever since starting my career in Colombia at ISAGEN in risk management, I’ve been curious to experience a client-facing role and collaborate with the individuals responsible for “making the magic happen” in the business, which I found in investor relations. Additionally, I had a profound interest in understanding financial vehicles for impact funds, as well as the operational structures governing companies owned by investment funds, such as ISAGEN.
Furthermore, I firmly believe that ESG practices represent the minimum ethical standard for any company. Going beyond this standard, as impact investing does by creating positive outcomes and addressing critical issues as core part of the business, resonates more closely with my personal values.
What is your favorite part of the work you do, and why?
I absolutely love connecting with investors through our fundraising efforts. One of the best parts of my job is getting to meet our investors, hearing their stories about how they got into impact investing, and having a friendly face to remember when I’m answering due diligence questions or working on reports. It adds a wonderful sense of purpose to my work!
Maria Fernanda and her spouse Juanse in Squamish, Canada
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
One thing that usually surprises people is the fact that I lived in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, called Lakewood, for a year, and I loved it. I had an amazing host family who I still talk to and visit, and as an only child, I had the opportunity to have host siblings. I think Ohio, and specifically Cleveland, is underrated; it offers the beauty of Lake Erie, fascinating museums, a vibrant music culture, and the legendary LeBron James.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Too many things! I need the day to be longer. I love reading novels and books that teach me something, whether it’s history, economics, or even astrophysics. I also enjoy playing the violin, a hobby I’ve pursued since I was 7 years old. I try to stay in shape by working out in the gym and skiing in the winter. Additionally, as a Vancouverite, I have recently become a fan of hiking and the outdoors, which I now enjoy doing with Juanse, my spouse.
What is your favorite city/country you have visited, and which is at the top of your bucket list to visit?
This may sound quite mainstream, but I loved Paris. I felt like I was walking in an outdoor museum all the time. There was always a story to discover, a book to remember, a monument to gaze at. I also had the opportunity to test my French on a daily basis.
In addition to getting to know my new home, Canada, I would love to visit Japan. It seems like a country with a very intriguing culture, incredible food, and I’ve never had the opportunity to explore Asia.
You can learn more about Maria Fernanda by following her on LinkedIn!