Meet the Team-Maria José Guillen

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!

Maria Jose Guillen, affectionately known as Majo, is an Investment Officer with Deetken Impact Alternative Finance (DIAF). Majo assesses  investment opportunities and participates in due diligence processes for the DIAF  funds, with a focus on sectors such as financial inclusion, healthcare, education, circular economy, and responsible production and consumption. Prior to joining Deetken, Maria Jose started her career at PwC in the financial services technology consulting practice. She then worked at a fintech start-up, before making the switch to join AB-InBev’s innovation hub, Z-Tech, as part of their global data team. Maria Jose holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Information Systems from Boston College and a Master’s Degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University.

Currently based in Deetken Impact’s Mexico City office, Maria Jose is originally from the city, and speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese.

After a number of years studying and working in New York and Massachusetts, what brought you back to not only live in Mexico, but work for a company that invests in the region?

Mexico holds a special place in my heart, and I felt a strong pull to go back home and make a meaningful impact in my country and contribute to its sustainable development in a tangible way. After living so many years in the United States and working for global companies, I realized that Latin America has much to offer but lacks the necessary investments to support impact-oriented companies and solutions that are created there. There are so many more funds and resources in the US to develop and fund ideas compared to Mexico and other Latin countries, even though there are plenty of amazing entrepreneurs and promising ideas that need some investment to grow and materialize. I also became very interested in the circular economy and wanted to help finance the transition to a less wasteful world. I was very interested in Deetken Impact because of the alignment of my values with their mission and their focus in Latin America.

What is on Deetken Impact’s horizon that you are most excited about? 

I am really excited about DIAF IV, the new fund we are raising on our Alternative Finance vertical, and the opportunities it will create.  As a larger regional fund, DIAF IV will enable us to invest in more companies that bring about significant social and environmental change. I particularly enjoy analyzing companies that focus on waste management or circular economy and I can’t wait to see how these develop in the coming years. Being able to actively contribute to the development of Latin America and support impactful projects and businesses is both fulfilling and inspiring. 

What is your favorite part of the work you do, and why?

I love meeting new companies and their leaders, learning about their purpose, and figuring out how we can work together while building a relationship. Learning about each company and how they are addressing social and / or environmental problems gives me hope that we can improve the world we live in.

Maria José Guillen's dogs
Majo loves spending time with her playful pups Fofa & Samba, pictured above.

What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

I am currently taking a dog training course as I have always enjoyed spending time with my dogs. Hopefully by the end I will be able to train other dogs and transform mischievous pups into well-behaved companions.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to spend time with my family and friends, read books, and listen to music. I also enjoy traveling whenever I get the chance. And, of course, I enjoy spending time with my beloved dogs. 

What is your favourite city/country you have visited, and which is at the top of your bucket list to visit?

Argentina is my favorite country I’ve visited, with its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes capturing my heart. The breathtaking beauty of Patagonia left me in awe when I visited and I would love to go back.

At the top of my bucket list is Kenya to witness its spectacular wildlife and landscapes. 

You can learn more about Maria Jose by following her on social media!

Get to know more about the Deetken Impact Team by checking out the other features in our Meet the Team series!

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