The Latin Trade Group announces its selection of Andres Bernal of Sura Asset Management as CFO of the Year Colombia. With this award, Andres Bernal joins the ranks of some of the most distinguished financial executives in Latin America.

In 2011 Andres Bernal, 41, led the largest M&A deal in Colombian history with the $3.7 billion acquisition of ING pension fund assets. This turned Sura into the largest pension savings manager in Latin America with 25 million clients, and assets under management of over $100 billion. To finance the operation, he led a $2 billion stock issuance, the largest to-date in Colombia. He also managed the issuance of international bonds, and found five co-investors to enter the deal.

In 2012, the pension fund operation was moved from Grupo Sura to Sura Asset Management (SAM), with Bernal at the head. Andres Bernal convinced SAM’s shareholders to keep the company’s debt on their own books, which left it with very low debt. This allowed SAM to launch a second wave of acquisitions.

Last year Bernal led the acquisition of the remaining 20 percent in the pension fund Integra, which rendered SAM the sole owner of the Peruvian fund. He also designed the sale of a 7.51 percent share of AFP Proteccion to Canadian Alberta Investment Management Corporation. He also headed the acquisition of a brokerage house in Chile, of an insurance company in Mexico, the creation of a private pension fund in Uruguay, and an insurance broker in El Salvador. But his most important move was the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in Horizonte, BBVA’s pension fund in Peru. The deal involved a highly innovative agreement with Scotiabank, a traditional competitor, which bought the remaining 50 percent of the company.

SAM’s assets under management grew 15.4 percent in 2012 to $107 billion, and obtained a 21.9 percent average market share in Mexico, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, and Colombia. SAM posted $1.1 billion revenues and a $409.9 million EBITDA in 2012.

Andres Bernal was appointed CFO of Sura Asset Management in January 2012. Prior to that, he served as CFO of Grupo de Inversiones Sura, the holding company of the largest business conglomerate in Colombia. Andres Bernal graduated from Eafit and Babson College and is director at public utility company EPM.