Managing a global financial organization is likely to be one of the most tough and stressful assignments of anyone’s life. The global economy and political climate pose a significant challenge to forecasting and push financial specialists to make the correct judgments and pursue the appropriate paths. Carlos Santos, President, Founder, and CEO of Ethos Asset Management Inc., is a financial instruments specialist. During his academic studies, he received the Ernst & Young Award; Best Economist (2016), the Banco de Portugal Award (2015), various academic honors (2014, 2013, and 2012), and several merit scholarships as recognition of his academic and professional success.
In his work at Ethos Asset Management, Carlos supervises the group’s firms and is a stakeholder in them. He has a degree in Economics and Master’s degrees in three major areas: finance, banking accounting, and international taxation.
Journey towards Proficiency
Carlos holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, a master’s degree in finance, and certifications in banking accounting and international taxation. He holds four post-graduate degrees in these three areas, with his most recent specialization in financial instruments.
Carlos worked at Banco de Portugal (BdP), where he held roles in the Monetary and Financial Statistics Department and the Statistics Department’s Centralization of Credit Responsibilities Sections. In collaboration with other Eurozone central banks, he devised the restructuring of the BdP database. Simultaneously, he participated in studies on the economic sustainability of several Portuguese service firms at the Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG). Carlos created economic viability models for geriatric treatments and used management control techniques in veterinary clinics.
Carlos was an ISEG University Professor of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, Project Evaluation, and Accounting.
Ethos Asset Management Inc.
“Ethos is the creation of my life’s work to date and, as I like to say, humbly, my masterpiece,” says Carlos. Ethos, as a financing organization that gives funding to firms that need to develop their initiatives, meets the demands of change in the financial system. The business is a global financier with a strong focus on energy and natural resources, as well as infrastructure and country development.
Simultaneously, the business has developed a model that enables it to offer capital at highly competitive terms, based on the fact that it allocates cash from financial trading on the logic of diversification and portfolio rebalancing. Carlos views this as a significant competitive advantage that generates a magical distinction between traditional funds and banks.
“The method of collateralization of our operation is very critical in the creation of unique terms of financing,” says Carlos. At Ethos, the team has built a completely new and unique technique to safeguard itself, and it is completely scalable to any nation and any bank, even non-clients. It is not subject to jurisdictional regulations at the time of execution, implying a shift in operational and macroeconomic risk.
According to Carlos, since Ethos’ inception, the validity of its mission has been reaffirmed every day, and its goals have remained clear, which are to grow steadily and continue to achieve the goals of the customers, by putting the team’s talent and skills into the development of the firm’s portfolio of services, taking organizations, and thus its customers, to a higher level.
Carlos opines, “We want to do it with quality, technical performance, and a multiple supply of current solutions.” Carlos believes all this is achievable and built on the firm foundations of his determination and passion.
Ethos has a unique model to collaterize its investments that allow the team to migrate the macroeconomic and operational risk to the financial and banking systems. This is enabled by not investing in shares, real estate assets, or fixed assets of companies. Instead, it invests against a financial guarantee in the form of a pledge or SBLC (Standby Letter of Credit). “This way, we achieve a magic solution of investing in an asset whilst we don’t take the risk of that asset,” says Carlos.
Simultaneously, the business rebalances its portfolio by diversifying its trading allocation, which includes short-term assets with variable returns and long-term investments with stable yields. It undertakes a thorough hedging of its investments in this manner.
In terms of collateralization, Ethos created a completely new and innovative way to secure itself in the last year, as a result of the increased complexity of cross-border laws and because the pandemic has been challenging for Ethos and international banking in general, and it is 100 percent scalable to any country and any bank, even ones that are not clients. It is not subject to banking restrictions at the time of execution. Carlos states, “The structure in question decentralized the intervention of the banks and put the transaction at a pure commercial relationship level.”
A Great Team behind Great Success
Businesses grow when they have a diversified team of employees who can each bring their own unique ideas. Problems may be solved more effectively when people work together. Brainstorming is a great way for the team to exchange ideas and come up with new ways to accomplish things. Teams can discover the greatest answers by working together.
Collective purpose takes precedence over personal sentiments, and the team grows stronger as a result of successfully performing duties together. This extends to collaborative duties in the office, where staff collaborate on goals to achieve the company’s mission.
Ethos, according to Carlos, exists as a result of each individual engaged. He claims to start with the intermediate, moving on to the associate, and lastly, the internal Ethos teams all the way up to the Ethos Board, he claims.
Carlos sees the team as the reason for everything, and nothing could be achieved without them. “It is a machine that only works if all parties are working. If one of the parts of this machine doesn’t work, in the end, the product cannot be produced and that means the financing cannot be delivered or the trading performed,” says Carlos. “We depend fully on all the parties, and we have a culture where no individual is more important than another.”
Leading the Ethos
Carlos, as CEO, is responsible for the group’s strategic direction and management. At the same time, he controls the whole company’s trading side and ensures that its returns are sufficient to support the company’s financing needs. He also oversees the business’s financing division, supervising and paying close attention to the credit and risk department’s and legal and compliance department’s results and performance. Carlos strives and ensures that the firm’s investments are maximized to the levels required to rebalance the firm’s asset portfolio.
Carlos has a critical role in all the banking relationships of the group and the operation of the credit lines and trading that the firm has with them. He mentions, “This is one of my favourite parts of the day where I can interact with people with a very high level of technical capacity, which challenges me daily in a context that is changing every day.”
Notes on being successful leader
As Carlos sees, it is difficult to define leadership like a recipe for a cake. He asserts, “Hard work; Persistence, Late Nights; Rejections; Sacrifices; Discipline, Criticism. Doubts, Failure, Risks, and Humility. ” He suggests emerging leaders always believe in themselves and their vision, even when someone tells them the task is impossible. He asserts, “Always give 200%. When you doubt yourself, reflect on how far you have come and always try again. When you lose, don’t let your head or heart go down. Commit yourself to not repeating such a loss and know that you are one step ahead of those who haven’t failed yet. They will too.”
Written by Steve Sanchez.