IJGlobal Awards 2020 – Latin America Judging Team

A sneak peek into our peer-reviewed process that builds the annually anticipated IJGlobal Awards – this one for Latin America – uncovering not only an independent but a diversified team of experts to select the winners.

With virtual meetings, our judging procedure has become even more inclusive, leveraging the true nature of this company – a global enterprise that prides itself on bringing together industry leaders from all over the world.

Amidst submissions building up nicely for the 4 regional awards – portal open until 12 March (access it here) – we are delighted to announce the Latin American judging team for IJGlobal Awards 2020.

As usual, we have pulled together a line-up of judges who have deep experience across the infrastructure and energy sectors, and across the entire region, including representatives based in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Washington DC and the traditional LatAm-focused NY presence.

Needless to say, judges are recused so as not to influence voting in areas where they and their organisations are involved.

Judges for Europe and Africa can be seen here. On this link you will find the team that will define the fate of companies working in North American deals. And here the ones for Asia and Pacific.   

The judges (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Aitor Alava – Natixis, NY
  • Francisco de la Barra – Barros & Errazuriz, Chile
  • Jorge Camina – Allianz GI, NY
  • Juan-Jose Cardenas – EY, Peru
  • Tobey Susan Collins – Astris Finance, Washington, DC
  • Fuensanta Diaz Cobacho – Intesa Sanpaolo, NY
  • Pedro Garcia – Garrigues, Chile
  • Paloma Lima – Lefosse, Brazil
  • Ariel Ramos – Mayer Brown, Mexico
  • Miriam Signor – Stocche Forbes, Brazil
  • Pablo Sorj – Mattos Filho, Brazil
  • Cynthia Urda-Kassis – Shearman & Sterling, NY


Aitor AlavaAitor Alava – Natixis, NY

Aitor heads Natixis infrastructure finance for Latin America. He has 20 years of diverse infra finance experience, including in banking and on the construction side.

He joined Natixis’ Americas Platform in 2013 after having headed project finance in Spain and Portugal for Natixis since September 2011. Prior to joining Natixis, Aitor was deputy head, project finance Spain and Portugal at BNP Paribas and, earlier, director, global export and project finance Iberia at Fortis Bank. He has also worked at Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, Andersen Consulting, and OHL.

Aitor holds a Master’s degree in Public Services and Infrastructure Management from Colegio de Ingenieros de Caminos Canales y Puertos de Madrid and a BA as Civil Engineer from Universidad Politécnica Madrid. Aitor is a CFA chart holder.

Francisco de la Barra – Barros & Errázuriz, ChileFrancisco de la Barra

Francisco de la Barra is a partner at Barros & Errázuriz and co-leads the projects and finance group.

He graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 2000, studied comparative international law at Universidad de Salamanca School of Law, Spain in 1998, and obtained a Master in Law at Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago in 2006. In the academic field, he was professor of commercial law at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile School of Law, Santiago, between 2010- 2015.

Francisco joined Barros & Errázuriz in 2010. Previously he worked at Morales & Besa, between 2000 and 2005 and again between 2008 and 2010. He has also worked for White & Case, in NY, in 2006 and 2007 and the Inter-American Development Bank (Private Sector), Washington, DC, from 2007 to 2008.

His main areas of practice include project and corporate finance transactions, as well as project development and financing transactions in the infrastructure, energy (generation and transmission), transportation and water utilities.

Jorge CaminaJorge Camina – Allianz GI, NY

Jorge Camiña joined Allianz Global Investors in June 2016 as director within the infrastructure debt team based in New York, responsible for origination and execution in all sectors. Since joining AllianzGI, Jorge has spearheaded the development of debt investments in the energy and renewables sectors in US and the expansion of the infra debt strategy into Latin America in 2018.

Jorge has executed more than $3 billion of investments in the US and $1.8 billion in LatAm, including milestone transactions such as the 8point3 solar (US), Grande Prairie Wind (US), El Encino La Laguna gas pipeline (Mexico), Celeo Redes Electric Transmission (Chile), or Sigma Wind portfolio (Peru) among others.

Prior to joining Allianz, Jorge was head of project and acquisition finance for Santander in New York, leading a team responsible for non-recourse financing in North America. He joined Santander in 2005 and held several positions in non-recourse financing in Madrid and with the corporate syndicated loans group in New York. Prior to Santander he was with BBVA in the M&A advisory group in Madrid. He initiated his career with Arthur Andersen and ABN Amro Bank. 

Juan Jose Cardenas – EY, PeruJuan Jose Cardenas

Juan José Cárdenas is a seasoned lawyer with more than 25 years of experience mainly focused in large transactions in Peru and Latin America. His professional practice focuses on PPP projects, project finance, M&A, venture capital and corporate finance. During his professional career, Juan José has led and participated in large PPP projects in several sectors such as in ports, airports, energy, transportation, sanitation, telecom, among others, providing legal counsel to international and domestic companies, banks, multilateral organizations and governmental entities.

He currently leads the projects and infrastructure practice in EY Law Peru.

Juan José obtained his law degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. He also holds an LLM in Financial Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Tobey CollinsTobey Susan Collins – Astris Finance, Washington, DC

As managing director and head of energy Americas, Tobey leads the energy practice for Latin America, including both conventional and renewable energy. Recent transaction highlights include gas-fired power in Central America; solar projects in Chile, Brazil and El Salvador; wind projects in Argentina and Brazil; and transmission projects in Brazil and Chile. Tobey is also CEO of the firm’s affiliate, Astris Securities, LLC.

Prior to joining Astris in 2013, Tobey spent 10 years leading transactional finance teams as a sponsor/owner of electricity assets, including 6 years at the AES Corporation. She graduated with a degree in Government, magna cum laude from Harvard University and holds a master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Tobey is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.


Fuensanta Diaz – Intesa Sanpaolo, NY

Fuensanta Diaz Cobacho is a managing director and head of structured finance at Intesa Sanpaolo in New York, where she is responsible for activities in the Americas focusing on originating, evaluating, and structuring investments in the Infrastructure, Energy, Oil&Gas, and Real Estate sectors.  She has structured, arranged and financed public and private biddings for infrastructure assets in support of local and global players in the industry including assets such as roads, tunnels, ports, logistics, social infrastructure, petrochemical facilities, gas pipelines, conventional power, and wind and solar portfolios.

Prior to Intesa, she was a managing director and head of infrastructure for North and Latin America at WestLB, where she contributed to increasing the bank’s visibility and activities in Renewable Energy and Infrastructure. She also held various leadership positions at Santander Investments, as a founding member of the Project Finance practice and Head of Structured Finance for the Americas. 

Fuensanta spent the earlier part of her career at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) working in the Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa regions. She holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Missouri, Saint Louis, and an MBA from the American University in D.C.

Pedro Garcia – Garrigues, ChilePedro Garcia

Pedro Garcia is a partner at the Santiago de Chile office of Garrigues, where he heads the project finance team. A repeated name in a number of relevant transactions, from banking to capital markets, including energy, transportation, water and toll roads, some of them awarded by IJGlobal as deals of the year.

He recently advised the Central Bank of Chile in the design and implementation of a $50 billion secured liquidity facility to local banks, to provide them with low cost funding.

A graduate from Catholic University of Chile and from the LLM Program of Duke University, Pedro is also a lecturer at his alma mater and member of the panel of arbitrators of the Arbitration and Mediation Center of Santiago.

Paloma LimaPaloma Lima – Lefosse, Brazil

Partner at the Brazilian law firm Lefosse Advogados, Paloma Lima focuses on cross border financings, investments, and M&As particularly in the infrastructure sector. She guides clients through the complexity of regulation in various industries, including airports, transportation, traditional and renewable energy, oil and gas, and shipping.

She advises corporations on project and infrastructure finance, multi-sourced financing, privatizations and corporate restructurings, formation and reorganization of business ventures. She has worked for prominent law firms, financial institutions and the International Multilateral Bank IDB in Washington, DC.

She holds a Bachelors in Law degree from Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and has specialization degree in Corporate Governance from Stanford University.

Ariel Ramos – Mayer Brown, MexicoAriel Ramos

Ariel Ramos is a senior partner of the energy, infrastructure and finance groups of Mayer Brown based in Mexico City. With almost 30 years of experience, he is considered a leading expert in infra, energy, government procurement and regulatory matters.

He was one of the first lawyers to participate in the implementation of projects under the PPPs or Asociaciones Público Privadas (APP) – previously Proyectos de Prestación de Servicios (PPS) – scheme in Mexico.

He has represented a wide range of clients in the structuring, negotiation and implementation of projects, risk assessment, regulatory advice and negotiation of governmental contracts, including PPP or APP projects, public financed works (OPF), concessions, EPC contracts and O&M contracts. Likewise, he has advised lenders, sponsors and project companies on the structuring, implementation, development and financing of energy and infrastructure projects.

Miriam SignorMiriam Signor – Stocche Forbes, Brazil

Miriam Signor is a partner at Stocche Forbes Advogados and her practices focuses on banking and finance, infrastructure, structured finance, sustainable finance, concessions and PPPs.

Miriam has extensive experience in advising financial institutions, investment funds, development agencies, borrowers and sponsors in structuring, developing and financing infrastructure projects in various regulated sectors.

Miriam holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP), Postgraduate Degree in Securities Law and Capital Markets from Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and a Masters of Laws Degree (LLM) from New York University School of Law.

Pablo Sorj – Mattos Filho, BrazilPablo Sorj

Pablo Sorj is a partner at Mattos Filho law firm, based in Rio de Janeiro. He concentrates his expertise in transactions, project development and financing of the energy sector.

He has worked for both sponsors and lenders in dozens of transactions awarded as IJGlobal Deal of the Year and has been in the forefront of most innovative transactions in the infrastructure and energy sectors in Brazil.

Pablo holds an executive MBA in finance from IBMEC/RJ and a Master of Laws (LLM) from Stanford Law School. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of Stanford Law School.

Cynthia UrdaCynthia Urda-Kassis – Shearman & Sterling, NY

Cynthia Urda Kassis is a senior partner in Shearman & Sterling's project development and finance practice and is head of the firm's mining and metals group. Cynthia represents sponsors, borrowers, lenders, and alternative financiers in project development and finance transactions worldwide, with extensive experience in the energy, infrastructure, mining and general manufacturing industries, as well as in power, infra and mining restructurings.

Cynthia’s significant experience includes a long history of notable transactions both domestic and foreign including representing Orion and Blackstone in the financing of Lundin Gold’s $1bn+ Fruta Del Norte Project in Ecuador, the first large scale mine financing in Ecuador; the Panama Canal Authority with respect to the historic financing of its $5.2bn expansion program for the Panama Canal; and many more across the region.