Get to Know Pedro Bardales

Director of External Affairs for the Family Enterprise Club (FEC) at Kellogg.
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April 2021

Hello everyone, I hope this newsletter finds you well!

My name is Pedro Bardales, I am originally from Peru, and I am the Director of External Affairs for the Family Enterprise Club (FEC) at Kellogg.

My passion for family enterprises began in 2017 when I led the creation of the investment office for a 130-year-old, family-owned conglomerate called Grupo Romero. On paper, the role required me to develop and implement corporate structures and processes to professionalize growth. In reality, however, the task was much more complex: for the investment office to succeed I needed to launch - and sustain - a cultural change across the conglomerate's nine portfolio companies.

Being an agent of change at such a transcendent organization was an arduous endeavor, but an extremely rewarding one as well. I got the chance to work directly with the conglomerate's Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and many other fourth and fifth generation family members to understand their vision for the portfolio, their main objectives as a family, and the many lessons they had learned from decades of previous experience.

Today, almost four years later, I am still amazed by everything we were able to accomplish. In our first year, we set up the investment office, defined an investment thesis, developed a diversification strategy, and implemented five corporate policies that standardized investing and reporting practices across all operating companies. These elements then became the foundation for many other value-creation initiatives, fueled by the family's aspiration of leading Grupo Romero to its bicentennial.

While I will probably not be around to see this incredible milestone (unless I make it to age 98!), I frequently envision Grupo Romero 50-to-100 years from now and I am proud to know that I will have been part of its history, evolution, and success.

Feeling so passionately about this experience made it clear to me that family enterprises is where I want to be. This revelation inspired my long-term goal of becoming an advisor to these businesses, helping families navigate the unique challenges they face as they seek to preserve and strengthen their legacies.

With that goal in mind, I knew there was no better place for me than Kellogg. I had read much about the John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises and Professor Pendergast's work and was eager to start engaging in classes and events that seemed so perfectly aligned with my interests. As the first year of my MBA experience comes to an end, I can honestly say that it has been everything I hoped for - and more!

My involvement with the FEC as Director of External Affairs helped me develop trust-based relationships with people who are part of family businesses from all around the world, thereby learning about their histories, cultures, fears, and ambitions. I have even had one-on-one sessions with other members of the leadership team to share some of the analyses I performed during my time at Grupo Romero, resulting in rich discussions about whether their families are ready for an investment office or not.

And that is just another of the many aspects I love about working with family enterprises: there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution or initiative. As a family business advisor my responsibility will be to not only acknowledge each family's uniqueness, but also to embrace it, finding ways in which they can continue moving forward without compromising their essence and their values.

I cannot wait to get started!

Thank you for taking the time to read a little more about me, and please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to continue discussing any of the things I have written about (or any other topics that may be of interest!). Take care and be safe.