In our most pivotal season since our founding, Pepe is bringing much needed expertise and empathy to our challenge of building a more inclusive housing market in Mexico. We’re proud to have him join our board of remarkable leaders building a world where everyone can access a safe home.
Pepe is the founder and CEO of ION, a Mexico-based financing company for home and real estate developers. In the past 12 years, ION has worked with more than 500 developers, primarily financing construction bridge loans and mortgages. The Harvard and Stanford business school graduate also founded Quiero Casa, the largest residential developer in Mexico City. The team of nearly 500 employees leads the end-to-end process of developing affordable apartment buildings. And more than 15 years ago, Pepe founded Construyendo y Creciendo (“Building and Growing”), an NGO that has provided on-the-job education to more than 20,000 construction workers.
In 2019, Pepe was named Mexico’s EY World Entrepreneur of The Year, considered to be the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. Driving Pepe’s success is his strong character marked by humility and ambition. His values, character, and prioritization of family inspire our team and align with New Story’s values.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Pepe is committed to building a more inclusive market in his home country. As a board member, Pepe will:
- Assist in the growth of New Story’s housing partnerships and network
- Advise on housing finance strategy, structuring, and solutions
- Strategically use his network in Mexico to open doors for New Story operations
Pepe’s success and character have shaped an excellent reputation across Mexico, even contributing to the Housing Minister asking him to lead a training program for home improvements after the 2017 Puebla earthquake displaced nearly 50,000 people. His trustworthiness and diverse experience across Mexico has given him remarkable insight into the problems and potential within the LATAM housing market.
What made you excited about joining the New Story Board?
My motivation in life is to help people around me fulfill their dreams. That’s the reason I’ve dedicated my life to social endeavors, starting 20 years ago with the creation of Construyendo y Creciendo, an NGO that provides literacy and education to construction workers.
Since then, I’ve dedicated my life to create opportunities for families in Mexico and Latin America to have a better home that helps them to have access to better opportunities, services and quality of life and through those opportunities, fulfill their dreams. I see in New Story the same motivation, and a team and board with an incredible drive and passion to help others.
What potential in the Mexican housing market do you wish more people (developers, donors, governments, etc.) saw?
Mexico is a country with huge differences. Sharing a border of 2,000 miles with the U.S. has brought increasing development to different parts of the country, but despite that, more than 45% of the homes in the country have inadequate conditions. This worsens in the lowest bracket of the population: the 20% bottom of the pyramid in Mexico can’t afford to buy or rent a home in large urban areas. Those families usually live in inadequate homes at smaller populations, far away from hospitals, schools, and other services, and in homes with leakages, fissures that represent structural risks, and immensely scarce conditions.
We must all work to improve the conditions of homes and services of those families. And it doesn’t have to be through philanthropy; there’s space for good, responsible business to do business while creating an impact.
How do you see New Story as uniquely positioned to help address the housing crisis in Mexico?
New Story will be a game changer through its ability to solve frictions around the housing market for the bottom of the pyramid, empowering companies, businesses, and professionals to do projects that create solutions for the poor in different areas of Latin America.