Cerda is plugged in.
He was one of the few hardy businessmen who rode out the Sandinista years in Nicaragua--when his fortitude, business acumen and outspokenness landed him on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. He went on to serve as advisor to both former President Violeta Chamorro and current President Arnoldo Alemán.
Today RAC International - CERDA & ASSOCIATES combines expertise and connections to provide clients worldwide with the highest quality consulting in law, economy, finance and general management, and to lobby for their interests on Nicaragua's evolving political, economic and investment fronts.
CERDA & ASSOCIATES is a company of professionals who are honest, capable and unique for their expertise and their connections with business, institutions, government, political, educational and professional associations.
On a typical day CERDA & ASSOCIATES in his modestly elegant office, two associates are on hand, each a leader in his field: Oswaldo Chávez is a highway engineer; César Saavedra an actuarial expert and statistician. Between them and Cerda, they speak at least five languages, hold half a dozen university degrees and have perhaps 50 years of experience in the public and private sectors.
The company's phone rings constantly with calls from the country's business and political leaders, journalists, clients. A day earlier, a local newspaper consulted CERDA & ASSOCIATES about a diplomatic spat with Honduras that was making headlines.
Today project deadlines are pressing. Among other items on his plate, CERDA & ASSOCIATES is evaluating the government's proposal to reform the state-run pension system and preparing to give a speech at an economic conference at a local university.
Despite the pace and pressure, the atmosphere is congenial.
On the walls hang framed posters of Harvard, where Roger Cerda attended as a Fulbright Fellow. He also holds Ph.D. studies in economic development from Belgium's University Libre de Bruxelles, and a law degree earned in Nicaragua. He has taught international trade and macroeconomics at Nicaragua's National University.
As Minister of Energy in 1997, he has printed his personal seal to the Nicaraguan energy sector reform, drafting the oil and electricity bills that opened those sectors to the private investment and are currently being enforced.
In Nicaragua's highly polarized political climate, Cerda has found himself in the position of being sought out by both the proponents and opponents of a given issue, one side asking him to help promote a particular policy reform, for example, while the other side asks him to help defeat the same measure.
His political savvy allows him to walk that tightrope with apparent ease. 'We are politically independent, not apolitical,' he says. 'We give an assessment that's objective. We cannot work to kill a project. And our ethical sense means we would not take a project to promote abortion, for example.'
His associates' political ideologies might run the entire continuum from conservative Liberal Party to Sandinista, but their professional and academic credentials are indisputable. 'The people who work with me are considered the best in the country,' he says.
Cerda is considered one of the best-informed people in this country and in Central America in the area of international trade and finance. One of Cerda's main jobs is to be informed about monetary and trade issues worldwide. He monitors Wall Street, Hong Kong, OPEC, Central American trade trends and financial reforms throughout Latin America.
That knowledge, combined with his international connections with leading economists and financial, governmental and educational organizations, put him in a unique position to develop a global business on his home turf in Nicaragua.
He plans to link his firm with similar enterprises around the region and the world. 'The idea is to go global,' he says."
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