María Esteve, Managing Director of LLORENTE & CUENCA in Colombia

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Company Description: LLORENTE & CUENCA is the leading communication consultancy in Spain,Portugal and Latin America. Its 17 partners and 330 professionals provide strategic consultancy services to firms in all sectors operating in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world. It has 14 offices and also offers its services through affiliates in five countries.
Nomination Category:Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Entrepreneur or Executive of the Year in Mexico, Central & South America

Nomination Title: María Esteve, Managing Director of LLORENTE & CUENCA in Colombia

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur or executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

María is the Managing Director of LLORENTE & CUENCA in Colombia, the leading Consultancy in Reputation Management, Communication and Public Affairs company in Spain, Portugal and Latin America. She heads up the operation on said market and is recognised as one of the most influential consultants in the context of corporate communications, particularly in the financial sector.

Since a very tender age María understood the contribution and impact of the communication on business results thanks to her participation in strategic projects and landmark consulting work for the national and international companies operating in the country.

She is the only woman aged under 40 to lead the operation of a multinational communications’ consulting Company in Latin America. This year she was selected as a jury member for the Cannes Lions award under the PR Lions category which, for the first time, in its 62-year history, selected 7 Colombians, highlighting the participation of María as the only woman invited.

One of her distinguishing features is talent development. “I have always tried to train my successor and the people I have worked with can usually replace me as matter of course.” Her employees stress that she is someone who knows how to motivate and guide her team so that it will grow in terms of responsibility and contribution. In their view: “She not only lays down the challenges and objectives to you that you have to overcome, but she also helps you identify the best way of doing so”. In the business world she has also led the training of major business leaders in the country.

María believes that “Colombia wanted to put itself on the map. The country took the decision to have more than one geographic space and ensure a territory with prominent positioning worldwide and I believe that it is managing to do this”. And both the management of the State and the way in which it has communicated to the world are intrinsically linked with the result that Colombians are enjoying today and now we can show our Passports at any airport in the world with pride, she asserts.

María leads the communications’ consulting of major companies like Citibank, BlackRock and Johnson & Johnson and as the team leader she has a very clear vision of where she wishes to take the company on the Colombian market and is ensuring that the Firm attains greater market share in its sector and it is already one of the top three on a competitive market with relevant local players.

As a successful consultant she has lived through the transformation of the understanding and perception of the contribution of communications to the Colombian market and is regarded as a trailblazer in devising approaches so that companies – particularly multinationals – can guide their reputation and institutional relations on this market.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur or executive (up to 125 words):

María Esteve, is the Managing Director of LLORENTE & CUENCA in Colombia. As a Social communicator in the Pontifical Javerian University, she has considerable experience in the areas of Crisis Communication and Public Affairs.

She joined LLORENTE & CUENCA after being Head of Corporate Communications at CorpBanca. She started her career at Dattis Consultores, where she stayed for 10 years and became a Consultant Partner. She has great experience in the financial, infrastructure and healthcare sectors of the country, where she led substantial crisis and communications projects.

Aside from her vast trajectory in the world of communications, she also collaborates regularly with academic institutions which include her very own alma mater, Pontificial Javerian University.