Otilio Rivera

Otilio Rivera

Work History

Work History
Jun 2008 - Present

Graduate Studies & French Language Course

On Sabbatical - HEC School of Management & Institut de Francais

Research, Field Work and Preparation of Dissertation Thesis - MSc in Consulting & Coaching for Change - HEC School of Management & University of Oxford (August 2008 - December 2008)

Post Graduate Program in Cross-Sector Partnership - University of Cambridge (April 2008 - December 2008)

Total Immersion French Language Course - Institut de Français (February 2009 - May 2009)

Oct 2006 - May 2008

Program Finance Director, Food for Development - Cluster Central & South America, Food for Development Office

Tetra Pak International SA

Continually advanced through finance ranks with this €8.6+ billion FMCG Company that operates in 165+ markets. More recently, having established a solid reputation as finance director for several years, led 2 project-based assignments with Global Head Office to acquire skills and firsthand experience in other functional areas in order to become a stronger business partner when working again as a finance executive. These roles were with the Food for Development Office and Global IT Infrastructure Program.

As part of corporate social responsibility, business development and sales expansion, led development and implementation of cross-sector partnerships with national governments to support school and social feeding programs. Identified potential investment projects, conducted financial analysis to evaluate feasibility of projects, prepared business plans and investment proposals on behalf of market subsidiaries and their customers (food processors); introduced projects to potential financiers and assisted customers in negotiating financing structures; coordinated their involvement in the supply of beverage cartons for feeding programs.

Partnerships - Successfully developed new programs in Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Haiti.

Program Assessment - Built goodwill with the governments of Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and Colombia by assisting with preparation of concept papers for presentation to international donors and conducting assessments of existing programs and recommending best practices.

Product Development - Coordinated development of nutritional beverages to be introduced in feeding programs in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela.

Government Lobbying and Public Relations - Proactively lobbied with Guatemalan government and launched national PR campaign that highlighted benefits of consuming milk to support continuation of existing school milk program in Guatemala.

Oct 2005 - Sep 2006

Business Project Leader, Global IT Infrastructure Program

Tetra Pak International SA

Led a €40M program that included initiatives and projects related to delivery of services in the areas of desktop management, helpdesk, and server management and designed to generate savings and best practice IT infrastructure cost levels by end of 2008. This was one of the larger change management projects that the company had undertaken to date and it included global ARD investigation that affected 300 employees in 40 countries. Managed 15 IT technicians responsible for planning transition and transformation activities, development of statements of work and service level agreements, and implementation schedule and resource plan. Prepared request for proposal (RFP) based on a fully developed contract with service descriptions for presentation to outsourcing supplier. Coordinated negotiations with supplier and evaluated their best and final offer (BAFO). Prepared and presented business cases to the Business Transformation Board.

Project Management - Provided project leadership that resulted in the successful roll-out of project in Market Clusters (11 in total) and on track to deliver targeted annual savings of €10.7M by 2009. Drove communication activities proactively to secure buy-in from Clusters' Senior Management. Performed review of future organization for Cluster IT departments.

Apr 2002 - Sep 2005

Cluster Finance Leader, Finance Director (East Africa) and Finance Director (West Africa)

Tetra Pak Cluster Sub-Sahara Africa

Held 3 senior finance positions concurrently within the €200M Cluster Sub-Sahara Africa over a 3-year period. As Cluster Finance Leader managed reporting and regional consolidations of financial statements; provided financial analysis critical in improving the cluster's strategic decision-making process to support goal of profitable growth and evaluated the financial implications on the strategic business direction; led the development of a comprehensive annual operating and capital budget and rolling forecast process in consultation with Cluster Vice President and Senior Management staff and presentation to Global Head Office; Analyzed both inbound and outbound intercompany transactions and coordinated introduction of transfer pricing policy as a strategic tax-planning tool. As Finance Director managed a team of 15 and oversaw all aspects of the accounting function, treasury management, credit control and bad-debt collection, legal affairs, insurance and risk management, internal and external audits, IT; assisted in commercial negotiations and devised customer financing for acquisition of capital equipment.

Financial Turnaround - Turned around the East Africa subsidiary within 9 months from starting with position. Paid off $6M overdraft facility within 3 months and US$4.5M 1997-98 dividends and 2000-01 royalties within 6 months and managed to accumulate US$5M cash surplus by end of 2002. Reduced accounts receivables from 103 to 45 days over a 9-month period. Developed strategies and tactics (including a major headcount from 150 to 110) with Managing Director to reduce the cost structure of the business and improved productivity 20% within 12 months.

Systems Improvement - Created and improved processes, procedures, and business systems to reduce reporting lead-times, facilitate generation of management information, enhance decision making, and align focus on the true bottom-line for all products/services.

Career Development - Introduced fast-track career development for local finance/accounting personnel to support goal of replacing expatriate executives with local executives.

Internal Controls - Subverted fraud in the West Africa subsidiary's Finance Department and introduced strong internal controls emphasizing strict adherence to accounting policies and authorization procedures.

Compliance - Trained accounting personnel on a Financial Reporting Manual (FRM) which was newly revised by Head Office to secure full compliance with IFRS. Reviewed company transactions and practices and rolled out Control Self Assessment (CSA) tool developed by Head Office and ensured that subsidiaries fully complied with corporate governance (including mandatory policies and procedures issued at group level), risk management, commercial practices, human resources policies as well as Sarbanes Oxley Act.

Mar 1999 - Mar 2001

Vice President Finance

Cable & Wireless Movil

Key focus on instilling financial discipline and developing a comprehensive strategy to drive a financial turnaround and guarantee the exponential growth would deliver strong financial results at this US$67M mobile telephony provider. Managed a team of 35 and oversaw all aspects of accounting, financial reporting and analysis, annual operating and capital and rolling forecast,revenue assurance, credit vetting and control; closely monitored liquidity and cash flow; conducted audits routinely throughout the organization in order to safeguard company's assets; managed operations (inventory, billing, buildings and site administration); and prepared and presented business cases to the Management Board ensuring that all capital projects were justified with an economic return to the company in excess of company targets.

Financial Turnaround - Orchestrated turnaround effort that reversed US$18M loss on revenues of US$37M in 1999 to breakeven on revenues of US$67M by 2001. Worked closely with sales management and brought immediate attention to product pricing, subsidy levels, pay back periods, and ARPU. Collected US$6M in bad debt, drove reduction of accounts receivables from 14% to 3% of total sales and reduced collection days with distributors from 150+ days to around 45 days within a year. Terminated or renegotiated contracts with suppliers that represented high and unnecessary expenses (i.e. US$500K annual savings by in-sourcing printing and distribution of statements of account). Reviewed entire supply chain of handsets in order to reduce/avoid recurring loss of handsets, changed shipping agents and routes, installed Oracle Inventory Management System, and introduced zero tolerance in regards to losses of handsets. Conducted audits of pre-paid platform and inventory, introduced strict controls and authorization procedures for crediting customer accounts. Evaluated all areas within finance to determine areas for improvement and gain efficiency. Reduced staff from 65 to 35.

Apr 1995 - Sep 1997

Control & Analysis Manager (Manufacturing)

Tetra Pak Americas Inc.

Guided cost analysis for 10+ factories by collecting and reporting data, making comparative analyses and providing trends; recommended and agreed on actions for continuous improvement with factory managers; participated in a senior-level steering committee responsible for formulation of business strategy for the North American sub-region; conducted feasibility studies for new manufacturing facilities.

Cost Reduction - Reduced costs 30% by conducting in-depth analysis of existing North American plant capacity and recommending streamlining production in 1 plant of 2 plants; cost reductions were on target by end of 1997.

Cost System Improvement - Evaluated outdated cost system, drove in-house development of a fast and flexible cost model, and coordinated installation and training in all factories and established reporting procedures that assisted factory managers in monitoring main productivity indicators on a timely basis.

Apr 1992 - Mar 1995

Business Analysis Manager

Tetra Pak Americas Inc.

Consolidated financial statements and analyzed financial performance (market and product profitability) of business units in North and South America. Trained accounting personnel in proprietary accounting and financial reporting systems.

Financial Reporting - Coordinated issuance of a New Manual for Economic Reports that provided clear definitions and procedures to accountants and enabled all subsidiaries to achieve consistent and accurate financial reporting. The manual was fully compliant with IAS.

Apr 1990 - Mar 1992

Senior Financial Analyst

Tetra Pak International SA

Conducted global consolidation process ensuring accuracy of financial reporting and compliance with internal reporting policies; responsible for analysis around market and product line profitability for market companies in Canada, U.S., Portugal, Eastern Europe, Australia, and New Zealand; and prepared ad-hoc financial and operational reports to senior management and board of directors. Appointed to interim finance assignments (i.e. Finance Director for Tetra Pak Venezuela and Chief Accountant for Tetra PK US West Region Office).

Procedure Development - Worked with the auditing department on the development of an internal review procedure covering all functional areas for auditing market companies.

System Improvement - Coordinated development and market roll-out of flexible and comprehensive financial reporting and analysis system that replaced an outdated 20-year reporting system. Trained finance personnel in market companies.

Jul 1987 - Mar 1990

Controller & Treasurer

Tetra Pak Central America & Caribbean

Managed accounting, financial reporting, payroll, IT, and treasury activities such as cash management, banking, and investments; responsible for credit management, collections and letters of credit; ran company's annual budgeting process and liquidity forecast; conducted financial analysis for Latin American markets; and managed re-invoicing process to China and South America markets.

Debt Recovery & Account Receivables Improvement - Negotiated recovery of US$5M debt blocked by the Central Bank of Argentina for over 6 years and brought up to date past due A/R in excess of US$10M from other Latin American customers through aggressive collection efforts and debt and currency swaps for customers operating in countries with foreign exchange controls.

May 1985 - Jul 1987

Accounting Assistant

Dresdner Bank Lateinamerika

General Accounting

Feb 1984 - May 1985

Assistant, Money Market & Accounting

The Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Ltd.

Money Market Back Office & General Accounting


Jan 1988 - Jan 1990

Postgraduate Diploma

Universidad de Panama



Corporate Social Responsibility

Government Negotiations & Lobbying

Executive Decision Support & Internal Consulting

Business Development

Project Development & Implementation

Change Management

Financial Turnarounds

Capital Expenditure, Business Plans & Investment Proposals


Taxation and Transfer Pricing

Compliance (SOX & IFRS)

Internal Control Systems & Audits

Treasury Management

Cost Analysis & Expense Management

Credit Management & Bad Debt Collection

Budget & Forecasting Development & Management

Global & Regional Consolidations

Financial Analysis & Reporting

Strategic Planning – Finance & Business

Professional Development

- Post-Graduate Certificate in Cross-Sector Partnership, University of Cambridge (April and September, 2008)

- Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategic Integration and Competitiveness, Stanford Graduate School of Business & ESADE Business School (March 2008)

- Process Orientation, IMD (July 2006)

- Finance Program, IMD (June 2004)

- Strategic Negotiation, University of Virginia (March 1995)

- Bargaining & Negotiating: A Learning Laboratory, University of Virginia (November 1994) 

- Fundamentals of Cost Accounting, American Management Association (November 1994)

- Financial Modelling, American Management Association (November 1993)

- Mobilizing People, IMD (October 1993)


Opera, Classical & Ethno Modern Music

World Affairs


Fitness & Bikram Yoga


Seeking a Senior Finance Role (i.e. CFO, Finance Director, Controller, FP&A Director) or Project-Based Assignment within Business Units or Corporate Headquarters in the international arena (the US, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and South & South East Asia). Open to most industrial sectors but quite keen to explore roles within the FMCG, Manufacturing, Telecoms, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Agribusiness and Pharmaceuticals Sectors.


Executive Summary

Results-driven and operationally-oriented finance executive with 15+ years of comprehensive, in-depth experience in steering the financial direction and health of dynamic, high-growth companies. At home in both business units and global / regional headquarters settings.

Assertive, focused and decisive with high-caliber management qualifications and technical proficiency in all aspects of accounting and finance. 

Proven strength in stepping out from functional area, visualizing the "big picture," and planning appropriate strategies to achieve results; committed to serving as a business partner. Expert in Partnering Finance with core operations and enterprise-level strategies, initiatives and goals.

Able to quickly learn intricacies of diverse business environments and industries and make immediate improvements on profitability, cost reduction, cash flow, strategic planning, reporting and controls.

A tireless leader in operational and organizational change through participatory leadership. A true believer in people's potential who harnesses diversity, builds community, fosters a highly energized and productive work environment, and creates shared responsibility for action.

Extensive experience in international (Latin America, the US, Europe, and Africa), multicultural environments with multilingual skills (English, Spanish, and French).

Areas of Expertise

Strategic Planning - Finance & Business

Financial Analysis & Reporting

Global & Regional Consolidations

Budget & Forecasting Development & Management

Credit Management & Bad Debt Collection

Cost Analysis & Management

Treasury Management

Internal Control Systems & Audits

Compliance (SOX & IFRS)



Capital Expenditure, Business Plans & Investment Proposals

Financial Turnarounds & Change Management

Project Development & Implementation

Business Development

Executive Decision Support & Internal Consulting

Government Negotiations & Lobbying

Corporate Social Responsibility 

Key Achievements

Led a €40M program that included initiatives and projects designed to generate savings of €10.7M and best practice IT infrastructure cost levels at Tetra Pak International by targeted date of year-end 2008.

Turned around Tetra Pak East Africa including pay-off of overdraft facility of US$6M and 1997-98 dividends and 2000-01 royalties amounting to US$4.5M while accumulating US$5M cash surplus within 9 months from starting with the position.

Orchestrated turnaround effort that reversed US$18M loss on revenues of US$37M in 1999 to breakeven on revenues of US$67M by 2001 for Cable & Wireless Móvil in Panama.

As part of formulation of business strategy in North America at Tetra Pak, conducted an in-depth analysis of plant utilization and recommended streamlining production in 1 of the 2 existing plants to reduce costs by 30% in 1997.

Recovered receivables of US$5M from Argentine customers which had been blocked by Central Bank for over 6 years and brought up to date past due receivables in excess of US$10M from other Latin American customers for Tetra Pak in 1990. Actions included aggressive collections efforts and negotiations with international and central banks, local customers, and lawyers as well as debt and currency swaps for those customers operating in countries with foreign exchange controls. 

Language Skills

•Spanish (native)

•English (fully bilingual)

•French (advanced)