AMES, Iowa – PRESENTATION CANCELED DUE TO ILLNESS. Success for Diego Veitia has come from a combination of his own hard work, knowing when to take advantage of opportunity and, he says, a bit of luck. The Cuban native is the founder and past chairman of INTL FCStone, a merchant banking group, which is No. 30 on the 2012 Fortune 500 list. He is quick to point out that his success as an entrepreneur did not come without a level of risk.
“Risk is embedded in just about everything that we do. There is very little opportunity when there is no risk,” Veitia said. “We were blessed, because sometimes the risks that we took, either by lack of knowledge or perhaps by not doing in-depth analysis, we did not know the extent of the risk that we were taking. Chances are that if I would have to do some of things now that I did before, I would not do them.”
Veitia graduated from high school in Ottumwa before attending Iowa State University. He earned a degree in international studies and credits Iowa State for the foundation to help build his career.
“Number one, it gave me an education from which to springboard into additional education and eventually a career. I think the Midwest is a great place for your formative years. I was lucky to have the opportunity,” Veitia said.
Because of that opportunity, Veitia is returning to the classroom at Iowa State to serve as an Executive in Residence for the College of Business. Veitia will be on campus March 3-7 and spend time working with students and faculty as well as give the keynote address “Being Entrepreneurial in a Global Society” for the Reiman Entrepreneurship Speaker Luncheon. The Tuesday, March 5, luncheon starts at 11:30 a.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. It is complimentary and open to the public, but registration is required.
Veitia has spent the past 35 years building his company International Assets Holding Corporation, now INTL FCStone. He is also one of the founders of the Costa Rica Stock Exchange. During his visit as Executive in Residence, Veitia wants to share his insight and experience with young entrepreneurs.
“Some of my best mentors and professors were people who had an experience,” Veitia said. “I think that once we achieve a certain level of success, I think the most important thing is to share some of that experience so people can profit or take advantage of situations they might encounter in the future.”
The Reiman Entrepreneur Speaker Series is presented by the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship and funded by Roy and Bobbi Reiman. More information and registration details are available at: http://www.isupjcenter.org/programs/reimanspeakers/.