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Jan 31, 2024

Entrepreneurship, Music, Economics & Human Flourishing with Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg (video)

An international business innovator, author, and philanthropist offers insight into fostering positive change and flourishing through education on finances and entrepreneurship.

By Templeton Staff with Posthoc

International business innovator, author, and philanthropist, Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg has more than three decades of experience as an asset manager, entrepreneur, and World Bank executive.

She has served in multiple public company and nonprofit boards, and she is the founder and chairman of the Orchestra of the Americas. As the featured guest of a POSTHOC Salons gathering in NYC this winter, Ochoa-Brillembourg was invited to share pivotal moments from her unique life story and offer insights into the link between economics and human flourishing.

Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg is a Venezuelan immigrant who served as The World Bank's Chief Investment Officer (Pensions) for 12 years, and in 1987, founded her own firm, Strategic Investment Group. Ochoa-Brillembourg is also the founder and chair of The Orchestra of the Americas, a Latin Grammy-winning symphony orchestra that trains and empowers top-rising talents both in their musical careers and education by offering access to an MBA program. The world's first of its kind, an MBA in Arts Innovation features modules co-curated by top university institutes from Stanford to Duke. Ochoa-Brillembourg passionately believes that we are all responsible for our financial futures, and to be a trained artist who also holds an MBA sets one up for a prosperous life.

In conversation with POSTHOC founder Susan MacTavish Best, Ochoa-Brillembourg tells her story of what it was like growing up in Venezuela, and how with a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship, she came to be the first single mother admitted to Harvard. She shares how she was driven to deepen her knowledge, and how this fueled her desire to come to the United States in pursuit of robust opportunities and ultimately, financial independence.  Listen to a podcast that captured the discussion here.

"Managing assets, if you do it well (but not if you do it poorly), is one of the most noble professions that you can have," says Ochoa-Brillembourg. In the discussion, she describes asset management, and how having the ability to access the free market as a means to generate assets opens a path to security. "You're actually bridging the uncertainty gap between present and future," she says. "Life can be very tricky, it's very important for human beings, communities, and organizations to have a nest egg that is well-managed so you can survive the hurdles that life throws at you."

In the talk, she also touches upon the success and impact of the Orchestra of the Americas, and how the O Academy uses distance learning to teach musicians entrepreneurial skills and promote self-reliance. During the evening's salon gathering, members of The Orchestra of the Americas, which has become a pipeline for performing artists in major symphonies worldwide, performed classical renditions of traditional folk songs from their home countries.

Years ago, Ochoa-Brillembourg was invited to The Bahamas by Sir John Templeton himself to speak about her work in economics. In a brief introduction to the Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) by the foundation's Senior Program Officer and Economics and Human Flourishing Priority Lead, Tracey Farquaharson spoke of Sir John Templeton's intention in setting up the foundation and why conversation about economics and human flourishing is part of that legacy.

Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg, CFA, is Founder and Chairman of Strategic Investment Group, an independent investment management firm based in Arlington, VA with $28 billion in assets under management (AUM) as of December, 2018. She is also a wife, mother, author, and teacher who loves equipping people with tools to excel in finance and in life.

POSTHOC Salons by Susan MacTavish Best celebrate the power of gathering by bringing people together to share ideas, stimulate conversations, spark connections, and build community. The salon series POSTHOC hosts supported by a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation asks thought-leading experts what it means to flourish.