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Home > About GDB > Gallery of Presidents

Gallery of Past Presidents

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Guillermo Rodríguez Benítez (1953-1957, 1975)

Guillermo Rodríguez Benítez was born in Vieques, Puerto Rico, on June 8, 1914. He was a self-taught man with admirable self-discipline and commitment to Puerto Rico. In addition, his natural talent for business and administration earned him the recognition of industrial, public and private sectors.

In 1953, Rodríguez Benítez became President of the GDB. The Bank's accomplishments during his tenure include, among others, establishing offices on Wall Street, under Francis Bowen's direction, which was decisive in achieving our goal of expanding the bond market to general obligations of the Commonwealth. Also during this tenure, the uniform program for the orderly use of the municipal borrowing margin was developed , the GDB established its own financial capacity and devoted all its resources, both financial and human, to facilitating the financing of a modern infrastructure for Puerto Rico. During this time, the Bank worked very hard in Puerto Rico and in the United States to have legislation passed that would facilitate our financial development. One of these laws was the Municipal Loan Act and an amendment to the laws of the state of New York to allow insurance companies to invest in Puerto Rico obligations. Thus began the institutional purchases of Puerto Rico bonds.

In 1957, the Governor's first Financial Council was created. The Council's objective was to coordinate the financial policies of all government entities and thus facilitate fiscal planning.

While Rodríguez Benítez was at the helm of the Bank, the Department of Economic Studies was reinforced; this Department was the secretariat of the Council. He returned to the Bank as President and Chairman of the Board in 1975.

The situation then was very different than it was in the 1950s. In light of the severe economic and financial crisis in the mid 1970s, the Bank worked to consolidate the short-term debts of nine public corporations.

Another of his contributions was the Puerto Rico Business Review, a publication that was first released while he was president in 1975, in order to fill the need to maintain a close communication with the financial community.

Rodríguez Benítez served Puerto Rico and its people for many years. Those who knew him always remembered his sensibility for human beings and his inclination for the arts. He also believed that works of art were means to feed the spirit and humanize the cold and impersonal environment of financial activities. For this reason, he began the practice of investing in works of art to decorate the walls of the GDB.

He passed away on September 8, 1989 at age 75.

 
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