Juan Carlos Morales: A Shephard of Strategic Growth

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By Andre LaFontant

At Surfside Capital Advisors LLC, Managing Partner Juan Carlos Morales is a leader in growing companies to their fullest potential. “The biggest misconception [about what I do] is that when you’re growing a company or you’re taking a business through some kind of game-changing event, capital management is the biggest driver,” Morales begins. “[Surfside Capital] helps our clients understand capital management is just one part of the equation. In order for a business to grow successfully, they need more than capital; they need the right strategy, the right people, and execution focus. Our firm helps businesses through those four pillars.”

Morales’ extensive success record as CFO for BNY Mellon Wealth Management, State Street Global Advisors, and TIAA Asset Management demonstrates his dynamic, battle-tested approach to leadership. “It takes courage to grow a business, to make decisions that may be imperfect,” explains Morales. “It takes courage to fire people and hire the right talent, to take a risk. A good leader does not mean pleasing everyone. Management by committee never works because you need defined roles and accountability that lead to a clarity of vision.”

Understood from his years of experience, Morales states, “the most amazing leadership stories that I’ve seen involve people that latch on early to the idea of needing to surround themselves with people smarter than them. So many CEOs are too busy with running the day-to-day operations of a business, that you’d be surprised how many are not in touch with their market.”

Morales keeps a pulse on his community. As the founding member of ALPFA Boston, the Largest Latino professional association in the city with more than 8,000 members (and 95,000 nation-wide), Morales fully comprehends his platform’s power to create economic inclusion and to power our economy within and beyond the Boston area he loves. He also serves as Co-chair of the Latino Legacy Fund, whose Latino-focused works are first of its kind in the nation, Morales has raised over one million dollars in the last six years. He adds, “The network gained from the [Latino Legacy Fund] was instrumental in quickly establishing a fundraising campaign for Puerto Rico hurricane relief that raised four million dollars in under six months.”

On behalf of his many clients─the majority of which are minority-owned businesses─Morales concerns himself with the big picture. Regardless of whom he is advising, he champions the human aspects of the workplace as the key to long-term value creation. “Culture trumps strategy any day,” he states. “You must have the right culture and alignments so it’s possible to say ‘based upon who we are as a firm and what our mission is, we can attract and retain the best people.’ It all comes down to the right people executing that change in order to align their overall value creation strategy.”