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Fernando de Roda

About me

I was born and raised in Spain, before expanding my horizons by travelling to various countries around the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy and Poland. After finishing school, I studied industrial engineering in Madrid, joining a manufacturing team at General Electric in Cambridge, UK right after. As I rose through the ranks, I discovered my passion for consulting, which then encouraged me to begin building my profile as an investment banker. When the excitement of that high-stress, entrepreneurial environment isn’t enough, I get my adrenaline rush by skiing, trekking, mountain biking and kitesurfing. My motto is “never say no,” and I haven’t yet.

Answering the call of duty

His curious nature and go-getter mindset brings color to both Professor Fernando De Roda’s personal and professional life. Since graduating in the early 1990s, Fernando has proven that persistence, curiosity and drive to learn can lead to great experiences. Despite struggling with a new language in his early professional life, Fernando persevered, finding strength in weakness and allowing his belief in himself to propel him forward.

Fernando credits his foray into his professional career as one of his greatest successes. After graduating from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in 1991, he began working with General Electric in England. A low level of English, combined with a complete lack of practical professional experience, pushed him to build a tough skin. In response, Fernando dedicated himself to his work, and was soon introduced to the driving force behind decades of professional and personal growth.

It began when he was asked to work on a consulting assignment with General Electric and the discovery of a latent passion for consulting. Eager to gain more experience, he moved to Accenture and spent the next three years specializing in strategy projects for corporate clients. With his sights still set on building his portfolio, the next four years were dedicated to corporate finance, an experience that eventually led him to join the Enel Group, where he developed as a manager for nearly two decades.

But entrepreneurship continued to call Fernando’s name, and when an opportunity presented itself to invest he couldn’t say no. For over a year now, Professor De Roda has dedicated his time to promoting sustainable-energy solutions in the financial world through his co-founded company Greenward Partners. The challenge to contribute to this clean-energy world was, for Fernando, a no-brainer. “A call of duty,” he says, “for which I felt ready and prepared.”

Fernando is proof that there is never a bad time to change things up. At the age of 50, he said goodbye to a sought-after management position at a large, established company to become an entrepreneur and business owner once more. Now, he’s ready to share all his knowledge with IE University students.

It’s no surprise that Professor De Roda is a risk-taker both professionally and in his own life. When not working on new investments or teaching the foundations of real estate in class, Fernando can be found engaging in adventure sports from skiing to trekking, mountain biking and kitesurfing. Much of his summertime is spent at the mercy of the wind, ready to change his plans at a moment’s notice to head out on an adventure.

Joining IE University as an Adjunct Professor in Corporate Real Estate in 2017, Fernando continues to provide a voice of reason for his students when it comes to embarking on their initial career moves. As a life-long learner, Fernando hopes to inspire his students to see the complete picture when it comes to corporate real estate. Above all, his personal drive to constantly seek new experiences and challenges provides a foundation that his students can emulate when building their own dreams.

"“Never say no. It’s a mandate that should be taught to our children so they can grow up to be proactive and courageous.”"
Fernando de Roda

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