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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

- Nelson Mandela -




What is EM+BRACE?

EM+BRACE is a global mentorship initiative that came to life in 2015 - a concept over 5 years in the making - with the intent of bringing emerging market veterans together to support, develop and inspire the next generation of emerging market professionals and trailblazers.


What does EM+BRACE mean?

The name combines two ideas: “EM,” which stands for emerging markets plus “brace,” which means “a form of support.” In line with the spirit of this initiative, “embrace” is defined as “accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically.”

Who formed EM+BRACE?

Robert O. Abad is the founder of EM+BRACE. 


A student of the world, Robert travels extensively.  He has engaged a broad spectrum of clients, industry consultants and media outlets globally.  His professional experience spans 30 years in global investment research and portfolio management, risk management, product management, start-up business development, and career training and mentorship at organizations such as Western Asset Management, Citigroup, Fiduciary Trust International, Global Emerging Market Advisors, L.P., the United Nations Development Programme, and Merrill Lynch & Co.


Robert holds a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University (SIPA) and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from New York University's Stern School of Business. Previously, Robert was an Adjunct Professor of Finance and sat on the Board of Advisors at Claremont University’s Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management.  He is currently on the Board of Trustees at Sequoyah School in Pasadena, California.

Why was EM+BRACE formed?


After years of offering career guidance and insight to many up-and-coming colleagues on both the sell-side and buy-side, and observing an increasing amount of attrition, resignations and unexpected loss within the senior ranks (including his own mentor and "big brother," Frank Fernandez, at the early age of 53), Robert felt it was time to form a unique vehicle to facilitate the transfer of valuable knowledge and treasured experience - a passing of the baton - from one generation to the next. 

What does EM+BRACE currently offer?


  • For the early pioneers in the EM financial industry – those who helped build the foundations of an asset class that now plays such a vital role in the development of a large and growing part of the world – and professionals in other disciplines (e.g. journalism, academia, non-profit, social entrepreneurship, etc) with a passion for identifying and addressing pressing issues across the developing world, EM+BRACE provides a platform to educate, motivate and inspire.


  • For young professionals and students across the world – those who are interested in becoming a part of our emerging markets community and are in search of guidance – EM+BRACE offers a tangible resource that has been elusive until now.  

  • EM+BRACE is also open to tailoring subject-specific seminars upon request.  If you have seminar ideas in mind or want to brainstorm an idea for your fellow EM colleagues, class or organization, please email Robert.

How can I learn more about EM+BRACE?

For individuals:  Please submit a recent copy of your curriculum vitae and a personal statement highlighting your interests, professional goals and aspirations to individuals

For institutions: To bring EM+BRACE to your school/organization/country or to inquire about partnership or sponsorship opportunities, please contact institutions.

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