Last updated: 11:50 / Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Leopoldo Abadía Interview

Tailor-made Master’s Degree for Heirs of Large Fortunes

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Tailor-made Master’s Degree for Heirs of Large Fortunes

If the heir of a large fortune, who has the label of being the son of… and who carries the burden of having to prove his self-worth 24/7, doesn’t succeed for lack of confidence or because from a young age works in the family business and doesn’t have the time needed to enroll in a traditional Master’s Degree program, now he has the option of getting enrolled in a tailor-made Master’s Degree program which was specifically designed for the wealthy.

This is where Leopoldo Abadía Junior makes his appearance, who also carries the label of being the son of Leopoldo Abadía, and is certainly tired of being asked whether he is the son of… Leopoldo Abadía Senior is one of the founders of IESE Business School, and also a Spanish professor and writer who became famous in Spain with the “Ninja Theory”. “The Ninja Theory” is an analysis which in a very clear and plain language explained the causes for the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States and its consequences on the rest of the world at the beginning of 2008. The echo of that article, which Leopoldo Abadía Senior at first shared with his sons, coworkers and friends, became a huge media phenomenon whose impact broke all boundaries.

Abadía Junior has dedicated 25 years of his life to the tailor-made education business, and is an expert like few in the resolution of family disputes over large assets and family businesses. He has estimated that since 1987, he has taught over 210 students, accepting not more than 7/10 cases a year. Besides, not all candidates are admitted, the reason being is that simply they don’t need it. The tailor-made course is currently taught to two students from Spain, four students from Latin America, and there are another eight on the waiting list.

Heirs of large fortunes from Spain, France, Mexico, Portugal and Russia are amongst his pupils but he only talks about one of them and the reason being is because the student himself has discussed his experience in more than one occasion. The aforementioned student is Manuel Lao Gorina, who in the late 80s received a tailor-made Master’s Degree from Abadía. Despite not having received higher education, Lao Gorina, son of Manuel Lao Hernandez, the founder of the game and leisure multinational Cirsa among numerous other companies, has become a very successful executive.

“It is always the same profile, low self-esteem and lack of affection”, notes Abadía. Usually these are people who's parents are not present daily, whot grew up on their own and for many the nanny has been the only adult who has been present during their growth. “They are so obsessed with following in their father’s footsteps that they lose their way”. Abadía works as if he was putting together a puzzle, once the pieces have been found the student is ready to demonstrate his finest qualities.

In respect to the Master’s program methodology, Abadía explains that he uses an executive training program similar to the one used by the leading business schools in the world, whose professors are top executives of numerous companies, and are also former students from those business schools. These executives give lectures in the area or areas of their expertise.

The Master’s Degree program is always individual and local, and is carried out at the speed the student feels most comfortable at. Usually the program extends over a period of time ranging between a year and a year and a half, up until the moment it is proven that the student has conquered all of his fears and that he has successfully resolved his confidence issues.

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