In memoriam: Mr. Nicanor Restrepo Santamaría (1941 – 2015)
Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana , its subsidiary Suramericana and the group of companies that make up the SURA Business Group in Colombia and Latin America, would like to express our deep regret over the recent passing of Mr. Nicanor Restrepo Santamaría , the Organization´s former Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Restrepo was definitely one of a select group of Colombians who have made major contributions to modern day Colombian business, using his own particular style of leadership and his special sensitivity, to define a way of doing business and encourage privately-managed companies to do more in terms of social welfare. His life stood as a testament to a true commitment to Colombia. He went from the world of business to public service, not only as Governor of Antioquia, but also as an adviser to various governments on matters of national interest, such as negotiating peace with internal armed groups. Few understood as he did, the broader sense of corporate responsibility, and this became one of his major focuses, thanks to his philanthropic spirit and compassionate upbringing. As a result of his passion for knowledge in particular and his interest in taking part in public policy-making, as needed by the country, he became a driving force for important initiatives such as the Fundación Empresarios por la Educación "Businessmen for Education Foundation". It was an inspiring leader thanks to his human qualities, intelligence and understanding of the wider context. He possessed enormous social, political and cultural awareness, while at the same time, showed the simple casualness of truly great human beings. His well-demonstrated sense of ethics form an important part of his legacy, as contained in the corporate philosophy of Grupo SURA, Suramericana and other companies belonging to the Sura Business Group. With regard to the time spent with our Organization, we would like to make special mention of his leadership in promoting corporate governance codes as well as his lifelong interest in creating new businesses and contributing to overall economic development. As a result he managed several companies that today form part of the country´s social security framework and many others in various industrial and financial sectors. Mr. Nicanor Restrepo was a genuine mentor and forger of leaders throughout the 26 years he worked for our organization, as well as with different local government entities. Many men and women flourished as professionals and as human beings at his side, then went on to take greater responsibilities in different companies and institutions, which was another way in which he left his mark. His hallmark of excellence, not only strengthened the corporate culture and leadership style of our companies, but has become the foundation of our strength, growth and sustainability. As an organization we are deeply saddened by his passing while at the same time remain immensely grateful for his legacy. The way he led his life leaves an indelible mark on the history of the Sura Business Group, especially on those who were fortunate enough to meet and work with him and consider him as a friend. Colombia, on the other hand, is proud of having sired a patriot so committed, both as a business man and as a human being, to transforming the country for the greater good. We shall honor his memory by ensuring that his teachings in terms of ethical, civic, social and corporate commitment remain alive at the heart of companies so as to help build a peaceful Colombia, for which he worked so hard, and where he always preferred to live. We would like to express our sympathies and affection to his wife Clara, his sons and daughters-in-law, Camilo, Patricia, Tomás and Natalia; his grandchildren, Santiago, Martín, Amalia and Sofia; his brothers and other relatives as well as loved ones.