Donor Profile: Juan Carlos Torres
Juan Carlos Torres (SM ’79)
MIT Sloan School of Management
by Erin McGrath // MIT Physics Annual 2009
Juan Carlos Torres has had a long interest in physics, which started in his last two years of high school. He had a wonderful physics teacher who sparked his interest in finding out how things work.
He earned a master’s degree in physics from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where he specialized in geophysics. After working for several years in the petroleum industry, he found himself drawn increasingly to management, and in 1979 he obtained an SM in Management from the MIT Sloan School. Following consultant work with McKinsey and corporate leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry, he joined the private equity firm Advent International in 1988. Since 1995, he has been the Managing Director and Senior Partner in charge of Advent’s investment activities in Latin America. Juan Carlos has led or co-led Advent’s investments in 30 companies in several countries, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, France, and the U.S. He has also sponsored six other investments in the information technology services, pharmaceutical and retail sectors.
Juan Carlos Torres’s interest in physics was rekindled when he and his wife Ann Kreis, who also has a degree from Sloan, attended the 2006 MIT Alumni Travel Program trip to Chile led by MIT Physics Department Head Ed Bertschinger. Lectures on dark matter and dark energy, gravitational waves and black holes, and planets around other stars, brought back Juan Carlos’s fascination with the frontiers of physics. A glimpse through a 15-inch telescope of the globular star cluster 47 Tucanae — with its hundreds of thousands of stars blazing in a tiny corner of the Milky Way — was enough to whet his appetite for more.
Since Juan Carlos’s first trip with Ed Bertschinger, he has gotten even more involved with the Department. He and Ed have shared several trips since 2006, including a visit to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva in 2008 and a night-time visit to the Magellan Telescopes in Chile in 2009.
I cannot think of anybody that visits the place that would not be interested in the Magellan Telescopes. It’s a rare privilege to have a small window into the universe.Juan Carlos Torres (SM ’79)
His appreciation for the Physics Department is what led him to offer his assistance. He has generously supported operations costs for MIT’s partnership in the Magellan Telescopes consortium and has also provided two graduate fellowships. Juan Carlos was in a position to be able to give back and knew what an impact his gift could have. Juan Carlos has become further involved with the Department and is a member of the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee for the Physics Department. Juan Carlos’s most recent adventure with the Physics Department was in July 2009 for the Japan Total Solar Eclipse trip, also led by Ed Bertschinger. Juan Carlos brought along his three daughters; his hope was that seeing the solar eclipse would spark their interest in the subject. Juan Carlos says, “for me, it was a once in a lifetime experience that I will always treasure.”