“We’re not just an equipment provider; we supply solutions,” observed GE Healthcare’s General Manager of Global Funding, Jim Torres ’82, during a recent visit to Isenberg. The Isenberg Finance graduate structures financing for GE’s emerging market customers of medical equipment, facilities, and other healthcare initiatives. “Those customers represent a spectrum from BRIC-type nations to less developed countries like Nigeria and Indonesia,” he noted. Jim spends two-thirds of his time overseas, visiting dozens of countries each year.
In his role, he cobbles together third-party funding from local, international, and development banks; private investors; and multilateral funds. General Electric, he said, takes an equity position in some of those projects. “Having skin in the game benefits our customers and us,” he remarked. “It demonstrates our confidence in their growth plans and helps build long-term partnerships.”
Along with financing, GE Healthcare deploys its technological expertise to adapt affordable equipment, services, education, and training to its customers’ diverse needs. Its offerings include imaging systems, diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, related IT solutions, and other resources.
“We sometimes join forces with governments to help them build their healthcare infrastructures,” added the Isenberg graduate. In Nigeria, which Torres visits several times a year, GE has a memorandum of understanding with the government that will yield four hospitals and a network of diagnostic centers. The company is also providing education and training.
GE Healthcare’s evolving approach, Torres continued, draws on two trending factors: the Industrial Internet and decentralized decision making in local markets. The first links GE Healthcare’s diagnostic imaging systems with analytic and data resources across a companywide platform. It’s a marriage between Big Data and the Internet of Things. That pairing propels decentralized decision making around the globe--in tune with local cultural and economic norms, but enabled by the company’s state-of-the-art analytics and other technologies.
Jim’s Back Pages
Jim joined GE’s vaunted Financial Management Program right out of Isenberg and has thrived at the company ever since. He has held his present position for ten years. From 1994 until September of 2002, he excelled at GE Real Estate as Director of eBusiness and in other significant managerial roles. During the 1990s he frequently visited Isenberg to recruit and mentor students on behalf of GE’s Financial Management Program. “Just like today, Isenberg students had the right skill set and the right values, including an unbeatable work ethic,” he recalled. “I was happy to spend time on the phone coaching them.”
As an Isenberg finance major and in a campus job with Franklin Dining Commons, Torres walked the talk of the work ethic that he later espoused. Beginning in the dining hall’s dish room and working his way up to student coordinator of catering for the campus’s dining services, Torres came to work well-prepared but often had to improvise to make things happen. “Bottom line, I was never afraid to do what it took to get the work done, be it grubby or challenging.”