Gabriela Salvador is a third-generation Chilean Palestinian. Her grandfather Amador was born in Chile in 1910, three months after his parents arrived in the country with a prayer book in their hands. As is customary in Orthodox-Catholic families, they prayed every night for the best to come.
Twenty years later, Amador became a businessman. His son – Gabriela’s father, Gabriel – followed in his steps, not only at work but also spiritually, founding the first Spanish-speaking Orthodox-Catholic church in Santiago. With this background, Gabriela followed the path of becoming a successful business woman, while never forgetting her Palestinian roots and Orthodox-Catholic religion.
Gabriela Salvador studied business and administration at the University of Chile, graduating with honors in 1991. Early on in her career in the financial world, she was recognized as a risk-taker who focused on creating high-performing teams. This resulted in her taking charge of more than twenty-five different divisions, thus gaining knowledge of most areas of the banking industry. But doing so also made her realize that most areas were led by men.
Some years later, she co-founded a boutique business named VanTrust Capital, with her husband, Patricio Nazal, a recognized businessman who is also of Palestinian descent.
In Chile, she is considered a prominent woman, who advocates for a commitment to the ESG and the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals* as a condition for investment. In 2021 she was recognized as one of the hundred most influential women in Chile and a leader in the national rankings organized by the newspaper El Mercurio.
In recent years, she has given many interviews, on different platforms, to talk about issues such as the importance of women in the financial system, the importance of micro-medium-sized enterprises, as well as contemporary matters. She was the first woman to assume the position of Director of the Camara Chilena Árabe de Comercio (Chilean-Arab Chamber of Commerce), as well as the first woman columnist in the areas of finance and investment, for the leading business newspaper in Chile, La Segunda. In her column, she writes about the importance and benefit of making impact investments, which are now the center of the public funds offered by VanTrust Capital.
Being recognized as a leader, she has participated in national and international forums, representing leading women in finance and the importance for private and public companies to contribute to the development of a sustainable and inclusive world for all.
She also founded the organization ChileConverge and Red América Conecta, both of which focus on providing tools and mentorships to entrepreneurs. She is a member of different boards of directors, such as GSG, Mujer Impacta, Social Entrepreneur, and is committed to giving tools to people, like entrepreneurs, to believe in themselves so that they can achieve their maximum potential. Today one of her main interests is bringing drinking water to rural places that lack access to it, and working with indigenous entrepreneurs focused on their ancestral culture, providing them with the tools to make their businesses profitable.
Gabriela has three children: Sofía (26) is a journalist, Fernanda (22) is studying finance engineering, and the youngest, Domingo, is a junior in high school.
Her brother is an Orthodox priest in Santiago, and she used to be a catechist and a member of the church chorus. For Gabriela, being a Palestinian in Chile is a valuable trait that she is proud of and tries to promote everywhere she goes.
* Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing is a set of standards for a company’s behavior. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were agreed upon by the UN as a means of solving economic, social, and environmental challenges by 2030.