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Meet Joel Peterson of Pintoresco Advisors

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joel Peterson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Upon graduation from the University of Virginia, where I had gone through the Naval ROTC program, I received a commission as a United States Navy Officer and served on active duty for seven years. I earned an MBA while in the Navy. Upon leaving the Navy, I went into international corporate banking with various global banks.

After a successful career in corporate finance, investment banking, and Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), I left corporate America in 2004, where I had most recently held senior executive roles in global strategy and M&A with companies such as BellSouth, AT&T, British Telecom, and Level (3) Communications, to attend to my autistic son’s growing needs.

To facilitate this transition, I established Pintoresco Advisors, LLC in 2003 and fully launched it in 2004. Since then, the firm has grown and successfully landed a spectrum of engagements with both domestic and international companies, advising on strategy, corporate finance, project management, and M&A.

The move to consulting and advising successfully afforded me the flexibility to be available for my son and I’m very happy to share that he not only graduated from a top California high school but is now doing well as a college student at a leading national university.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I was born to a single mother who made her living as a prostitute in a South Korea that was struggling in poverty due to a war that threw the nation into the 3rd World. I was born the unwelcomed bi-catch of her occupation.

In an exceptionally poor country, I grew up starving poor and sometimes begging on the streets, as my mother and I were shunned and openly shamed because of how she earned money and because I was a clearly mixed race in a society consumed with racial purity.

Because I had no Korean father, under Korean citizenship laws, I was not a Korean citizen, but with my American GI father never claiming me, I was also not a U.S. citizen. I was born a citizen of no country anywhere on planet Earth. I grew up with no electric power, running water, sanitation, medical care, no vaccinations, and precious little food.

I was nearly boiled alive when 6 months old due to an accident involving a boiling pot of water. My mother eventually placed me for international adoption when I was 7 years old, because, not only was I crippled and disfigured, as a non-citizen, I had no right to education, social services, or the legal right to work in Korea.

I was adopted into a Swedish-American family in small-town Minnesota, that already had 4 biological children. I was the only non-white person in my class, my school, and nearly so in the entire town. The struggles I faced with being racially different and having physical deformity as a child and adolescent would continue to be challenged as an adult, in my personal and professional life.

But the road I traveled also helped shape me to work hard and to make the most of every opportunity.

Please tell us about Pintoresco Advisors.
Pintoresco Advisors provides boutique advisory services across most industries. We particularly specialize in cross border and/or international complex business transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, partnerships, alliances, licensing, co-branding, and embedded processes.

We especially have expertise in green, technology, data, IT and network, cloud services, media, renewable, and energy, and higher education/research industries. Specialty services include strategic planning, complex project management (including construction project management), financial modeling and financial impact/pro forma analysis.

Pintoresco’s principals have Wall Street and world-class expertise, but at flexible, value-driven fee structures while providing services through experienced professionals and not junior staff.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Established stronger, more varied referral networks and partners.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 466 Foothill Blvd. Suite 333
    La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
  • Website:
  • Email:

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