Chairman Ricardo Semler is Interviewed on Australian ABC-TV (March 2007).
WHO WE ARE
Semco Partners’ joint venture model is the preferred path for multinational corporations to enter the Brazilian marketplace. Semco Partners is the successor to Semco Group, a centrifuge manufacturer founded in the 1950s by Antonio Curt Semler. In the 1980s Antonio’s son, Ricardo Semler, took over the firm, modernized management practices, and expanded the company’s range by moving heavily into the service sector, including environmental consultancy, facilities management, real estate brokerage, and inventory support.
During this expansion, the company worked with a variety of technology partners and developed a sophisticated joint venture model that combined Semco management practices with the partners’ expertise and product lines. This fusion of skill sets created the business model that has been so successful in the Brazilian market.
In 2012, Semco Partners transitioned into a partnership structure featuring six directors who have worked together for many years
WHAT WE DO
Semco Partners is an active portfolio manager for a variety of corporations doing business in Brazil. Our mission is to seek out new businesses, oversee existing businesses, and promote synergies among them. There are three ways for global companies to enter the Brazilian market:
1) They can proceed independently by forming a wholly owned subsidiary and hiring a management team to run the business. Corporations choosing this path will have a gap in local market knowledge, lack a strong network of customers, and need guidance in identifying strong local talent. At the same time, those same companies will struggle with corporate controls that suppress the agility and flexibility needed to get a start-up venture off the ground.
2) They can acquire an existing company, but they will meet integration and cultural transition issues, language barriers, resistance to new processes, old world structures and a high cost of entry… issues that are not easy for huge multinational firms to overcome.
3) Or they can work with a nimble entrepreneurial partner like us. Semco Partners offers an extensive network of contacts, direct access to the target customers, informed risk monitoring, innovative management techniques, a brand recognized by the market, cultural proficiency, and, above all, an incomparable record of success in bringing multinationals to Brazil.
Typically, we maintain between five to seven business units in our portfolio at any given time. Each joint venture is managed independently, with its own structure, teams, and board of directors — the latter comprised of representatives from both Semco Partners and its global business partner. We also will work with established Brazilian companies if there is the opportunity to form an association with a strategic international player that is a leader in their segment.
Semco Partners forms an equal fifty-fifty joint venture with global companies looking to invest in Brazil. This can apply to start-ups or companies seeking to reinvigorate existing operations.
Semco Partners seeks partners that:
- Are one of the top two companies worldwide in their market;
- Possess an important technological differential (an “engineered” product or complex service);
- Present the potential for fast development in Brazil;
- Are financially healthy;
- Offer synergies with Semco Partners’ business portfolio.
Why should a multinational partner with Semco Partners?
- Reason #1: Reduced risk launching a business in Brazil. We are intimately familiar with business on the ground in Brazil.
- Reason #2: Faster start-up phase. We have years of experience launching and running new businesses locally.
- Reason #3: We have “skin in the game.” This means we invest our own resources in all of our joint ventures.
What do we expect from our partners?
We seek partners that have proven knowledge of their market, consistent investment in research and development, international references, prominent brands, and an appetite for international growth.
Our past performance speaks for itself. No other entity is better equipped to adapt, launch, and develop successful businesses across different sectors in Brazil than Semco Partners.
Meet the team
Ricardo SemlerChairman and Non Executive Partner
Semco Group’s major shareholder and chairman since the ’80, is also a founding shareholder of Tarpon Investments. Author of several bestsellers on business, he is a visiting scholar at Harvard and MIT with an OPM degree from Harvard Business School. Ricardo is the founder of Lumiar school and Ralston Semler Foundation (To learn about the foundation, visit: www.ralstonsemler.org.br)
Alexandre Bonfim de AzevedoCEO & Managing Partner
Alex joined Semco Group in 2005 as CEO for Pitney Bowes Semco JV and in 2012 became CEO and Managing Partner of Semco Partners. Previously, he held key executive positions at Telefonica and IBM. Alex has a Degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics from Escola Nacional de Ciencias Estatisticas (ENCE). He holds a Master’s Degree in Strategy and Business Administration from INSPER (Institute of Education and Research), a Brazilian higher education institution focusing on business and economics. He is a Harvard Business School certified executive and sits on the boards of Pitney Bowes Brazil and H&R Block Brazil.
Philippe ReichstulNon Executive Partner
Philippe has been involved with Semco Group since 2006. He has a bachelor’s in economics, University of São Paulo, and post-graduate at Hertford College, Oxford. Was CEO at: IPEA, Petrobras, Globopar, and Brenco. Board member on: Peugeot Citroen S. A., Repsol YPF, Foster Wheeler, and Gafisa. Advisory board member on: ABDIB, Coinfra, Lhoist do Brasil Ltda., UTC, and GVT. Vice chairman of the board of the Foundation for Sustainable Development and vice president at Einstein Hospital. Former board of member on: Louis Dreyfus Brasil, Ashmore Energy International, BNDES, among others.
José Violi FilhoPartner
Violi has been Semco Group executive for more than 30 years. During this term, Violi has had many different responsibilities in the financial department. He was previously Semco Group CFO and CEO. He is also a board member at Semco Partners joint ventures.
Jorge has worked since the ’90s for Semco Group, where he held several leadership positions, including CEO for Johnson Controls, Semco Serviços Integrados, Semco Manutenção Volante, and executive director for Cushman Wakefield. When Semco Group sold SMV to ISS in 2007, he became the CEO for ISS Brazil. In 2012, he returned to Semco Partners. Jorge holds a mechanical engineering degree and post-graduate degree in environmental and quality processes.
Michel has been with Semco Group since 2002 and became a partner in 2007. He focuses on business development. He has been involved in projects like Pitney Bowes, H&R Block, GMF Gouda, Loedige, among others. He has previously worked at Natura and Francap. He holds a degree in business administration from FGV. Michel is co-founder of the NGO Associação Prato Cheio and a board member at ALEF School.