“Italians go back to Brazil, here the boom is not over”

Jan 1, 2007

In the article, Dr. Messana tells a bit about his decision to come to Brazil to explore this market of opportunities through his company GM Venture. Our general manager also comments on the opportunities that Brazil can offer to those who, like him, think of investing in Brazil.
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It all starts with a woman, one Brazilian with almond-shaped eyes known by plane on a journey from Milan to Sao Paulo. “I was convinced that she was Japanese, and I was ready to learn the language – says Graziano Messana, about the woman he ended up marrying – then I discovered that she was a Japanese-Brazilian.

Fortunately, I limited myself to taking Portuguese lessons.” The final move to São Paulo dates back to six months ago. “It was more than four years that I went back and forth – he wants to clarify the protagonist of this adventure. I heard nothing but talk about Bric (an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China), and the enormous growth potential of these countries I believed it I chose the one that convinced me the most and I left ”.Messana is only 31 years old, with an economic background. He graduated in Economics and Commerce from LUISS in Rome, with honors, before working in investment banks and consultancy firms. But he had a project in mind: to bring Italy back what counts is that of banks, businesses, brands and design in Brazil.

“After the default of the Argentine bonds, everyone ran away. Just think that today there is no Italian bank in San Paolo and surroundings. The last to close its doors was Bnl. Still, the potential is enormous. The real estate market is in turmoil, not to mention the opportunities for private equity. A closed-end fund of fifty million euros, which we see as a medium-small fund, is considered a successful business there. ” With the enthusiasm of the neophyte and the resourcefulness of a sailed globetrotter businessman, Messana has set up a company in San Paolo, the GM Venture, the company wants to become the reference point for all Italians with a pinch of courage, and a lot of desire to earn that look to the Brazilian market like our ancestors in the 20s to the New World.

It is not dreams and words that Messana offers. The young entrepreneur born in Erice, Sicily, and adopted by Rome, Milan and Luxembourg, has something more – or someone to be exact – to offer. Inspirator of GM Venture, as well as a founding partner and president of the company, is Mario Resca. Known for his experience at the head of McDonald’s Italia, for his adventure as extraordinary commissioner of Cirio, and as president of the Casino of Campione d’Italia, Resca for days has been the protagonist of the financial reports as a possible inspirer and glue of a consortium of American funds in the tender for Alitalia. The bond between him and Messana is ancient. “We have known each other for many years, and I owe this acquaintance to a mutual friend a lawyer who after his professional success retired to the countryside in the Oltrepo Pavese, where Resca also has a villa, and some vineyards.” says, Messana. A common point was the passion for wine, from there several job opportunities until the birth of GM Venture. The first institutional appointment for the new company, which in recent days is away to Milan to close some deals (one of which is a negotiation with institutions interested in returning to the banking system in São Paulo). Will be the mission of the Prodi government and of the president of Confindustria Luca Cordero di Montezemolo in Brazil in April. “With the help of the Italian-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, the ICE and the local Confindustria, this third event was organized to relaunch the commercial relations between Italy and Brazil. And GM Venture will be in pole position: it will be the point of reference for all interested entrepreneurs “, explains Messana.

“Let’s hope it doesn’t end like the last time in Rome, during a meeting on the Bric. There were bankers, politicians and businessmen, but it all ended with many words and few facts. The times, however, are now ripe … “. Over the past four years, Brazil has experienced a development process. He managed to gradually reduce the country risk, now at an all-time low and repaid the debt in advance. Press cutout for the exclusive use of the recipient that cannot be reproduced with the International Monetary Fund, and has gained oil self-sufficiency.

The local stock exchange also added to the fourth. And the main index, the Bovespa, gained 33% in 2006, after + 27% in 2005. In short, there is not only China, and Brazil has an unbridgeable advantage: cultural proximity and the presence of a strong Italian community. Waiting for the institutional bureaucratic machine to start moving, GM Venture is already operating at full speed. One of the most sensitive sectors is the real estate sector.

“Beyond the traditional investments in tourist resorts, the best opportunities are offered by the São Paulo region”. Such as real estate investments aimed at companies that want to open a production plant in Brazil. “The construction company takes over a large area, builds the factory and signs a twenty-year lease. So the foreign company has no worries about permits and practices, and the manufacturer has the guarantee of performance, “explains Messana. The other way to make money goes from the centre of San Paolo “There are plenty of modern buildings amid dilapidated skyscrapers. The first step is to buy as many apartments as needed to have control of the condominium assembly. Then we move on to phase two, renovation and sale of the apartments with lavish returns. ”

In addition to real estate, GM Venture wants to operate in the M&A market, to assist companies and financial partners who intend to run business and invest in Brazil. “There is time the adventure has just begun. You think we still have to finish the website. ”

Michela Ravalico

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