Our Q&A with Monaco’s Brazilian community
visits J. Safra Sarasin Bank’s Executive Director, Severiano Alves-Pereira
ML: Where are you from in Brazil and how did your path lead to Monaco?
SA-P: Born in the South of Brazil, I am another recent member of the Brazilian community in Monaco, having arrived in the Principality mid-2014. Prior to moving here, I had already spent over 20 years living outside Brazil, in Miami in the US and, for most of the time, in Geneva, Switzerland.
ML: You are the Executive Director at Banque J. Safra Sarasin Monaco. Can you talk about your career history and your role as Executive Director?
SA-P: An international career in finance and business trips around the world have helped me to be at ease among many nationalities and to appreciate different cultural backgrounds. I managed to learn a few languages – five! – in the process and had my two children in this international environment. Brazilians are known to be a welcoming crowd in their own country and when abroad tend to adapt easily to their surroundings.
Having combined a Latin approach obtained in Brazil and in Miami with a Swiss one (hoping that the outcome would not be too peculiar…), it was time for a new challenge.
Monaco quickly placed itself on the top of my list of choices. I was lucky enough to be familiar with Monte Carlo as a tourist; the time had come to experience it as a resident. The question was whether a Brazilian (and, in my case, under Swiss influence) could adapt easily?
ML: Monaco has more than 30 banks and Banque J. Safra Sarasin is one of its largest. Can you expand upon the specialised services the bank offers, and the key to its success in terms of being a key player in Monaco?
SA-P: My daily activities are in finance, in Private Wealth Management with a renowned bank. The historic stability of the Principality’s finances has always been a beacon of attractiveness for the Monegasque Financial Centre. In my short period here I have already witnessed the evolution of our financial centre. From a financial centre that focused historically on Southern European clients, it is becoming increasingly more international, transparent and modern, capable of dealing with the most demanding, and sophisticated clients from varied horizons. In the wake of this evolution, complementary services such as accountancy, legal expertise and corporate service providers are also coming the Principality, supplementing the much-needed holistic offer expected by modern Private Banking clients.
ML: What did you discover Monaco had to offer once you settled in?
SA-P: After I moved here, my expectations were confirmed. Monaco is indeed a concentration of positive elements, including, very importantly for Brazilians, known for their “joie de vivre” and “outdoor approach”, the fun of living in Monaco on a daily basis, even in the off-season, with its outdoor life and all year-round sports. Take the Larvotto beach, for example, with its summer beach-volley; it makes you think of Ipanema and its sporty beach enthusiasts. My kids also love their life here. Even though they are based in Switzerland most of the year, they look forward to spending the weekends and school holidays in MC. The local Brazilian community, although not very large, is very welcoming.
ML: The Rio Olympics opened this weekend. Does it make you nostalgic?
SA-P: Is there anything I particularly miss from my country of origin? We even have a word in Brazilian Portuguese for this sense of longing: “saudade”, one of the most used words in Brazilian music, especially in the Bossa Nova … it refers to “a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone”. Even if Monaco has so much to offer, one distinctive element that’s hard to beat in Brazil: the beauty, richness and vastness of its inland regions and its landscape.
ML: If you had not chosen private banking, what would’ve been your alternative career?
SA-P: If I didn’t work in finance, I could imagine myself raising cattle on a Brazilian ranch…
Banque J. Safra Sarasin Monaco is located at 17 Avenue D’Ostende.
READ MORE ABOUT MONACO’S BRAZILIAN COMMUNITY
The Honorary Consul of Brazil in Monaco
Luciana de Montigny, President and Founder of the Brasil Monaco Project