Roberto Angelini Rossi

  • Interviewed 16 January 2008 in Santiago, Chile, by Andrea Lluch, Research Fellow, HBS
  • Clip Duration – 2:37

Mr. Angelini reviews his career and identifies key cycles in the history of AntarChile. He analyzes different growth and diversification stages, major crises, the internationalization process, and management and environmental policies. Later in the interview, he focuses on the salient features of the Chilean business community and the personal attributes that have defined his management style. He concludes with a description of business founder Anacleto Angelini’s personality.

Interview Excerpt

P: ¿Se buscó la complementación entre las actividades?

R: La complementación se buscó porque la pesca es una actividad muy cíclica, con altos y bajos. El sector forestal es mucho más estable. No es de grandes picos y eso está demostrado. Cualquiera que vea su evolución se da cuenta de esto. Simultáneamente con el sector pesquero, también fuimos creciendo en el sector forestal. A tal punto, que hoy somos el grupo empresarial más grande en esta actividad, hemos tenido un desarrollo espectacular y canalizado nuestras mayores inversiones para el área forestal. Y al revés, el pesquero quedó reducido o limitado, con una serie de normativas y leyes que regulan capturas, además del alto riesgo que tiene este rubro.

Después, el grupo tiene un crecimiento muy importante cuando pasa a controlar la mayoría accionaria de “Compañía de Petróleos de Chile (COPEC)”, que hoy es nuestra locomotora. Esa compañía, que actualmente se llama “Empresas COPEC”, tenía y tiene participación en distintos negocios o actividades, es la número uno en la distribución de combustibles líquidos y gas, y tiene inversiones muy importantes en el sector forestal. Con la compra de COPEC, el grupo toma otra dimensión, no solamente en tamaño, sino que además logró una diversificación de negocios más completa. Experimentó un gran crecimiento en el área forestal, pero además incursionó en la distribución de combustibles líquidos y gas.

Paralelamente, años antes había comenzado a desarrollar actividades, en cierta medida de menor tamaño, en el ámbito financiero. Primero creó la “Compañía de Seguros Generales Cruz del Sur”, después la “Compañía de Seguros de Vida Cruz del Sur”. Hace un par de años atrás, se vendió la compañía de seguros generales, pero seguimos con la de seguros de vida y otras actividades financieras complementarias, como administradoras de Fondos Mutuos Hipotecarios. Pero, para ser claro, yo diría que comparando y dimensionando todas nuestras actividades, hoy somos un grupo fundamentalmente industrial, orientado a la parte forestal, a la energía, que comprende distribución de combustible y gas y generación de energía eléctrica, y a la pesca. Y en un tamaño menor, también tenemos actividades financieras, de seguros y agrícolas.

Q: Did they try to diversify both businesses?

A: They tried to diversify their business because fishing is very cyclic, with ups and downs. Forestry is much more stable; it doesn’t feature any significant peaks - that has been proven; anyone who studies its evolution can see this. We were growing simultaneously in the fishing industry and the forest sector; so much so that today we own the largest business in the forestry industry. We have experienced spectacular growth, and we have channeled subsequent investments into our forestry business. In contrast, our fishing business was reduced and limited by a number of regulations and laws constraining capture, adding to the already high risk of the business.

Later, the group experienced very significant growth when it acquired the controlling stake in Compañía de Petróleos de Chile (COPEC, Chile’s Oil Company), which is our present engine. This company, currently called Empresas COPEC, has had interests in several businesses and operations. It is the leading company in the distribution of liquid fuel and gas, and also boasts important investments in the forestry sector. With the acquisition of COPEC, the group reached a new dimension, not only in terms of size; related to more than physical growth; it also achieved more thorough business diversification. It experienced great growth in its forestry business, but also ventured into liquid fuel and gas distribution.

Similarly, years before, the group had started, to a lesser extent, to operate in the financial sector. First, it started an insurance company, Compañía de Seguros Generales Cruz del Sur, which later became Compañía de Seguros de Vida Cruz del Sur. A couple of years ago, the general insurance company was sold, but we continued to operate the life insurance company and other complementary financial businesses, such as mortgage mutual fund management. But, to be clear, I’d say that, comparing and measuring all our operations, today we are primarily an industrial group with a focus on forestry, energy –comprising fuel and gas distribution as well as energy generation- and fishing. To a lesser extent, we also operate in the financial, insurance and agricultural sectors.

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