Julio Werthein

  • Interviewed 18 February 2008 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Andrea Lluch, Research Fellow, HBS
  • Clip Duration – 1:52

Mr. Werthein summarizes his years in the family businesses, particularly describing his early jobs in rural settings. He also reviews his experiences managing contacts and networking abroad to secure business representations, explaining how important it was for the family business to diversify its operations and the central role that banking activities played in developing its portfolio. Finally, he discusses his tenure as president of Buenos Aires’ stock exchange and the salient features of his business track record.

Interview Excerpt

R: Mis padres entraron por Bahía Blanca, en donde estuvieron un lapso, después pasaron un poquito más abajo y después se instalaron definitivamente con mis hermanos, en Miguel Riglos. Pero siempre estando en el sur. Después pasaron por Rivera, llegaron a Saliqueló, donde quedó mi padre y mi madre en otras actividades que no eran del campo, sino negocio de ramos generales. En fin, la vida tiene muchos entretelones, digamos. Y todo eso contribuyó a que uno fuera horadando en el país, para saber dónde poner todos sus elementos.

La Pampa fue realmente donde se hizo el inicio de las actividades. Donde se inicio “El Hebreo”, que era el negocio de ramos generales. En los cuales ya teníamos un hermano que recorría, en su charré para visitar a clientes, para venderles y comprarles lo que era posible. Así se iniciaron casi todos los negocios de ramos generales. Especialmente los de mis hermanos. Con un resultado final bastante bueno, diría. Hoy las posiciones que ocupan son realmente extraordinarias.

A: They came in through Bahía Blanca, where they stayed for a time, and then moved south, to establish themselves in Miguel Riglos with my brothers. Always in the south. They also went through Rivera, and came to Saliqueló, where my parents carried out activities that were not related to farming but to the grocery business. Life has many twists and turns. And so we got to know the countryside. La Pampa province was the place where business really started. That was where “El Hebreo”, the small family grocery store, started operating. One of my brothers would visit farms with his horse cart in order to sell and buy whatever he could. Most grocery businesses (general stores) originated in this fashion, especially my brothers’. And with quite good results, I must admit. At present, they all enjoy extraordinary success.

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