The new face of Roberto Justus
After 36 years working with publicity, the entrepreneur migrates to the financial market, planning to manage R$60 billion in client’s assets in their new companies.
Roberto Justus has changed. But hasn’t changed his style. Yes, he is still elegant and tasteful, with impeccable suits and meticulously arranged hair. The change was bigger and way more meaningful. One of the most important names in Brazilian publicity has decided to try out the financial market. And not only as an investor, but as owner of companies of the financial market. The 65 years old entrepreneur, who has worked in the publicity sector for 36 years, from 1981 to 2017, as well as TV shows – the most memorable being the Brazilian version of The Apprentice – now he works to bring the same success to the new segment. The objective is crystal clear: manage impressive fortunes, like his, and investment in other companies to guarantee income’s return in a period of five years. In the four companies he has built over the last three years, he expects to close 2020 managing R$ 6.2 billion. In addition to the bold goal of R$ 60 billion in assets under his management and custody until 2025. “I’ve always been interested in the financial market, but only after retiring from the publicity sector I haven’t imagined that I could engage in finances besides being only a client”, said Justus to DINHEIRO. “In this market, it is of great importance to have credibility and performance. And that’s exactly what we want to deliver.”
Last week, Justus announced his most recent endeavour, advancing in the crypto market. He now makes part of the consultative council of WiBX, a digital media platform with a cryptocurrency defined as utility token of campaign divulgation as its foundation, it uses a user base in social media in order to acquire new consumers to their partners. “I’m very excited with all the perspectives that I’ll be able to help in the retail sector and publicity so that this model skyrockets. And I have the option of becoming an associate in the future”, he affirms. This is the first interview of the executive discussing the cryptocurrency segment. “In this manner, the company is really well structured and the players are treating it very seriously”, said him. With more than 150 thousand users, Justus’ job is to make WiBX reach 1 million clients up until 2021.
For the tax attorney Renato Gomes, Justus’ arrival in this market is going to contribute to the process of cryptocurrencies consolidation in Brazil. “This is a clear demonstration that the important players are watching this market, that is already reality,” Said Gomes. “The exchange pattern, like the one adopted by WiBX, will strengthen up on media and amplify user networks. It is a point of no return.”
Romero Oliveira, specialist in structured operations of Valor Investimentos, also understands that there is indeed a path towards the crypto assets growth in the Brazilian market. He affirms “The Share model has been growing a lot. This creates more engagement and a better degree of negotiations of the coin”.”It is positive to see the entrance of a businessman such as Roberto Justus in the market. The more people are using, the more valuable the asset becomes.”
Justus understood that he could grow his own income by taking care of others’. And that also the clients could benefit from that. The turn of the table is related to the segment that he has always been related to, even just as a patrimony investment. With the exception of WiBX, in all his other business Justus integrates the societal segment, however he doesn’t occupy executive positions. He prefers to act in the strategic part. It was like that in 2017, when he left the publicity group Newcomm, so he could be associated with Felipe Prata and create Nets Asset Management. At the time, 100% of the capital invested in the company was by the ex-publicitary. Today, he represents 25%, what means that the volume has increased with client growth. Nest will close the year with R$ 500 million in funds administered. And it is at Nest’s office, Luís Carlos Berrini Avenue, one of the most important financial fields in São Paulo, that Justus spends the biggest part of his week.
Skipping to the beginning of 2019, the businessman goes for his second attack between investment companies, TreeCorp, that is a private equity. “You start as an associate in the companies, by means of funds, and boosts the businesses, just to quis 5 or 6 years later with three or even five times more what you’ve invested”, Affirmed. “This type of investment is successful in the world and starts to develop in Brazil”. The executive-director of the company that today administrates R$ 700 million, is Bruno D’Ancona, who is also an associate.
During the Covid-19 pandemics, Justus has taken out of the paper two companies that will be bigger, in terms of administered capital. The Legend Wealth Management will be manager of big patrimonies, with consultory of how to apply resources to clients. And also will take care of Justos’ patrimony. “Every time I invested I asked if the owners had applied capital. When the associates are together, it is a good sign”, He said. The CEO of Legend Wealth will be Sérgio Marini, who has worked in BTG Pactual and was founder of Turim Investments. One of Justus’ associates is Sérgio Eraldo Salles, who was from the Bozano group and former associate of the economy minister Paulo Guedes in Crescera Investments.
The other company is Legend Investments, an autonomous agent associated with the BTG Pactual bank. Pedro Salles will be the CEO of the company. Both will work at the same address at the beginning of November, in a 800 square meters space at the corner of the Brigadeiro Faria Lima Avenue and Juscelino Kubitschek Avenue, another importante financial pole in São Paulo. Justus, who will be chairman of Legend, Won’t reveal how much had invested in the acquisition of the company nor forethought of invoicing. They already go big from the start, with R$ 5 billion under custody. “if we arrive at the R$60 billion, we’ll have conditions of being the biggest independent company, besides banks, of patrimony administration.”
The only insertion in a segment of which he doesn’t mater: he associated to the sun Ricardo in the company of virtual reality Arvore Immersive, that has firmed in the global market of games and has won a Golden Lion at the Veneza Festival by the beginning of this year, besides an Emmy Awards, with the animation The Line. “I have much faith that the company has great chances of becoming an unicorn. It will grow a lot in this segment”, He said.
“I will not be a candidate for president of the Republic”
Brazil has just started to get back on track after the crisis, but there’s still a impressive number of unemployed people. What kind of impact does it have in the economy?
August broke the record for sales in the retail sector. We have been holding back purchases during the pandemics and it came back. Another factor is the emergencial auxiliary income created by the government. Now I see the reopening with optimism, especially with the arrival of the vaccine. It is already projected to grow 3.5% for next year. I’ve always been an arduous defender against stopping everything. If we have to analyse, I was right by criticising it right from the beginning. A good chunk of the economy started to open and the number of deaths just started falling. We needed to take care and isolate risk groups, not everyone. I’ve always been against this “stay at home” thing. The number of deaths is alarming, but it is not big. It has been 150 thousand deaths, and we have 212 million inhabitants. Other diseases cause way more deaths than this.
Did Brazil commit a mistake regarding the Covid-19 pandemics?
The governments were scared and realised. The midst term would be ideal. The governor João Doria closed more than necessary, got too scared, and the virus of fear is worse than the disease. The president Jair Bolsonaro exaggerated by going in public and got infected, being to his public a bad influence. He was also mistaken, however I am a supporter of what he has said at the beginning of all of this, we should close all economies. People should be able to go to the supermarket but not to restaurants. It is really silly, that really bothered me.
What is your evaluation of the reform?
Brazil has always been hostile to entrepreneurship. If taxes were lower, we would have cheaper products. The biggest problem is the National Congress. If we were a big company and Paulo Guedes was the CEO, Brazil would be fine. But there’s no way we could run Brazil as a company. Privatisations are taking too long, but if the reforms go through, we will have a bigger scenario in the following years.
Are there mistakes in your career?
Yes, there is. I calculate that an entrepreneur gets 80% of things right and the other 20% wrong. I’ve committed mistakes around that range, that’s why I came out successful. The important thing is that, when you commit à mistake, do not insist on it, to be able to look in front of you and not cry over the spilled milk. In 2018, I accepted proposals from businessmen to open private medical clinics. In Brazil there’s a huge precariousness in that sector and to put people in medical appointments for only R$ 70 seemed fantastic. But I lost a huge amount of money, and the business didn’t go through. I got out quickly, I accepted the loss. It is difficult to jump headfirst in a sector you don’t know anything about. I only saw success coming for people who actually knew about the business.
Is there any desire of being a candidate for president?
This story comes and goes through my life. Before the 2018 elections, I went to Brasília to talk with the previous president Michel Temer. His group had the idea of announcing me as an outsider of the election. I didn’t think I could. The same way there isn’t a way of being CEO of Brazil, I couldn’t handle being a politician very well. But, I help in every way I can. I will never be a candidate.
What would be the best option for the president of the United States: Donald Trump or Joe Biden?
It is a shame for us and for the world that we have leaders at the level of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Trump is weak, he has no preparation. Biden also is very limite. I feel sorry for the United States for having only these candidates. For Brazil, Donald Trump staying would be good, in view of the fact that he has a connection with Bolsonaro. For the world, Biden’s balance would be better.
WIBX, advances in retail
The so-called end of the money is not a prediction of the apocalypse. Away from that. All over Brazil, the digital coins and the technology attached to it have conquered more respect in the retail industry and have become an essential tool in strategy of companies and consumers.
It is not by mistake, they attract more funds and global investments each time. A good example of that is WiBX, a utility token that promotes legalisation between retailers and consumers. WiBx closed a strategic partnership with investments funds of venture capital and private equity with Squadra Ventures, of Guga Stocco, and TreeCorp Investments, that has Roberto Justus as one of the associates, as well as a group of executives connected to the retail sector.
According to Justus, he occupies a seat at the consultative council of WiBX, the proposal is to help in the acceleration of the operations and guarantee the scalability of the business. This way, the businessman wants to contribute to the strategy of the company as well as in the relationship with potential partners.
WiBx has bold plans of expansion and growth and intends on intensifying the prospecting and activation of new players in their platform. Nowadays there are more than 150 thousand users registered in the company.