GM Venture
  • Taking care of your
    investments in Brazil

    Excellence in management of branches in Brazil,
    creation of start-ups and acquisition/reorganization of companies.
    Over 10 years of experience and several success stories, this is GM Venture.

Our main services

Cash Management

Establishment of start-ups, opening of local office, hiring of human resources, definition of processes, management of BPOs, lawyers, and auditors.

Business Development

Market research, evaluation of business projects in Brazil, validation and elaboration of business plans, and support on M&A processes.

Brazil can be a great opportunity for Italian SMEs
01/08/2018

Brazil can be a great opportunity for Italian SMEs
01/08/2018

A cross-section of our MD Graziano Messana on the Italian "SMEs Journal". Brazil is certainly a major market for Italian SMEs but not all of them are able to seize this opportunity. It often happens to find companies that export to various countries, even in North America, but not in Brazil. How does this happen? In Brazil there are about a thousand Italian companies. Apart from the big industrial groups and the big fashion brands, almost all present, the rest are branches of small and medium companies. Some arrived following the establishment of large companies/clients, since they had to continue to guarantee their supplies. The luckiest have joined real clusters created in the neighborhood of large companies. Other SMEs have come because they have identified, thanks to participation in a trade fair or because they have independently documented, a huge market with endless opportunities. To give some examples Brazil is the fourth country in the world as consumption in beauty products, fifth consumer of home appliances, the third consumer of digital technologies with 50 million online buyers, big buyer of 3F (furniture, fashion, food) in which Italy has a strong tradition. Renewable renewable energy sources and the internet of things market that draws various transversal industrial segments. Some companies have turned to a final public, so-called B2C, intercepting an active population of 200 million people, large segments of a consumer that sometimes, even with a low income, makes impulsive purchases as happens in the field of mobile phones or of fashion. But most of these branches are companies that supply goods and services to other Brazilian companies, so-called B2B. This is the statistical data on the thousands of Italian companies but what is widely believed is that Brazil, also this statistically proven in the world bench guides and ranking of doing business, is one of the countries with more bureaucracies and barriers to entry. Reason for which, despite the cultural proximity and this huge market, many companies desist after investigating a bit 'about the bureaucracy of this country or even worse after venturing committing a series of errors and consequently also losing resources without results. The errors that - on the basis of my direct experience - most often SMEs commit are summarized as follows: 1) the presumption of trying to replicate in Brazil a model that maybe works to export or sell in other countries; 2) the idea that a Made in Italy arrives too expensive in Brazil, so we stop at the first estimate of a logistics company deducing misleading considerations; 3) the lack of information due to the fact that Brazil is understood as a very close country culturally (and in fact there are 6 million descendants of Italians in São Paulo) and therefore the rules of business can be underestimated. different, especially when one thinks of high interest rates and the instability of exchange as well as the phenomenon of imitations. Personally I also find curious how often Italian entrepreneurs know how to defend well when moving to China by documenting with consultants, arm themselves to the teeth for fear that they are swept up industrial processes or making payments in advance for fear of staying with the match in hand. Instead - if you think of Brazil - the climate is very festive, almost relaxed, and often conduct business in a more superficial way but this behavior, sometimes trusting a little too much of the premises, can cost you dear. I believe that the cultural proximity and also the fact that Brazilians really appreciate Italian quality could be more exploited. Suffice it to say that the Germans are present here in Brazil with 1,600 branches, while France already has about 600 branches but is more aggressive when it comes to acquisitions. Both of these countries do not have our cultural neighborhoods. To deal with the errors most frequently committed, I believe that with greater information, companies that face this market can easily understand, documenting in advance, how to manage the critical issues that may arise. Operating with on-site commercial branches considerably reduces the tax burden often considered to be erroneously prohibitive. Tax credits can be obtained immediately due by eliminating the use of intermediaries and supporting a business model based on a strategic use of working capital, with a significant advantage over local competitors. All while keeping away from unexpected changes in exchange rates. Today, access to information is even easier than in the past, so it is only necessary to make use of reliable sources and to document oneself. These are issues that we face daily in our work and now after more than 12 years of operation based in Brazil I can say that this is a strategy that allowed the many Italian SMEs that we followed to enter and succeed in the Brazilian market. Just as we experienced moments of euphoria and moments of crisis in a country that, despite being so large, comes in and out of the turbulence very quickly. Those interested in doing business in this continental country should not do this by looking in the short term but in the medium term otherwise it is better to give up. From the end of last year, roughly, Brazil is experiencing a stimulating moment for foreign investors and this is very positive for us. I hope that Italian SMEs can seize this moment and be able to reap valuable economic benefits by earning more and more space. Full article (in italian): https://www.giornaledellepmi.it/il-brasile-puo-essere-una-grande-opportunita-per-le-pmi-italiane/

Economy Magazine - "Italian companies in Brazil? Here is what to do"
14/06/2018

Economy Magazine - "Italian companies in Brazil? Here is what to do"
14/06/2018

Interview to Graziano Messana, founder of GM Venture operating in São Paulo. Never as in this period Italian companies, even SMEs, are looking with great interest to the Brazilian market. Political uncertainty does not seem to affect the growth that the economy of the South American country is experiencing. They know this well in GM Venture, a management and consulting company founded in 2006 by Graziano Messana, based in São Paulo. Thanks to the innovative business model, it manages the financial, administrative and accounting aspects of branches in Brazil, offering a single point of contact for Italian parent companies, thus facilitating total control of local operations.

What kind of market is there in Brazil for accounting and tax advice?

Brazil is a particular market, quite different from the Italian one. To carry out these activities inside your company or branch you have to be big, otherwise all the small and medium companies delegate these activities outside. However, it should be noted that there are no chartered accountants and consequently there are no accounting firms. There are the so called "contadores", who are figures closer to the accountants, most of whom have little international experience or there are large companies that absorb accounting processes, but often this is not always an efficient solution and, above, easy to choose from. To explain the complexity, just consider that within the so-called "big 4", KPMG and PWC have decided to get out of this activity because Brazil spends 10 times the world average time to manage its administrative-accounting complexity.

What is GM Venture's business model?

We started in 2006. Initially we were thinking of helping Italian companies to enter Brazil. Instead, the first projects made us understand that our role was crucial to guaranteeing a correct future management aimed at creating value and minimizing hidden risks and liabilities. So the business model has quickly turned into what is now our usual job, that is doing the CFO in outsourcing: we manage all the activities not considered "core business" of the international companies that invest in Brazil. We assume the position of legal representative that in Brazil must necessarily be assumed by a resident. Almost always then, when companies grow, we add dedicated human resources within the companies we follow. In this sense, we keep the investors safe in Brazil because all financial flows are governed by us and then reported with easy-to-read tools for the management at the parent company.

So how do you manage the issue of accounting advice?

We work and continue to work with three BPO companies that we have selected over time. They have different DNA and different sizes. However, we have intensified over the years the work with a company called Premium, the result of a manager's spin off, the 50-year old Jose Brito, who was responsible for PWC for years, and last month we decided to acquire a significant share of the company to integrate our activities even more. It is a great synergy and the subject of accounting is an weak spot for companies investing in Brazil, so we believe we have made an interesting choice to better integrate our activities with those of Premium.

How many people work in São Paulo for GM Venture?

Together we total around 30 people and each obviously maintains its own offices, albeit with the usual weekly staff meetings. However, GM Venture's business model provides for the existence of a more or less consistent staff within the client companies. If we count these heads too, the number of people doubles easily.

How many Italian companies have partnerships with Brazil?

There are about a thousand direct operations, of which the majority are concentrated in the state of São Paulo, which still accounts for about 40% of the GDP of the entire country and includes about 6 million Italian descendants. A culture in some ways very close to the Italian one.

Which particular growth prospects exist for Italian companies in Brazil?

In Italy we have the "product" and here is the "market". If those who approach Brazil understand that it should not be a hit and run strategy but a strategy focused on the medium to long term, that translates into the right choice that yields good results. There are many companies or entrepreneurs who arm themselves when they go to China as if they were going to war, partly out of fear of very different languages ​​and customs, partly because they are terrified of taking a scam or doing a bad negotiation or even being copied. On the other hand, when these same people face Latin America and Brazil, they are often unprepared and can make serious mistakes: we need to read up well before and not on the way. Apart from potential problems, for what concerns opportunities, there are several interesting sectors. The internet of things that embraces many sectors transversely as pharmaceuticals, agribusiness and home automation. Traditional sectors like cosmetics, worth 40 billion dollars, and furniture in which there are many spaces, but also within the home appliance sector where Brazil alone accounts for 50% of all South America. E-commerce has staggering figures with 140 million internet users and 50 million of them making online purchases. Even on digital marketing you can do good business, since Brazil is in third place, after USA and China, as number of users Facebook, Instragram and Youtube. And finally on renewable energy where the market is growing in double digits.

And what about consultancy?

I think there is a lot of space also for consultancy. The Italian know-how is rewarded adequately if well directed. We are managing a new start up on behalf of TEMSI, a Bologna engineering company with a 40-year track record. They are applying all the processes implemented in Italy to the Brazilian realities. The result is very satisfying because they manage to dialogue in a very profitable way, that is to say, to the company as their advice reduces the costs of logistics and management in general, and gaining proportionally on the savings obtained in the company. We have just started, and this too will be a start-up that we will carry out in record time, partly because TEMSI BRASIL already has several million reais of turnover in consultancy to be consolidated in the new Brazilian company. But we have also followed other cases in the past on specific advice in pharmaceutical certification or IT consulting in the measurement of waves emanating from mobile devices, recalling that Brazil has 200 million people and 210 million telephone lines. Full article (in italian): https://www.economymag.it/business/2018/06/14/news/imprese-italiane-in-brasile-ecco-come-fare-1586/

MF Milano Finanza - After the crisis and the political storm, Brazil proves to be a treasure chest full of opportunities (Graziano Messana)
16/05/2018

MF Milano Finanza - After the crisis and the political storm, Brazil proves to be a treasure chest full of opportunities (Graziano Messana)
16/05/2018

It's been a few years since Brazil occupied the front pages of the international media with rockets departing from the famous Christ The Redemeer representing the economic boom of 2010 and its record growth of 7.5%. It is true that the world macroeconomic situation was profoundly different from today but, after a few years, Brazil has found itself in a deep crisis, the heaviest of the last 50 years, which has dragged the country into a deep recession culminating in the two year period 2015 and 2016 with a GDP fall of 3.5%. New covers this time with the same rockets but in free fall. However, during this political and economic blackout, the country was in fact governed by the Minister of Finance and the President of the Central Bank. We find ourselves today with a political situation in the process of being defined but which does not worry much in view of the upcoming elections in October, whatever the outcome. The "Lava Jato" operation (so-called "Car Wash" operation) has in fact re-established, albeit in a traumatic way, the rules in the business world and transparency and compliance criteria that had been lost over time with high corruption and impunity. The scenario today is again very favorable and also very different compared to 2010. Development and growth trends that make it, given its size, a macro region with incredible potential for Italian companies looking abroad to grow. 2017 ended with a GDP increase of 1% and further growth is expected between 2.5% and 3% for the next two years. Beyond the data on GDP, the challenges facing the country are focused on large interventions to be implemented to support growth and development. President Temer, who took over from Dilma Rousseff in mid-2016, was a good political articulator and was able to approve the reform of labor law, leaving a challenging and crucial social security restructuring to be carried out. Without this last reform it will not be possible to correct public accounts, a necessity that meets consensus from many sides but difficult to implement today. The life time of a Brazilian has passed, in the last 20 years, from 67 years (1994) to 75 years (2015), and this is a clear positive news. However, over the next 10-15 years this will have further implications for the labor market, health insurance and health system costs. Brazil, which I know in light of my 15 years of professional experience on site, is a cyclical country where it is not usually advisable to invest opportunistically. Often I am forced to give "cold showers" to potential investors: I advocate a medium-term horizon in which the possibility of collecting good fruit is much higher. In 2010 we saw China buying commodities by overheating the economy; today it is the first investor in Brazil on an industrial fabric that for decades has stagnated in terms of productivity. Who invests today, thanks to the very favorable exchange rate, invests well and has the chance to be competitive in an inefficient market that consumes a lot. In all those sectors where the state is slow, the private sector finds space. It is not only Asian companies that invest, but many opportunities are seizing American and European companies. Large plans have been launched to support industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT) world is driving the health and hospital management, urban mobility, agribusiness and industrial automation sectors. A genuine revolution is taking place in the Fintech sector. At the end of April, the legislation changed to introduce Peer 2 Peer (P2P) loans, allowing Fintech companies to grant credit without going through banks. If we add that the official interest rate has passed, in less than two years, from 14% to the current historical minimum of 6.5% (real rates are higher) and we observe that in Brazil there are more than 40 million people with limited or no access to the banking system, it is easy to understand why this market has enormous potential for growth and an estimated value of around 24 billion dollars over the next 10 years. Also in the renewable energy market it is impressive to see the growth that is being generated in a country that already has the most "renewable" energy matrix of the industrialized world. There are several examples of Italian companies that have continued to invest in Brazil with a medium to long-term interpretation. Among the most significant investments, it is worth mentioning those of the Gavio Group that began in 2016 with 2.25 billion of Reais, investing about 770 million reais in 2017 and an additional 3.5 billion of Reais in the early months of 2018 (a part deferred ), all destined for motorway concessions. Today they are the second player in Brazil by number of concessions. Enel in the energy sector has already invested in Brazil buying the CELG (Goias) and the hydroelectric plant or rather the thirty-year concession located on the Rio Grande (Minas and SP) investing 9 billion of Reais only in 2017 and 5 billion of Reais in 2016. In 2018 it is in the running for the acquisition of Eletropaulo valued 7 billion of Reias and together with Enel Green Power, which already owns here wind, photovoltaic and hydroelectric, has a 2018-2021 plan of several billion euros of investment. The Azimut group (finance) also recorded various acquisitions that led the Brazilian operation to a total of assets under administration exceeding 15 billion Reais (today it represents the second foreign market for the Group). In short, Brazil certainly has great challenges ahead of its own but undoubted opportunities for both large companies and, not to be underestimated, for small and medium-sized Italian companies.

What our clients say about us

Testimonies from top managers who work with GM Venture

“We are pleased to say that our Brazilian startup, token place in 2011, was extremely successful. We put together a winning team and chose an essential partner such as GM Venture to support us to start quickly our activities in Brazil, goods importation, general and cash management as well as business development activities. “

Kirstie Carey

Former MD – Liberty http://www.liberty.co.uk

“In order to realize these strategies, local partners have always supported Redecam. Actually, in Brazil, we have cooperated with Graziano Messana who represents the perfect balance between the Italian nature and attitudes and his knowledge of the Country, its networks and potential. Graziano Messana has actively participated the project’s start up and has assisted us to deal with the difficulties related to the Brazilian requirements. This important contribution has allowed us to focus on our business and resources in order to implement technology and services to our clients.”

Giuseppe Bettoni

Chairman – Redecam Group S.r.l. www.redecam.com

“Neomobile is the market leader in Italy, Brazil, Spain, France, Mexico and Turkey, working on the field of mobile payment in more than 70 countries offering its partners the ability to distribute and monetize digital content and services through the mobile. ‘’From this point of view, we are very pleased with our Brazilian start up, which took place in 2008. We have managed to put together a winning team and grow rapidly. From the early phase of the project, it was essential to have a partner like GM Venture giving us support and continuing to assist us with the upmost efficiency in business development processes’’.

Gianluca D’Agostino

Founder, CEO and then Board Member – Neomobile http://www.neomobile.com

““Brazil offers extraordinary business possibilities for Italia Independent products. The nomination of Graziano Messana together with the support of GM Venture represents an important step in the creation of a solid and prepared team. This choice is due to his long and mature local experience in assisting Italian companies arriving in Brazil, to his professionalism and, lastly, due to his easy cultural and linguistic transit that allow us to accelerate our strategic decisions”.

Andrea Tessitore

Co-founder – Italia Independent https://www.italiaindependent.com

“We had an expansion process in Brazil with several acquisitions. We found GM Venture to be a trustworthy partner, able to act effectively in the delivery of complex projects that the team was involved”.

Giuseppe Perrucci

CEO – Azimut http://www.azimutbrasil.com/

“We have known GM Genture for almost 10 years now, during this period Sparco has used its professionalism and capacity to face corporate reorganization processes and management of our Brazilian branche, a business insert in a degree of complexity with the issue of importation and production of goods with the Sparco brand”.

Claudio Pastoris

CEO – Sparco http://www.sparco.it

“We have known Mr. Graziano Messana and GM Venture’s innovative business model since 2010. Fiera Milano has acquired a majority share of a known Brazilian company from the exhibition sector and we have charged GM Venture and Mr. Messana initially as advisor, then as interim CFO and at last as General Manager. I have to say that all top management of Fiera Milano is very satisfied. We are traded in the stock exchange in the STAR segment. The dedication to the assigned projects, the respect to the financial deadlines e and the ability to negotiate in difficult situations articulating with Brazilian partners are some of the strong points that I can testimony in these years of intense work in Brazil, a country that we want to continue investing”.

Francesco Santa

Chief International Officer – Fiera Milano http://www.fieramilano.it/

“GM Venture understands the complexity of the legal, financial and fiscal dynamics of Brazil. In addition, they have a qualified network, certainly something to be considered an asset for companies that, like Eataly, have decided to invest in Brazil”.

Massimiliano Moi

CFO – Eataly www.eataly.net

A professional team with an ethical conduct. We have started our green field project with them and got along very well. We have understood rapidly in an initial phase, as delicate as can be a start up in Brazil, which were the opportunities and threats that a complex country like this could offer us”. Success case of opening of a gelato chain in Brazil with more than 70 sales points. Currently, the company is preparing its expansion to the USA.”

Edoardo Tonolli

CEO e fundador – Bacio di Latte http://www.baciodilatte.com.br

Some of Our Customers

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Azimut

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Fiera Milano

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Eataly

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Brunello Cucinelli

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Liberty

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Italia Independent

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Sparco

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Neo Mobile

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Other Clients

Our founder

team
Graziano Messana

Italian, economist, strong experience with start-up companies, business management and reorganization, and M&A processes. In 2006, he established GM Venture with the goal to support foreign companies entering the country, creating a unique and innovative business platform. Currently, he is part of the board of several companies in Brazil.

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