Alamy arrives at the restaurant in a majestic stride and soon begins a dialogue with the waiter at the door. Henrique approaches to hear the conversation. Alamy asks about the waiter’s children and wife. He knows this person well from other places he visited and had helped him in difficult times. Henrique watches the conversation silently and realizes that his partner’s simplicity and humility was preponderant for having passed the 10-year mark. The waiter takes them to a table and takes their orders (same as usual). The pair watch each other for a while, savour the cold draft beer and start a short but emotional conversation.
Amazing! To think it all started here. Where on earth were our thoughts (short giggle). Alamy, could you imagine that 10 years ago you would be back in this place celebrating this journey? This place is really symbolic. It was here that we started our conversations, said goodbye to a partner, started conversations to merge with another firm and, after 10 years, we continue together, with new partners and without a merger!
Alamy takes another sip and wipes tears from his eyes.
I really could not have a clue. It was an intense 10 year period. I look back and think of a roller coaster. We got in the front car together without knowing what was ahead of us and we survived all the ups and downs. We are still riding the roller coaster, but now with a well-defined direction. Many people got into the cars and some got out. But we never let go of our ideals and purpose.
Henrique raises his arm and asks for another draft beer and a portion of codfish cake.
10 years. During this period, we gained loved ones and lost others. And always together! I have told you several times the story of the conversation I had with my father on the plane to Sheffield to study Law. He looked at me closely and said, “Son, be your own boss.” He planted this seed in 1995 and in 2010 I realized it was time. I have been fortunate to meet you and others over these 10 years. Is it tiring? Definitely. It is stressful? Beyond our dreams. It is gratifying? Without a doubt. But I couldn’t have done anything without you beside me.
I agree. This complicity and partnership that we have built over these 10 years has been the cornerstone for our success. Relationships are built and always need to be nurtured. Ours became a friendship! And this is certainly one of the great successes of our firm. Another very important factor was finding the people we have with us today. Renata, Tatiana and Daniel are partners and are at our side, along with all the other people from our team who are moving to become partners. We have been blessed with the arrival of these people along the years.
Yes, we built something very fascinating and we became good friends. That is undeniable and cannot be taken away! And the people who joined us strengthened our fortress. Some followed different paths and others stayed with us. We won two spectacular new partners, Renata and Tatiana. Daniel, who believed in our project from the first day he joined the team and is currently also our partner. A sensational team. I draw a parallel with the 1992 “dream team”. We can discuss who is who in that team afterwards!! Do you have any regrets? Would you have done anything different?
When we started our conversations in 2009, you commented that we should not regret what we have done, but what we did not do. I have no regrets. Would you have done anything different? Looking back, it is easy to identify something that we could have done differently, but then we would not have acquired our experience over these 10 years. I wouldn’t change anything … maybe our trip to Ibiza!
Fantastic … in January we had “ambitious” plans to take the group to Ibiza in celebration of our 10 years … where we were with our heads!! I’m glad we have more partners! (laughter)
The pandemic (and our partners) helped us to put a little bit of judgment in our head (more laughter).
Alamy calls the waiter and orders a dry martini for both and a portion of bruschetta.
Since 2010 we have gone through several external and internal crisis, and now we have overcome – well, in fact we are overcoming – this new one, the COVID-19. We took many quick steps over the past few months, always thinking about the firm. This is something we have always done. We often fail to receive distributions to gratify people in the firm or keep our reserves intact, always thinking about our main value, CARING. During these hard periods I remember the parable (Chinese, I think) of the farmer that has passed through many positive and negative situations, and when asked if they were bad or good he always replies, “good or bad, hard to say”. We always have to look at all the difficulties that we have faced and we will face and look to the positive side. Going back to the 10 years. What impressed you the most in a positive and in a negative way?
It looks like those employment questions: describe 3 qualities and 3 defects … ok, let’s go… what marked me in a positive way? In fact, I will rephrase the question to the present tense. What marks me in a positive way? The people who work with us and who have already worked. They believed and believe in us and in our project. At the beginning of the month, I sent an email to many who left us during all these years thanking them for our 10 years’ mark. Without them, we would not be here. We had fun times with everyone. Many challenging jobs. Many closings. Many structures. Speaking of which, the clients that we have conquered over the years and that we have and had with us are another milestone that I see as very positive. Clients who mostly arrive and stay. Several who are with us from the beginning or soon after. Always recognizing our care and trusting our team. It is a privilege to have them with us! But we cannot forget the rafting, 60 minutes, bowling, dinner with the chef of Barilla, the “Auórdis” at the end of the year, activities at a farm hotel, book club, draft beer on our balcony and the Colorado tour. Add to that all the support that comes from home, from my dear wife and children (and, of course, from my parents).
Definitely. The support of my wife and 3 children during these 10 years (and earlier while we were planning) was important to give me peace of mind and to move on. I am grateful for this every single day! We had many memorable moments. For example, our cycling trip to Colorado! It was an institutional event with a client who became a friend and also an advisor. He helped us in the beginning and keeps helping these days not only as a work partners, but, above all, as advisor. This bond we built is priceless (except if you have to ride in Wyoming …. laughter). Another aspect of the firm that is essential to guarantee our value of caring is the environment. And everyone, without exception, helps to ensure the environment. Each person in the firm cares about the others. There is a strong sense of collectivity. And a negative point?
Having not made our annual trip to New York. In addition to prospecting and updating ourselves regarding the market, these trips are important to further strengthen our bond! To be honest, I can’t think of any negative aspect. What I carry with me are learnings from wrong or even long-term decisions.
The trips to NY were always fruitful! A negative aspect that I carry with me is to hold on to something that happened and we don’t understand the situation. We have to look at certain events with reason and let go of our emotions. Easier said than done! I even put a sticker on my wall with the words “Let Go” to remind me of that. We work with something that is impossible to separate emotions from reason and for that we have other people in the firm who help us to overcome these difficulties. The firm is the gathering of all the people who are with us. An engine. We are always together and aligned. We also need to thank our clients. We always seek to take good care of our clients because without them we would not be here. I can only thank the people who are with us and who have already passed through the office and all our clients, past, current and future. Thank you.
Henrique raises his dry martini glass and toasts with Alamy, thanking everyone.
Alamy takes another sip of his Dry Martini, shaken not stirred, lowers his head and whispers … 10 years. A film plays in his head with countless events from the past 10 years – the birth of his boys, working at the client in the first months of the firm, the old head offices at JK Tower, the new head offices at Faria Lima, sessions with Nélio and Noronha/Bruno, trips to Boston (Harvard) and New York, economic crisis, new partners, people growing up in the house, new people that come, merger talks with other firms, end of the year parties, rafting, and the loss of his dear and beloved father. He gets up, goes towards Henrique and hugs him with strength and tenderness and speaks in a choked voice.
“I’m ready for another 10 years: by your side, with our partners, with our clients, with all the people who we support and who support us. ”
Henrique, trying to hold back his crying, but without success, replies
“Alamy, I couldn’t ask for more. We are together”.
The two sit down at the table, wipe away their tears and quietly finish their dry martini.