To begin our series we have great pleasure in introducing you to our Chairman, Rui Almeida, CEO & Managing Partner of Moneris.
Q: Your name and profession?
A: My name is Rui Almeida and I am currently the Chief Executive Officer of Moneris, one of the largest Portuguese accounting and consultancy firms. I am also proud to be the Chairman of the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, Member of the Audit Committee of EDP Ventures and Teixeira Duarte. I also co-chair the special interest group on M&A of MSI Global Alliance, a leading international association of independent legal and accounting firms, and I take part in the advisory board of Start-up Portimão – can’t stay still really…
Q: What is your favourite place in the UK?
A: Tough question as there are many places which are close to my heart. Having lived in Reading for a number of years, the South East of England, and in particular Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey are indeed places where I always like to go back to. But Cornwall in the South West with its traditional fishing villages and vibrant art scene also resonate to me dearly. And then there is London, of course –indeed one of the most exciting cities in the world, always buzzing and surprising.
Q: Which businessperson has inspired you the most?
A: Richard Branson is probably among the businessmen who has inspired me the most. The way he has always embraced his failures as stepping stones to his successful career as an entrepreneur is most captivating. Richard Branson is known by many as the entrepreneurial enfant terrible, but he is also a recurring philanthropist. He is someone with an out-of-the box attitude and behaviour who leads his life and ventures with a purpose and extraordinary resilience. Someone who is a bit of an odd one out when you think about the typical business community.
Q: What is your favourite book written by an English or a Portuguese author?
A: I am particularly fond of dystopian novels and in this field I would highlight two masterpieces, from two novelists who have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature:
- “Never let me go”, by Kazuo Ishiguro, which is a thought-provoking read from beginning to end. A very sharp critique to ethical behaviour and the human relation with memory and the inevitability of death; and
- “Blindness”, by José Saramago, a fascinating story about social decay which compels us to a feeling of anxiety and despair. An immersive and overwhelming novel, which led me to be many times disorientated and horrified when reading it.
Q: What is your preferred social media platform? If you wish, indicate your online profile?
A: Without a doubt my preferred platform is LinkedIn, if we are talking about business social media – www.linkedin.com/in/rui-pedro-almeida
Q: The popularity of the internet and advancements in technology have proven to be devastating for some sectors. Looking forward 10 years which sectors do you imagine will be great winners and losers?
A: In the last few years we have come to realise that Information technology is no longer an extension of businesses, but instead they have become the main driving force of change. In many cases technology can present opportunities for organisations to reinvent their business models and improve their efficiency. Those that are able to adapt will indeed be winners and those who fail to embed technology into their operating models will perish.
Among the potential losers I would pin down traditional Media & Entertainment and Financial Services. They both are on the cusp of technological disruption and urgently need to adapt.
In the winners list I would argue that healthcare is at the top as a global winner. Nowadays the speed of research and development is incredibly faster than it was ever before. This is one sector which deserves all efforts and investments and that hopefully will improve the quality of living of the world population. Technology is massively relevant on this arena.
The most important takeaway is that it is crucial for companies and sectors to embrace new technologies emerging, as they are likely to have a potential to be disruptive and thus be the cause of its success or demise.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: To be honest I do think this is one of those questions to which the answer will change with the passing of time. Having said that, at the moment I would say I’d like to be remembered as someone who leads his life with a purpose. That I have caused an impact but have never been overwhelmed by any achievements I may have made and, instead, have always recognised that everyone in the organisations that I serve, regardless of their level of seniority, have contributed to its overall successes and accomplishments. I am genuinely thankful for the opportunities I have and try to treat everyone with the same respect I want to myself. Maybe that is little but for me, it makes all the difference. I am a team player and I am mindful that everyone in my team should be evenly respected and praised for their efforts and performance. Then there are my little ones of whom I am most proud of and their memory of me is surely the one I value the most – I hope when they look back they will be proud of who I am.