- President, Grupo Werthein (Diversified)
Born Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1918; died Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2013.
“I traveled to China and would let them know in advance which bank I needed to visit. The bank welcomed me through a man who spoke English and Spanish.”
This interview with the late Julio Werthein a few years before his death covers the diversification of the family-owned Werthein Group, which had originated as a small agriculture and trading business founded in Argentina by the family of Russian immigrants who had arrived in 1904. Over time Werthein’s older brothers helped to diversify and expand the business into agribusiness, food, beverages, and telecommunications, but it was Julio Werthein who took responsibility for developing the financial activities of the business group. He reveals how the family grew the banking business by opening credit lines internationally even when Argentina was a closed economy. The interview also discusses the global expansion of the group; Werthein was the first Argentinean banker to travel to China and initiate partnerships during the 1970s, and he went on to build business relationships in Russia.