01 Jan 2009
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Jorge Paulo Lemann, A.B. 1961; Carlos A. Sicupira, OPM 9, 1984; Marcel H. Telles, OPM 10, 1985

2009 Alumni Achievement Award Recipients
Re: Jorge Lemann (OPM 35); Beto Sicupira (OPM 9); Marcel Telles (OPM 10)
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Directors, Anheuser-Busch InBev
Co-Founders, Fundação Estudar
Former Partners, Banco de Investimentos Garantia S.A.
Former Partners, GP Investimentos

Jorge Paulo Lemann, Carlos Sicupira, and Marcel Telles have been primary figures in Brazil’s economic development for more than 30 years. The three friends and business partners have much in common: remarkable business acumen, a strong commitment to education, and world-class athleticism. In 1971, Lemann founded Banco de Investimentos Garantia and soon recruited Sicupira and Telles to join what would become the most successful investment bank in Brazil. As they acquired diverse assets, the trio transformed the Brazilian economy, opening it up to outside investors while creating stability for those at home.

Jorge Paulo Lemann, A.B. 1961

Board Member, Fundação Estudar
Chairman, Lemann Foundation

Jorge Paulo Lemann is the leading force behind Banco Garantia, Brazil’s most prestigious investment bank. His own commitment to hard work inspired an incentive-driven culture at Garantia, where he was a senior partner for more than 25 years before selling the firm to Credit Suisse First Boston in 1998. At Garantia and later at GP Investimentos, Lemann invested in management talent and diverse acquisitions, including a retail chain, textile manufacturers, and a brewery. He transformed the national economy, bringing access to consumer goods, jobs, and global markets to Brazil.

Having helped build Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev into one of the world’s leading breweries, Lemann now divides his time between corporate boards, family, and educational causes, including supporting cross-cultural initiatives at Harvard. Committed to enabling young people to reach their potential, Lemann co-founded Fundação Estudar to provide scholarships for Brazilian students. He also heads a family foundation that supports education, health, the environment, and medicine in Brazil.

Education: A.B., Economics, Harvard College, 1961

On Leadership: “Create a big dream. Keep it simple, easily understood, and measured. Attract the right people who work well together. Measure results consistently. You can create, run, or improve anything with this formula.”

Carlos A. Sicupira, OPM 9, 1984

Director, Anheuser-Busch InBev
Chairman, Lojas Americanas

In the 1980s, early in his career at Banco Garantia, Carlos (“Beto”) Sicupira agreed to take the helm of a new acquisition, Lojas Americanas, a Rio de Janeiro department store. During his 12 years as CEO, followed by the last 16 as chairman, Sicupira has grown the concern into one of Brazil’s largest nonfood discount retailers with some 500 stores and a powerful Internet presence: Today, half of Lojas’s sales take place online.

In 1993, Sicupira, Jorge Paulo Lemann, and Marcel Telles, longtime business partners from Garantia, founded the private equity firm GP Investimentos, which Sicupira led for eight years. After a decade of investing and building assets in the telecom, retail, consumer goods, and railroad industries, the trio sold the partnership to their younger partners.

Sicupira’s remarkable contributions to the Brazilian economy are matched by his commitment to promoting education, government efficiency, and entrepreneurship in Brazil. He is the founder and a director of both Endeavor Brasil, a nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs in emerging markets, and the Brava Foundation, an organization working to improve management in Brazil’s state and local governments.

Earlier Education: B.A., Business Administration, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 1970

On Leadership: “A good leader creates results by giving opportunities to those who are younger and better than himself and by working in the right — ethical — way.”

Marcel H. Telles, OPM 10, 1985

Director, Anheuser-Busch InBev

Marcel Telles joined Banco Garantia as a trainee in 1972 and immediately proved his business acumen and entrepreneurial finesse; he soon became a director of the partnership that grew into what many regard as the Goldman Sachs of Brazil.

In 1989, when he and partners Jorge Paulo Lemann and Carlos Sicupira gained control of one of Brazil’s largest breweries, Telles agreed to run the company. Using strategies that had proven successful as an investment banker, he dramatically expanded the scope of the firm, which under his leadership evolved into AmBev, merged with Belgium-based Interbrew to become InBev, and eventually partnered with Anheuser-Busch. Today, Telles and his original partners sit on the board of Anheuser-Busch InBev, one of the top five consumer products companies in the world.

Together with Lemann and Sicupira, Telles founded Fundação Estudar with the goal of helping educate the future public- and private-sector leaders of Brazil. He is founder and chairman of the Instituto Social Maria Telles, an educational foundation in Brazil, and a member of the HBS Board of Dean’s Advisors.

Earlier Education: B.A., Economics, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 1973

On Leadership: “The most effective form of leadership — and the toughest — is leading by example.”

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