Walter Moreira Salles

Walter Moreira Salles

Walter Moreira Salles

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Walter Moreira Salles (Pouso Alegre, May 28, 1912 – Petrópolis, 2001) was a highly successful Brazilian banker, politician and philanthropist who is considered by many as one of the premier founders of the modern Brazilian financial and banking industry.

Banking Career Overview

He was born on May 28, 1912, in Pouso Alegre, Minas Gerais. In 1926 his father, João Moreira Salles, established the Casa Bancária Moreira Salles (Moreira Salles Banking House) and Walther was named an acting partner in 1933 at the young age of twenty-one. During 1940, Banco Moreira Salles catalyzed its growth by merging with three regional banks and eventually changing its name to União de Bancos Brasileiros (Unibanco). Walther helped propel Unibanco to its position as one of Brazil’s top three banking institutions by implementing a strategy of successful acquisitions and an emphasis on human resources. In 1991, Walther Moreira Salles retired as Chairman of the Board, after a 60-year career, to become Honorary Chairman and take over the conglomerate's cultural endeavors. In his farewell speech, he summed up Unibanco's working ethics: "We are people serving people. As impressive as the technology available to a bank can appear to be, in the end, each electronic exchange will still bear the plain and inevitable circumstance, of people serving people."

The Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS) was launched in 1991, with an agenda focused on people and the country's social development....
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