In what part of town do you live?
South Miami, in one of the new buildings by Downtown Dadeland. I’ve lived in this area since I graduated – so about two years. I went to middle school and high school in South Miami and grew up in the Pinecrest area.
Are you originally from Miami?
No. Our family is Brazilian, but I was born in Maryland and we moved down here when I was in fourth grade.
What keeps you busy during the week?
I’m a working man pretty much every day. I’m in banking, specifically syndicated lending and I’m a portfolio manager for a lot of project finance transactions like energy and infrastructure deals throughout the United States. I help analyze and do the underwriting and then manage the deals.
What does ‘syndicated lending’ mean?
Syndicated means a group. When a company needs to borrow $1 billion, one bank isn’t going to give them all of it. So, the term is called syndicated lending because the risk is spread out over several banks.
What type of role do you have in the process?
I manage the existing transactions on our books, making sure that the company stays in compliance, making sure that any amendment requests that come in get reiterated to management properly. Or, if there’s anything impacting the credit of the companies or the clients, I must reiterate that as well. And then the other part that I do, because of our team is rather small, is doing the underwriting and analyzing new transactions that we want to put in our portfolio.
Do you travel to analyze companies?
I don’t do much of the traveling, my bosses do. They go to New York quite often, usually to build relationships with other banks. In the syndicate world, it’s a lot about what relationships you have because you get invited to a lot of deals from lead banks, like JP Morgan, MUFG and ING. These bigger banks are called lead arrangers and my boss is considered a relationship manager. And then, in terms of the site visits for some of the energy projects that we do, another one of my bosses, our VP, does most of the traveling.
When you analyze a company, what do you look for?
From a bank’s perspective, we always want to look at repayment capacity, how a company is producing their cash flow and if that’s going to be enough to cover their debt service. Every company’s different and every project is different. For example, analyzing building a Burger King versus an infrastructure project, like building a road or a bridge is completely different. With a bridge, there’s no past cash flows, so there’s a lot more risk associated. In the worst-case scenario, the company or the project goes belly up, we will be the first to get paid and then the equity holders.
How did you get into this field?
I majored in finance, at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. I was always into analyzing numbers, but it wasn’t until recently that I found what I am very interested in – which is doing renewable energy lending – like lending to wind power plants and solar projects. Year after year, the demand for these products has been increasing. Obviously with the Trump administration, it has kind of slowed down a little bit. There’s a lot of regulatory and political risk, but as the time goes on and people become more familiar, there’s more of a solidified view of the environment being damaged. We need a renewable future. I’m very passionate about that.
What’s the most fun part about your job?
I have a great team. I’ll be honest, it’s a great group of people who have helped me grow. Because the team is rather small, the dialog between the boss and employee is more open to express actual feelings and opinions. It’s like – ‘How can we all improve?’
Have you always been interested in finance?
My dad is an entrepreneur and had his own company doing hardwood flooring. That interested me in some ways. But right now, I want to distinguish myself and make a name for myself. Maybe in the future, I’ll take what I know about finance and apply it to something that I start on my own.
What have you learned about business from your father?
Honestly, one of the biggest things that my father has taught me is relationship building and not being intimidated by the counter party just because of their past experiences. One of the best pieces of advice he ever gave me was to realize that the person that you’re talking to is a regular person too. My father never went to college, came to the United States with nothing, and made a big name for himself in the industry. It’s been all on building relationships, being a good guy, and delivering on what you say.
How often do you come to the Pinecrest market?
I try to go every Sunday. I’ve been coming since Dragon Passion was one of the only smoothies on the menu.
What’s your ritual like when you come to the market?
First thing first, is your smoothie – always. I sip on it while I’m going through the market. For the longest time, I used to always get barbecue. But recently, I’ve been than trying to eat lighter, so maybe I’ll get a croissant from Zak the Baker – they are fire! Even the coffee lady that’s right next to you is really good. I love the hibachi guys too. Those are the main ones that I always float around.
What are your favorite things from our stand?
The smoothies. That’s the reason I go to the market. I love the Turmeric cookies; those little coins are unbelievable! And we’ll get the tonic, for all the health benefits, to put in our smoothies at home. My roommate and I like to work out and it helps with the soreness.
What do you think the market is missing?
To be honest with you, for me, sometimes more is worse. I like it being low key. I like the fact that it is a more of a family thing for the people who know and the regulars. Everybody says, more seats and whatnot, but for me, I don’t mind sitting on the on the corner. I think there’s a great variety of foods and a healthy rotation of vendors and then there’s the anchors like yourself.
What restaurants do you like to go out to?
For sushi restaurant, I’d say Matsuri is one of my favorites in the South Miami. Obviously, LAN PAN Asian. I am a huge fan and it’s right next to me. I’ve been going there for a long time.
(A+W) We also love LAN, and the owners Kazu and Johnson. They use our avocados when in season too.
Where would you go for a special occasion?
I like Italian food. Sapore Di Mare in the Grove is very good. In the back, it’s so nice and quiet.
Also, the Fish House, on Miller, on Thursdays has a blues night, which I frequently attend. I’m a music lover and a huge blues fan.
(A+W) We like their happy hour and oyster specials on Tuesdays as well!
What a worthy splurge for you?
I appreciate collecting records – like classic rock and jazz. I find it fascinating to read the covers. They really provide the extra color of how the album was created. I think in today’s music, we’re missing a lot of that soul and background. I think one of the greatest examples is ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis. If you have the vinyl, there’s an extremely well-written excerpt comparing the album to an ancient Japanese drawing technique. It shows how they complement each other. If I go into a record store, I will happily spend $100.
What record are you shopping for right now? Maybe one of our readers has an extra copy.
That’s a great question. Honestly, I’m trying to collect all my Zeppelin albums. I have, I, III, and IV. I need to get Zeppelin II.
Where is the most romantic spot in Miami?
This is a hard question because I recently started dating someone and she says that I’m not romantic enough. So, maybe I need to improve there. But, there’s a place in the Grove that has a beautiful view of the sunset, right by (the old) Scotty’s.
What community groups do you participate in that are important to you?
This past weekend I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. We helped landscape a house that they’re building for lower income individuals. I find it very important to try to give back as much as you can, especially to those that are less fortunate.
Is there a question you’d like to ask us?
Is the consistency of your famous rainbow smoothies because of the type of ice that you guys use? We try at home, but it’s not the same. I don’t know if this is something you can disclose.
(A+W) We bought a massive ice machine that makes nugget ice. It is one of our favorite pieces of equipment. Not only does it make great textured smoothies, but now our blenders don’t overheat! Also, the VitaMix blender is key. Next time you’re at ‘Hole in the Wall’ – take home a cup of ice. They use the same type. And, keep it in the fridge, not freezer – so it doesn’t solidify.
Is there a question you would like to ask the community?
What would make you open to installing solar panels on your roof? Or, if you have done it – how did you go about it?
Thank you so much, any final thoughts?
I think we’ve covered most of the topics. I’m glad I can help. I appreciate you guys and what you do at the market. It gives me a reason to come every Sunday.