Na Raça - Maria Luiza Filgueiras

Na Raça - Maria Luiza Filgueiras

Find out how a layoff turned into a Brazilian company worth tens billions reais!

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In this summary of the book "Na Raça", you will learn about the history of this great Brazilian company and will be able to draw various insights and apply them, who knows, in the creation of your own company!

Have you heard of XP Investimentos? The company that changed the Brazilian's way of investing and forced banks to innovate, started with a 20-hour drive and a 25 square meter small room in Porto Alegre, far from the largest investment center in Brazil.

This sensational book brings interesting details about Guilherme Benchimol's trajectory and the history of his company. Stay with us and get inspired to give your life a new direction!

About the book "Na Raça"

The book "Na Raça: Como Guilherme Benchimol criou a XP e iniciou a maior revolução do mercado financeiro brasileiro" was released in 2019 by the Intrínseca publisher.

The work written by the author Maria Luiza Filgueiras has 237 pages, divided into 11 chapters that detail the history of Guilherme Benchimol and XP, a company he created in 2001 and today is one of the largest in Brazil in the financial field.

In addition, Jorge Paulo Lemann, one of the greatest entrepreneurs in Brazil, wrote the preface to this incredible book.

About the author Maria Luiza Filgueiras

Maria Luiza Filgueiras has a degree in journalism and specializes in finance and economics.

In addition, she has worked at Exame magazine, Valor Econômico, and Gazeta Mercantil, in addition to following the history of XP Investimentos and Guilherme for 9 years.

Maria is also considered one of the most admired journalists in the country when it comes to financing.

To whom is this book indicated?

Throughout the book's content, Maria Luíza Filgueiras seeks to bring details of Guilherme Benchimol's life and the creation of XP Investimentos.

That way, if you want to get inspired and find out how a company went from scratch and started to be worth billions of reais, this book is for you.

Main ideas of the book "Na Raça"

We highlight the following themes in the entire history of XP Investimentos and Guilherme Benchimol:

  • Guilherme's professional life started and his challenges;
  • The change of city and the desire to do things differently;
  • The beginning and challenges of XP Investimentos;
  • The difficult decisions in XP Investimentos' trajectory;
  • Expansion of XP Investimentos.

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[Book Summary] Na Raça - Maria Luiza Filgueiras

Overview: Early professional life

Guilherme Benchimol is from Rio de Janeiro, studied economics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and is the son of separated parents. Her father was a renowned doctor in Rio de Janeiro, lived in Leblon (the most expensive neighborhood in the city). His mother, in turn, was an artist and had a more ruled life.

In this way, Guilherme had access to both realities simultaneously. At weekends, she went to the Jockey Club to play tennis, and during the week, as she lived with her mother, she had to turn off the air conditioning at night so as not to waste a lot of energy.

Guilherme's professional life began at the Senior brokerage, where he performed tedious duties. His second experience was at the brokerage Icatu, one of the three most famous in Rio de Janeiro, alongside Garantia and Pactual.

In this company, Guilherme worked in the back office, where he was waiting for an opportunity to move to the trading desk. While waiting for his turn, the first desire to undertake arose.

Vaporetto arrived in Brazil, a steam cleaning machine from an Italian manufacturer. Guilherme developed a Business Plan to be a brand representative, but the lack of money was responsible for the business not leaving the paper. The "failure" of the idea brought Guilherme the nickname "Vaporetto" among his friends.

In 1999 Guilherme graduated and got a job at Banco Bozano, Simonsen. He started working at a startup within the bank, Investshop, which offered investment solutions to individuals.

At 22, Guilherme traveled all over Brazil to get more clients for the startup, which greatly increased his networking. Guilherme was doing well in business and managed to make money and even buy a car. In the early 2000s, the internet bubble burst, and Benchimol lost his job.

His father, who was always very hard, on hearing of his son's failure, did not say a word. For him, Guilherme should have started an MBA and was wasting time.

Ashamed of all, Guilherme decided to start over in another place. On a Friday, he called Carlos Corá, owner of the Differential brokerage, located in Porto Alegre, saying he would work with him. On Monday Benchimol was already in another state to start over.

Overview: Life-changing

In this part of the book, Maria Luiza Filgueiras reports her early life in Porto Alegre, where Benchimol started working with Carlos Corá, at Diferencial, a medium-sized brokerage.

In Rio de Janeiro, Guilherme had collected failures, but in the south of the country, he was admired for having worked for nationally recognized companies, such as Senior, Icatu, and Banco Bozano, Simonsen.

The change in reality in a short time was huge, Benchimol went from failed to admired. Thus, working at Diferencial he proposed a change in the business model. Guilherme suggested to Carlos the creation of an autonomous agents office that would have a connection with Investshop (startup where he worked in Rio). This model would be excellent for Diferencial, as it would cut fixed costs since they would work with independent agents.

The idea was good, so Guilherme invited Marcelo Maisonnave, an acquaintance from Porto Alegre to work with him on this new venture. Marcelo had a degree in Economics from PUC-RS and worked for free as a trainee at another company. Marcelo's family had a lot of contacts in Porto Alegre which would help in business.

Marcelo agreed and the two started to work as independent agents within the brokerage house Diferencial. With the need to expand the team, they hire Ana Clara with a salary of R$ 300 per month. As the business grew and became more and more independent from Diferencial, the duo decided to give it a name, so XP (which would initially be called XPTO) emerged.

In practice, not much has changed, but in 2001 XP Investimentos was born.

Investshop, a startup that Guilherme helped to found, was the main partner of the newborn XP, but with a change in the bank's command in Rio de Janeiro, the partnership cooled and XP started to show decreasing results.

The pair, looking for another alternative for business, started teaching people to invest in the stock exchange through face-to-face courses. However, Guilherme was in Porto Alegre and broke, since the decline of the partnership with Investshop had an impact on XP's finances.

Thus, Benchimol asked his brother for money from his father, Julio Capua. The argument was that he had found the way, but he needed money. His brother, who would later become his partner, made the deposit.

In the early 2000s, XP appeared and started to make a profit through investment courses.

Overview: XP is born

Maria Luiza Filgueiras reports that after a few months of operating at a profit, young people were increasingly independent and decided to rent a room in Porto Alegre. They bought some computers from a lan house and started operating independently from XP Investimentos.

Ana Clara, the intern, became a partner at XP and started dating Guilherme Benchimol. The results continued to happen and, in 2004, Júlio, Guilherme's brother, travels to Porto Alegre and becomes a partner in the company. His mission would be to run XP Gestão, a new initiative by the company.

The author reports that the business grew a lot, which in 2005 distributed to partners 30 thousand reais per month. Faced with this escalation and they decided to move again. Guilherme considered that it was necessary to be on the main avenues to give more credibility to investors. According to reports, the partners consider this to be the riskiest move in the company's history.

At the same time, Eduardo Plass, a great entrepreneur in the South, offered 30 million to buy XP. Despite being swayed and frightened by the value of the company they had built a few years ago, the partners refused. Knowing the size XP was taking, the author reports that in 2007, Guilherme decided to buy a brokerage in Rio de Janeiro. Thus, in that same year, XP Corretora was born.

Even with several challenges along the way, XP was getting surprising results operating in Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre. Maria Luíza reports that XP's growth, in informal conversations, was worth almost 240 million reais.

Again diversifying the business, a characteristic of the company, in 2009 XP created an Insurance Broker. Guilherme claims to be a more recurring revenue model. In this part of the book, the author states that the results, although good, were still unstable. This scenario opened investment paths for some funds, which changed the entire percentage of the company's membership.

During a trip to a congress in Miami, the partners decided that they would change the form of management. They decided that they would copy Schwab, an American financial giant, into everything. XP grew so much and reached a market value of R$ 1 billion.

To control the team's ego, Guilherme has always been a very tough person with himself and the executives. In this way, the company's culture, which has always been low tolerance for extravagance and without exorbitant expenses, became even more incisive.

In order to make the company grow, even more, Guilherme decided that he needed to change the company's corporate structure. During this troubled period, he separated from Ana Clara for a year, she, in turn, sold the company's shares. In addition, Marcelo, XP's first partner also left. Fights and disagreements caused the company to change its leadership positions a lot.

Even going through these problems, XP did not stop, and at the same time expanded its operations by buying Clear, a broker with a more technological profile.

Overview: The expansion

After Marcelo left in 2015, Guilherme decided it was time to move to São Paulo. So he rented 2 floors on Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, considered the Brazilian Wall Street. XP Investimentos grew more and more due to the leadership of the unbank movement.

The company came up with the motto that banks misinvested individuals' money. Thus, in addition to the abusive fees, the investments made were not the best. This generated a huge growth for XP due to a movement of customer migration. Several left traditional banks and chose to invest their money in XP.

XP was developing an investment mall through an online and unified platform, which expanded the range of customers. Due to the exponential growth, the partners began to consider the possibility of holding an IPO, which is to go public on the stock exchange, that is, to sell shares.

Knowing this, Itaú President Roberto Setúbal contacted Guilherme Benchimol. If on the one hand XP needed credibility and investment, Itaú wanted a way to mitigate the loss of customers. After a few months of negotiation, Itaú's final proposal was to buy 49.9% of XP for R$ 12 billion, plus an investment of 600 million in the company, and control would still remain with Guilherme.

The question that remained among the partners was about what image XP would pass on to customers. Was it a rebel who joined the system or a rebel who needed credibility?

Guilherme and his partners were in doubt about the benefit of this negotiation (which was being carried out in secret). Despite all doubts, in 2017, the sale was made official. Guilherme became a billionaire and aware that this was just the beginning.

What do other authors say about it?

Speaking of innovation, in the book "Grinding It Out", Ray Kroc tells how it was transforming an American hamburger shop into one of the largest fast-food chains, known worldwide for its brand.

Another brand known worldwide for its symbol, Nike, has its simple beginning story, told by its creator Phil Knight in the book "Shoe Dog". It all started with the first venture of a young graduate, and it became a revolution in the world of high-performance sports.

A company that keeps growing and went against all expectations and revolutionized the hotel market. In "The Airbnb Story" you will find out how this company was created and how it went from 0 to US$ 30 billion in just 9 years.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

The story of Guilherme and XP Investimentos is incredible, isn't it? Want to build something similar? We separated some tips! Come on:

  • Don't give up on purpose;
  • Network;
  • Take a chance;
  • Look for alternative solutions when the results don't come;
  • Sometimes it will be necessary to make difficult decisions;
  • You need people to go with you.

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Book 'Na Raça'