Julio Sergio Cardozo is a man on a mission. He’s passionate about people enjoying long, happy lives — and he’s trying to get them to plan for those lives right now. But more on that later.
A rich heritage
A fourth-generation accountant, Cardozo was serving as a partner in the Brazilian firm’s Rio de Janeiro office when in 1990 he was asked to become National Director of Sales and Marketing for the Brazilian firm. Over the next 10 years would come a rapid succession of promotions and appointments. In 1995, he was named Managing Partner of the Rio de Janeiro office. He was then put in charge of the North Brazil practice, and in 2001 was asked to become Country Managing Partner for all of Brazil. Along the way, he was appointed to the EY organization’s Global Sales and Marketing Steering Committee. Of all his roles, being a member of that committee has special meaning for Cardozo: “For the first time, Brazil had a voice and vote in the global arena.”
No more couch potatoes
After retiring in 2007, Cardozo became concerned with the number of his fellow retirees whom he saw turning into “couch potatoes.” He now spends the majority of his time working with organizations and individuals in an attempt to help people think about and plan for their retirement — or for what Cardozo prefers to call their “post-career.”
“The average person today will outlive his or her parents,” says Cardozo. “Yet most people I talk to are shocked when I say they should begin planning for their post-career in their 20s and 30s.” To this end Cardozo has co-authored a book, O Melhor Vem depois. Desvendando o enigma da longevidade (The Best Is Yet to Come: Solving the Longevity Enigma). In the book, Cardozo outlines his five pillars for enjoying “the beauty of life” in post-career. “Longevity isn’t about having more time before you die. It’s about taking more time to enjoy your longevity.”
If you happen to be fluent in Portuguese, you can learn more about Cardozo’s book and his post-career longevity efforts at his website.
Olympic (audit) champion
Revved up on life: a vintage car collector, former Brazil Managing Partner Julio Sergio Cardozo shows off his model Corvette, a retirement gift from his Rio de Janeiro office colleagues.
In 2014 Brazil will host the World Cup, and just two years later, the 2016 Olympic Games. It’s the first time the Olympics will be held in South America. For Cardozo, it’s not only confirmation that Brazil is on an economic, political and diplomatic roll — it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Cardozo has been asked by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games to serve as chairman of its audit committee. While thrilled with the appointment, Cardozo confesses some pre-game jitters: “We know the eyes of the entire world will be watching. This is extremely important to the reputation of our country and we must do it right.”
Cardozo jokes that perhaps one reason he was asked to take on the job was because it doesn’t pay anything. He’s quick to add that the real reason he accepted is to give back to the city in which he was born and raised and that offered him so much opportunity.
Brazil: “It’s our time”
Brazil is one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world, with an average annual GDP growth rate of more than 5%. It’s predicted that Brazil will become one of the five largest economies in the world in the near future. While Cardozo is pleased with such statistics, he’s hardly surprised. “It’s been a long process of doing the right things,” he says. He largely credits the long-range planning of the Brazilian Government, which, he notes, often did the right thing by simply not interfering.
Cardozo believes that compared to other rising economic stars such as China, India and Russia, Brazil has “all the things necessary” for sustained growth: “We have oil, soil, food, economic stability and a strong democracy.” But it’s the things that Brazil doesn’t have that Cardozo believes provide the nation with its greatest competitive advantage. “As a country, we don’t have any serious social problems, we don’t have religious or racial strife, and we don’t have conflicts with our neighbors.” That, he says, makes Brazil unique when compared with other major developing countries. “What more can I say?” adds Cardozo. “It’s just our time.”
Enjoying his own “longevity”
Looking back over his years at EY, Cardozo is most proud of his role in the formation of the organization’s South America Sub-Area. “We took 10 different countries — in effect, 10 different firms — and brought them together. It wasn’t easy, and when we did it, it was a first for EY.” Cardozo credits such mentors as retired partners Sam Frohlich, Jesse Miles (deceased), Dennis Purdum and Mike Henning and retired executive director Joanne Broderick for their advice and encouragement along the way.
When he’s not auditing the Rio 2016 Olympic Organizing Committee books or counseling people on how to enjoy their longevity, Cardozo runs a “boutique” accounting and consulting practice. He does it, he says, primarily as a way of contributing to the community by helping small and family-owned businesses.
Along with his wife, Rosimeri, and son, Magnus Gregory, a radiologist in Rio, Cardozo seems intent on following his own post-career advice: “I love helping people. This is my challenge. This is what keeps me alive and makes me happy.”
Brazil: did you know?
- The Brazilian economy is estimated to have registered a real growth rate of 6.5% in GDP and attracted more than US$37 billion in direct foreign investment in 2010.
- Brazil presents the best conditions for sustained growth over the next few years among Brazil, Russia, India and China, according to Goldman Sachs.
- The World Cup, which Brazil will host in 2014, is projected to inject US$89 billion into the Brazilian economy.
- The 2016 Olympic Games, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, will lead to investments in Brazil estimated at US$18 billion, according to the 2016 Rio Committee.
- The deepwater “pre-salt” petroleum discovery — the largest in the country’s history — will lead to about US$560 billion being spent on technological processes and drilling in the Santos Basin.
Members of the EY South American delegation on their recent exploratory and relationship-building trip to China.
More about EY
It’s no secret that Brazil is experiencing one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Therefore, it only makes sense that the country is also one of the most dynamic for EY. On 1 October 2010, the EY member firm in Brazil officially combined with Terco, the former Grant Thornton firm in Brazil. The merger has made EY the second-largest professional services firm in the country, with approximately 3,500 professionals and a diversified portfolio of more than 3,400 clients.
Brazil’s largest foreign investor and trading partner is another emerging economic powerhouse: China. This past November, an EY South American delegation led by Jorge Menegassi, Americas Vice Chair and South America Managing Partner, launched its first trip to China for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of China’s grand vision and strategy for South America. “Both sides exchanged views on how EY can connect with the Chinese economic consuls in South America and play a significant role in assisting Chinese companies in South America,” said Menegassi. “We now have a much better platform to develop the China accounts together.”