Press Release

Back to press

Portuguese manager José Manuel Dias da Fonseca named “Person of the Year” in Brazil

Portuguese manager José Manuel Dias da Fonseca named “Person of the Year” in Brazil
Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo bestowed this award on the MDS Group Global CEO for his role in furthering relationships and business between Portugal and Brazil. MDS ranks among the top 5 insurance brokers in Brazil, handling over 440 million Euros in premium amounts.

José Manuel Dias da Fonseca, Global CEO of the MDS Group, was named "Person of the Year” by the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo. The award celebrates his and MDS’s role in furthering business and relationships between Portugal and Brazil, which have been expanding these past few years, highlighting the CEO’s and the company’s instrumental roles. 

The Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo is a century-old non-profit founded November 23, 1912. With over 450 members on either side of the Atlantic, its main goal is to foster bilateral ties between Brazil and Portugal. José Manuel Dias da Fonseca will be paid homage at the institution’s annual gala, the yearly high point for the Portuguese-Brazilian entrepreneur community. The gala will be held November 22 in the city of São Paulo. 

José Manuel Dias da Fonseca has conducted professional and entrepreneurial activities in Brazil for over 20 years. First through AICEP, in the late 1990s, and then, from 2000 onward, through MDS. Under his guidance, MDS in Brazil has come to manage a premium amount in excess of 440 million Euros and employs over 600 staff, ranking among the country’s five largest insurance brokers. On the world stage MDS is now a multinational corporation with a footprint in 120-plus countries, leading the risk and insurance consultancy market in Portugal and a cornerstone for the sector in Portuguese-speaking countries.

José Manuel Dias da Fonseca has led the group for more than three decades. His leadership and foresight led the group into the Brazilian market in 2000, through a business agreement with the Suzano Group which led, two years later, to the establishment of Lazam|MDS, a joint-venture including both partners. In 2009, the relationship between Sonae and Suzano expanded and the Brazilian company became MDS Brazil, highlighting its leadership designs on the Brazilian market. 

José Manuel Dias da Fonseca, CEO of the MDS Group, states: "MDS has a trans-Atlantic matrix, asserting itself as a Portuguese-speaking broker leading the market in Portugal, Brazil, and Africa, which we owe to the work we’ve done but also to consultancy and relationships with customers that contribute to the development of bilateral business. Although this is a personal honor, the award also puts a spotlight on the work conducted by the entire MDS Group team, as well as the trust our shareholders have placed in us. This trust has permitted us to keep investing in growing, namely in Brazil, which is a market of strategic importance to us.” The CEO of the Group further states that "It is an honour to ‘succeed,’ after several years, Engineer Belmiro de Azevedo, a leading light for us, and a driver of our relationship with Brazil.”

The MDS Group has expanded its presence in Brazil. Last year, it acquired Tovese, the largest agricultural insurance broker in Rio Grande do Sul, bolstering MDS’s presence in the thriving agricultural sector in Brazil, and went on to acquire Brazilian insurance broker QH Consult, a leader in the education sector. This growth strategy had already motivated the acquisition of controlling interest in Process, a Brazilian specialist in Property & Casualty (P&C) and warranties, as well as in Ben’s and 838 Soluções, insurance consultants that specialize in flexible benefits.

José Manuel Dias da Fonseca garners international recognition
José Manuel Dias da Fonseca has over 30 years’ experience in the insurance and risk management sector, having led the first bankassurance project in Portugal, founded and managed one of the first Pension Fund Management companies and chaired the insurance company, Real Companhia de Seguros. 

MDS’s Global CEO, also the founder of the Brokerslink Board of Directors, promoted the establishment of APOGERIS in Portugal — the Portuguese Association for Risk Management and Insurance, where he served as chairman of the board for over a decade, and he currently presides over the general assembly. In 2005, as APOGERIS president, he also chaired the largest Risk Management and Insurance Forum held in Lisbon, which drew over a thousand participants. His commitment to advancing risk management also materialized through FERMA, an organization where he served as vice-president. FERMA boasts over 4,700 risk management specialists from across Europe in its membership rolls. José Manuel Dias da Fonseca has also been a member of the board with CIAB — Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. 

His work has been recognized over the years leading to several national and international awards. In 2018, he was named Broker Leader of the Year by the Federation of European Risk Management Associations, which highlighted his work promoting and fomenting risk management. 
The Global CEO of the MDS Group also received a decoration from the French Republic — Officier Des Arts et Des Lettres, recognizing his efforts to advance culture. José Manuel Dias da Fonseca also served as president of the Casa da Música foundation between 2006 and 2014 and, currently, serves as president of Casa da Arquitectura in Oporto.
Discover MDS World