How Entrepreneur Luiz Costa Macambira Disrupted the Coffee Market
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Many entrepreneurs are known for having colorful personalities.
Luiz Costa Macambira, the Monegasque businessman, investor and media proprietor, owns and controls stakes in more than 11 businesses in four countries. His investments span real estate, trading, agribusiness, media and publishing, art, consulting and high-end jewelry.
He is also known for his flamboyant personality and never-ending energy, and Costa Macambira’s lavish parties and ownership of the iconic Forbes Monaco magazine have made him a household name in Monaco. Despite this place in the spotlight, Costa Macambira rarely grants interviews.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Costa Macambira was the son of a renowned medical doctor and raised in an upper middle-class catholic family. In the early ’90s—before the art collection, before the supercars, before becoming a jet setter and before living the sophisticated life—he made his name as a trader by nearly cornering the coffee market .
In the great race to supply Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Costa Macambira emerged as an unpredictable outlier. He earned the nickname of the “King of Coffee” by amassing more influence in the Russian market than any other trader had before.
Typically traded by multinational companies, coffee and other commodities could be traded with less capital if the producers could be convinced to participate in the retail sales in these markets, thus agreeing to finance the sales. This is where Costa Macambira came in. He partnered with the world’s leading coffee producers while also creating strong alliances with Russian importers that were emerging after the breakup of the Soviet Union. He then successfully repeated the formula across a range of commodities.
He expanded the spot market for coffee in the 1990s by drawing business away from the multinational giants, such as Nestle, that relied on traditional methods for sales. He operated faster—and with more determination and skills than the competitors. In other words, Costa Macambira perfected his system of trading independently of big multinational companies.
Recently, Costa Macambira was honored with a statue of his face by the renowned artist Marcos Marin. The unveiling took place during the World Influencers and Bloggers Awards (WIBA) at the Cannes Film Festival 2022, in the presence of many of the world’s top influencers.
As with many works by Marin, Costa Macambira’s sculpture has been on view as part of an intense social agenda, including the Top Marques event in Monaco. At the glamorous event, inaugurated by Prince Albert II of Monaco, the prince himself graciously co-signed Marin’s sculpture, adding priceless value to the piece.
“It is a very beautiful moment for me,” Costa Macambira said of the statue. “I am humbled and very touched by Marcos Marin’s initiative to honor me.”
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