That was physical, strong, and that was important. The way he spoke, the way he networked. He was a man of beliefs who knew how to listen to others. He would not give in, he always fought for his ideas, in his team. He was highly concerned with accuracy and extremely demanding.
Once I was in a meeting with him and a client, and the client says: “I do not particularly like your style...”. Manuel Violante immediately replied: “Do not worry, I do not like yours either.
He was a personality highly interested in everything surrounding him, he could easily relate to others and make encounters interesting.
He liked war strategy and discussed with us the application of those principles to the reality of companies.
António Ramalho Eanes
Manuel Violante easily became angry. He was very frank. As a consultant he was unconventional. Here at Sonae some people were already awaiting him to have discussions.
Manuel Violante was the consultant who started and explored the consulting market in Portugal. He did not create a school but injected the Portuguese market.
Belmiro de Azevedo
Manuel Violante was a better doer than manager. He was brilliant solving the problems of his clients, but had some problems regarding his domestic management.
He was a great seller and very attentive, he had wonderful synthesizing skills, his documents were masterpieces.
Christopher de Beck
Manuel Violante was a very passionate and affectionate person, and friendship was one of his priorities. He was one of the brightest intellects that I knew. He was a highly cultivated person, highly knowledgeable. Highly intelligent and demanding, with himself and the others.
His daughter was a major milestone in his life. He was highly devoted to her, they had a very strong connection... He had no time to be with his daughter.
At the MBA we studied projects for companies based in the USA, and it was then that I realized that speaking about a Portuguese abroad was speaking about Manuel Violante.
Whenever there was a project of the bank, Mr. Jardim Gonçalves invited half a dozen persons and Manuel Violante was one of them.
He was somewhat mad, but very wise when advising others regarding their personal/family lives.
In my first interview with Manuel Violante, at a given moment I mentioned a dossier on BCP that was on his desk, stating that it was an impressive work. He immediately reacted: “Do not let yourself be fooled, that is not a story of ours that is a story of BCP’s management”. And did not give me the slightest opportunity to proceed; he felt that BCP was a part of him but did not let others mention it.
Once in a meeting at Sonae a financial topic was being discussed. One of the persons present says: “Mr. Manuel Violante please slow down we have here a Finance Professor”. And he replies: “Then we are two”
He had a kind of insecurity and was highly anxious. You could sense it in the discussion prior to the projects. He was a perfectionist and had a very personal way of working, he wrote everything that was said. In presentations he always had a written text with everything he might want to say.
João Castello Branco
BCP was launched in 1986 and Manuel Violante witnessed all the steps of the bank. There is a book by McKinsey, In Search of Excellence, that describes most of our path. The contribution of Manuel Violante was extremely relevant.
My conversations with Manuel Violante were not held under pressure. We had very quiet meetings. He had an incredible notion of opportunity, if he considered that he should intervene, he would. He was great at introducing subjects and summarizing.
Manuel Violante had a huge capacity to multiply himself, and to catch everything up in the air. He was humble, welcomed every piece of knowledge that he found useful and built a database. The fact of being extremely intelligent did not lead him to laziness or to simply rely on his quick intuition.
He was not a stage man, but rather profound and knowledgeable. He thought country wise, he thought micro and macro, and his death was a great loss.
Jorge Jardim Gonçalves
Manuel Violante was also very demanding regarding his profession. He often faced professional dilemmas, and opted for the defense of the institution. He was always afraid of hurting someone or being unfair, but aware that in some occasions he had to be unfair to win.
He was a man of living faith and scrupulous, he was always afraid of not being aligned with faith. He was a man of prayer. Prayer was also part of his professional life, when facing the doubts and uncertainties of his world and his profession.
He cared for those in need and sometimes asked me to distribute what he gave, he was very generous. The parish distributed what he sent me.
Monsenhor José Freitas
Manuel Violante designed the future standards of BCP in a unique way. McKinsey had extremely high standards that influenced decisively both the foundation and the future of BCP.» «I do not recall any strategic decision of the bank where Mr. Manuel Violante was not involved.
Pedro Alvares Ribeiro
Manuel Violante was a chameleon; he knew how to adapt to the client, either Jardim Gonçalves, Belmiro de Azevedo or the brothers Baptista da Silva, with whom he was very different temperament wise. During McKinsey meetings he also did some theater; at moments he seemed to have lost control, got mad, and five minutes later it was as if nothing had happened.
My generation was marked by Manuel Violante. When facing the most difficult situations we systematically think about what Manuel Violante would do to solve the problem at hand.
Manuel Violante sometimes led horror processes and people left before they had given their best to McKinsey.
Pedro Morais Leitão
Manuel Violante liked a good discussion. He studied a lot, and prepared himself. He was often right but not always... the challenge was what mattered most to him.
He was not always polite to people and that sometimes affected his evaluation by the firm. Once Francisco Moreno had to intercede in favor of Manuel Violante.
The first impression he made on me was of an extremely intelligent and strongly determined person. He considered that the Portuguese could be among the best, and that there was no reason for that not to happen. He was somehow a non-resigned person, he did not accept that we did not have as strong performances as the best.
In his first project with us he introduced some elements of excellence. He was an accurate spirit, had an excellent strategic vision, and was bold as he considered innovation decisive in the analyses he conducted in projects. But innovation was recommended only when it made sense, he could opt for a traditional model if he considered it to be more adequate.
Vasco de Mello