History of Banco Espírito Santo
A value creation track record
The Banco Espírito Santo (BES) started with the business of José Maria do Espírito Santo e Silva (Lisbon, 1850-1915), who in 1869 traded in loan securities and currency exchange transactions in his “Caza de Cambio” in the Calçada do Combro in Lisbon.
A skilled decision-maker and unafraid of personal sacrifice, in 1877 he confided: “I work until 2 at night and at five or six in the morning I start work again on invoices, as during the day I don’t have enough time to trade and to collect payment on other term sales of bonds and premiums”.
Working non-stop and with a decisive exchange management strategy, both personally and corporately, but always as the dominant partner, from the 1880’s he set up a succession of banking institutions right in the financial heart of Lisbon, specifically in the Rua Nova d’El Rey, also known as Rua dos Capelistas, no. 95 (now Rua do Comércio).
As from 1884, and always as the dominant partner, he founded a number of banking institutions: Beirão, Silva Pinto & C.ª, (1884-1897), Silva, Beirão, Pinto & C.ª, (1897-1911), J.M. Espírito Santo Silva & C.ª (1911-1915).