Ramon de Oliveira

Ramon Hobby Jam

Ramon de Oliveira has already lived a Chinese proverb, having grown up in exciting times. Much of his journey began in the late 1970s, more than 43 years ago. In those early days, de Oliveira, like many other young people, was seeking to make a reputation for himself in investment banking and similar businesses. For him, the border between investment securities and trading sales faded quickly. He found himself fully immersed in the equities markets, as well as fixed income and comparable assets. This period of de Oliveira’s career lasted till the 1990s.

From the late 1980s to the early 2000s, de Oliveira worked for JP Morgan, one of the world’s most powerful financial institutions. In this capacity, he was promoted to the role of chief executive officer of the Investment Management and Private Bank division.

During this time, Ramon de Oliveira came to prominence in the industry and was appointed to a crucial position on the JP Morgan executive committee. As a result, de Oliveira was a key member of the negotiating team that oversaw JP Morgan’s transition to its present owner, Chase Manhattan Bank. De Oliveira was also instrumental in the purchase of a significant stake in the American Century mutual funds group. Despite this, he made time for the arts and social engagement.

Ramon de Oliveira has been an integral element of RdeO Consulting LLC’s relationship for the past 14 years. De Oliveira’s firm and activities have been improving people’s lives one portfolio at a time by giving important guidance, help, and perspective on investment situations, as well as competence in strategic advice and communications.

Of course, investment advice isn’t his main source of income. Ramon de Oliveira has also served on the boards of other companies. De Oliveira was previously a prominent director of the AXA Group, the Hartford Insurance Company, and the Kaufmann Foundation, thus his appointment to these roles is not surprising. He was also a crucial counselor and influencer for Antin Infrastructure Partners, as well as the Polish and American Freedom Foundation’s Investment Committees.

De Oliveira also devoted a significant amount of time to schooling. Not only did de Oliveira advise businesses, but he also taught finance as an adjunct professor at Columbia University and New York University.

Furthermore, as someone who has achieved the type of accomplishment that Ramon de Oliveira has, he wanted to give back rather than keep that energy to himself. His life has always included a significant degree of charity and volunteer work, and the late 2000s were no exception to that set of values. De Oliveira has spent a lot of time helping other organizations after spending almost a decade supporting the leadership of the Kauffman Foundation in his latter career. Whether seeking larger social aims beyond personal pursuits or simply supporting the arts with shows such as a celebration of the Argentinian dance, the tango, de Oliveira continues to make an impact.

What is your favorite hobby? 

I am half Argentinian. One of the country’s favorite hobby is tango dancing; it is part of its cultural heritage. Tango is not only a dance- it is a music, songs and poetry. Tango is urban folklore; it comes from the capital Buenos Aires where very night, but weekends in particular, people go to “milongas” (dancing halls) to practice and dance tango until late in the night.

How did you get started with it?

My parents danced tango but I picked it up first in my 40’s and more intensely in the past 10 years. I live in New York where there is a large community from Argentina. There are many milongas in New York and many good teachers. 

Wherever you are in the world, you can find a milonga not far away!

Tell us what you love about it.

I love three things about tango.

First,  the music/songs which I often listen to; it is romantic and old-fashioned and poetic; it vividly reminds me of my country. 

Second, of course, the dance itself. You get into a quality connection with your partner that is absolutely unique. You are in the present, in the music, in a different world. It transports you! Because it is completely improvised (within a strict code), you can be very creative in the steps you take.

And finally, the milongas are a very special social gathering where you meet your friends and always make new ones with one theme in mind: having a good time dancing. 

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

The most important equipment are the shoes- in flexible, soft leather for the men. 

High-heels in all types of style for the women who spend a lot of time picking them up in a wide variety of styles.

How much money have you invested into it and how much should a beginner invest to get started?

A few years ago, I produced with the City of Buenos Aires a tango show. Its purpose was to put on stage the essence of the social aspects of tango and its milongas. My goal was to show that this a dance accessible to everyone whatever your age and background. We can all dance.

This show involved a number of different disciplines to celebrate the tango community and social dancing. When on tour, the show invites a number of the local tango dancers (in each city where we perform) to join the cast on stage in a number of choreographies. They become actors in the show!

Are there any good books for beginners interested in your hobby? 

The best way to start to dance tango is to locate a milonga near-by. Every milonga starts with group classes for beginners and intermediate levels. You can supplement these classes with privates and practice at home, alone or with a partner. It is important to make an investment in these classes at the beginning and to listen to a lot of tango to immerse yourself in this dance.