Read a lot of everything, watch and listen to any topic of interest.
Raffaele Riva founded AUREA Multi Family Office in 2008, and he continues to maintain co-ownership and partnership in the business. Under this business, Riva has created numerous regulated companies, including BGB AUREA Ltd., Milano Fiduciaria, Aurea Consulenti Associati SA and Aurea Gestioni Patrimonialia SA. Under the later three companies, Riva holds chairmanship positions. He specializes in the areas of trust real estate, estate and wealth planning, international issues, asset and wealth management and several other related niches.
Prior to founding AUREA Multi Family Office and its affiliate companies, Riva founded and was a managing partner for several advisory companies between 1997 and 2008. Under these advisory companies, he specialized in corporate financing, corporate restructuring, estate planning, wealth management, mergers and acquisitions and international cross-borders activities.
Between 1992 and 1996, Riva maintained a top managerial position as Senior Executive of a multinational conglomerate. In his position, he sat on the board of several affiliated companies located in South America, Europe and beyond. He also managed operations for several of the firm’s branches and subsidiaries throughout Canada, South and Central America, Western Europe and South Africa. Between 1988 and 1992, he worked for a “Big 4” firm in Milan and Manchester. His position was the Assistant to a Supervisor and Assistant Manager in the areas of accounting and auditing.
Riva’s educational background includes graduating with honors from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan in 1987. His degree is in economics, with specialties in corporate financing, tax law, banking law, mergers and acquisitions, accounting and other related areas. In 1989, he became a Qualified Accountant through the same school by earning a Dottore Commercialista degree. Riva completed a post-graduate program in SSQUEA in 1997 at the Canton Ticino Management Business School. In 1998, he completed a post-graduate program in SUPSI as the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland.
His professional affiliations include membership with the Register of Chartered Accountants in Milano, the Register of Legal Auditors in Rome, the Italian Association of Anti-Money Laundering Officers, the Associazione Il Trust in Italia and others.
Riva was born in 1962, and he maintains Swiss and Italian citizenships. With his diverse professional and personal background, he is fluent in French, Italian and English. Riva is married and has a diverse range of personal interests. He is a collector of modern and contemporary art as well as a win connoisseur. In addition, he holds memberships in the Monaco Yacht Club and the London Reform Club. Riva maintains the status of Benefactor Member in the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana. His other current or previous interests include skiing, show-jumping, classic cars, racing and diving.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I would like to point out that there is no a “typical” day in my working life. I usually start my working day at 7:30/8:00am and I make sure that the most urgent work gets done first. I finish my working day between 8:30/9:00 pm. My working day is already planned, day by day, with my agenda. I have a daily journal noting down the various activities that I have to be done during the day. My typical day depends also upon what type of meetings and clients I have to meet during the day and where rather than the achievement I have to reach. I travel a lot, each day is different, I plan my meetings and appointments with wide advance to make the productive day and not to waste time.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I take my own life experiences and let the guide my ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Striving to succeed in all areas: work and personal life.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
To think always positive and to be kept up-to-date. To be curious to learn in any circumstance. Read a lot and everything, watch and listen to any topic of interest.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do not put other people’s priorities ahead of your own! It is one thing to be helpful and support those around you when they need it,It’s another to constantly put everyone else’s priorities ahead of your own.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
A person is rich when he is not scared of becoming poor and not because he is plenty of money.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Do what you like and makes you feel better, believe in it and never fear of failure or a lack of belief in yourself if you want people can believe in you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Providing value in the lives of your clients has been always extremely important for my long-term business success. When you wake up each morning asking for more ways to better serve and satisfy your clients and you will dramatically boost your business. Always think in terms of serving and even if your client was the one who was wrong, take the initiative to fix things and correct them immediately: it will provide value in their life.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I let growth my business exceeding my own ability to manage it and I committed to too many opportunities and projects with too many business partners. Some of them have proved to be the wrong choice and the rapid growth was like the cancer. I overcame it by understanding that “I don’t do it” is completely different than “I cannot do it”and I came back to my healthy growth saying “no more”.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Everyone has his or her business idea and his or her own roadblock: take the first vital step and just do it!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Recently I bought some wireless headphones. They have made my life easier.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
My surface and my iPhone. I use them all the time, every day and they have changed the way I deal with all of my day to day needs.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
1984, by George Orwell, published in 1949, should be read in order to never forget the mechanics of totalitarianism. Winston Smith is a hero that tries to resist a grey world where the Party and its leader Big Brother watch your every move. Winston’s courage is ultimately vain when he is brainwashed by the Party that has managed to take away even his love.
What is your favorite quote?
Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution. (Albert Einstein)
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.