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In the 40s there was a trend of nationalization of the aviation industry, with the possibility of creating a kind of "aerobrás". As a way to protect VARIG and its employees, Ruben Martin Berta, president of the company, led a meeting with shareholders the idea of setting up a foundation to provide social benefits to employees and control half of VARIG’s share. Inspired by Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Berta imagined a form of social capitalism where "nobody wins and everyone wins".

Thus, in 1945, VARIG’s Employees Foundation was created with unprecedented structure and purpose in the country: provide benefits to its employees and their families, preferably with proceeds from the company's profitability. For this, Berta convinced shareholders to donate 50% of the company shares to the Foundation and a donation next these share’s value, so Foundation could begin operations immediately. Over the years, increased this shares until control 87% of the voting capital of the company. The first Foundation’s meeting occurred on December 29, 1945.

 

Why a foundation?
Foundations are diverse corporate entities in civil and commercial companies. A foundation is not an association of persons, but an equity with a purpose of use. So it can’t therefore be dissolve among participants, as these are not shareholders or owners of a fraction.


At first, VARIG’s all employees and retirees were affiliated to the Foundation. And then all employees of VARIG’s group, including the Foundation's employees, became affiliated.

In 1966 after its creator’s death, the Foundation changed its name to “Fundação Ruben Berta”. In 1999 FRB-Par Investimentos Ltda holding was created to manage its shareholding in various companies comprising the VARIG Group. And in 2000 FRB -Par holding company was created to manage companies controlled by Fundação Ruben Berta.

 

Virtuous Circle
The socializing experience of Fundação (Foundation) Ruben Berta is the most successful ever heard of in Brazil. Instead of distributing the shares of the company - or their profits and losses - with employees, the Foundation socialize the results of profitability. Dividends received are reverted to members in as social benefits. The Foundation provides aid, medical, nursing, social services, sports and cultural activities. With this, the Foundation improved life quality of its employees, increasing their motivation and commitment. This allows companies to increased its productivity, and thus more profits, that generates even more benefits for employees. This is the Fundação Ruben Beta Virtuous Circle: if employee are better served, may produce more, and the company will have more results, the more results, more resources for employee’s care. An endless cycle benefiting all parties.


Affiliated: Client and Director
Fundação Ruben Berta appears as a single case of the governance system. If , on the one hand, the Foundation’s affiliated a customer of all benefits and services, on the other hand, he is a potential leader of it. Everybody who complete 10 years of service may apply for a seat on Deliberative College, the highest post in the Foundation. In its first 50 years, the Deliberative College elected VARIG’s presidents, while they accumulated the position with the chairmanship of the Organization.
In 2002 the Foundation launched its new logo, dissociating of VARIG’s logo.

 

Who created the Foundation?
Son of Martin Felix Berta and Helena Maria Lenz, Ruben Martin Berta was born in Porto Alegre on November 5, 1907. He lived his childhood and adolescence in Porto Alegre as modest middle class of German and Lutheran origin. In early 1927, he was doing a medicine course when his family need support, and he decided to attend a curious job ad for an airline company, S.A. Empresa de Viação Aérea Rio-Grandense. Among few candidates who appeared, the young Berta was chosen. At nineteen years old, he became VARIG’s first employee. According to Otto Meyer, VARIG’s founder, Berta did not ask about salary, duties or extending workday, just accepted the job and the challenge. Empathy seems to have been ready. Attraction by pioneering or the fascination of flying? Both, probably. Right there began a story for forty years.

“Varig is not, nor ever the Foundation may be, a mercy’s house. The first needs to compete in the markets through efficiency, the second can only help others to help themselves." Ruben Berta


Berta (left) with Otto Meyer, in the 60s

 

Mission:
Promote the welfare of its members at improving the life quality, constituting an element of motivation and commitment of staff. Be participative management style and market reference as foundational structure, investor and holding.

To this end, should:
Intensify cooperation with customers, organizations and professionals;
Be perceived by customers as a differentiator by its customers;
Being the best care option and needs, anticipating and exceeding customers expectations;
Being an agile organization, entrepreneurial, innovative and revolutionary processes, with appropriate structure and costs, managerial autonomy, results-oriented and responsive to market demands;
Possessing ethical values that inspire their employees to practice the same values;
Enhance its employees in all aspects, developing them and making them co-responsible for the entire process.

 

 

 

 

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