Upscale Living Magazine - - Features - | By Heléne Ra­mack­ers

Con­tem­po­rary King of the Waltz From Broad­cast­ing to Fash­ion to En­ter­tain­ment

His love for soc­cer has en­sured Ric­cardo Silva a ca­reer that en­com­passes ev­ery as­pect of sport; from broad­cast­ing to fash­ion to en­ter­tain­ment.

When and how did your jour­ney as a busi­ness­man be­gin?

I guess it be­gan be­cause of my in­ter­est in soc­cer. I was al­ways in­ter­ested in sports, par­tic­u­larly soc­cer, from a very early age. One of my first jobs was work­ing as an in­tern at a pub­lic re­la­tions firm that pro­moted marathons, and I’ve worked in sports me­dia ever since. In 2001, I be­came the CEO of Mi­lan Chan­nel, the of­fi­cial TV chan­nel of AC Mi­lan foot­ball club, and guided the in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment of the chan­nel. I was a fan of the team since my child­hood, so this was a huge priv­i­lege.

In 2004, I set up and ran MP & Silva, a sports me­dia rights com­pany that now has twenty of­fices around the world. When I sold the ma­jor­ity of my shares in MP & Silva in 2016, the com­pany was a world leader in TV rights dis­tri­bu­tion. Last year, I es­tab­lished Silva In­ter­na­tional In­vest­ments, which man­ages and in­vests in as­sets across mul­ti­ple sec­tors such as me­dia, sports, tech, en­ter­tain­ment, art and real es­tate.

How has com­ing from a fam­ily busi­ness back­ground, where your fam­ily is said to be ‘one of the most im­por­tant in­dus­trial fam­i­lies in Italy’, shaped your busi­ness acu­men?

My par­ents in­stilled in me a strong work ethic from an early age. This dis­ci­pline com­bined with cre­ativ­ity have been in­dis­pens­able qual­i­ties for my ca­reer.

What / who do you draw in­spi­ra­tion from?

From my fa­ther and his val­ues; fam­ily, a strong work ethic and moral val­ues.

What are / have been your big­gest chal­lenges in your busi­ness ca­reer?

When I first launched MP & Silva, I es­sen­tially needed to change the way TV rights were ac­quired and dis­trib­uted in Italy. To avoid get­ting too tech­ni­cal, I’ll just say that the first three to four years of the com­pany were amongst the most chal­leng­ing and re­quired much per­se­ver­ance and strate­gic think­ing.

Im­por­tant lessons along the way?

Un­der­stand­ing that an idea is only 20 per­cent of the work while ex­e­cu­tion is the other 80 per­cent of the work.

The fa­vorite part of your job?

I’ve been very for­tu­nate in my ca­reer that there have been lots of highlights. My fa­vorite as­pect is prob­a­bly that I’ve been able to make a pro­fes­sion out of work­ing in or with the sports in­dus­try, which I’m im­mensely pas­sion­ate about.

What is the best thing about be­ing a busi­ness­man?

It’s re­ward­ing to see what you’ve cre­ated. Through­out my ca­reer, I’m proud to have been able to as­sem­ble teams of tal­ented pro­fes­sion­als that are very fo­cused and able to suc­cess­fully work to­gether to­ward a com­mon goal of al­ways build­ing some­thing valu­able.

You have quite a num­ber of vary­ing busi­nesses – Mi­ami Foot­ball Club, Silva In­ter­na­tional, MP & Silva, MP Man­age­ment, Mast Cap­i­tal, The Ric­cardo Silva Col­lec­tion, Musik and SportBusi­ness Group. What is your in­volve­ment in each of them and tell us an anec­dote about each of them?

My as­sets now sit un­der the um­brella of my in­vest­ment com­pany, Silva In­ter­na­tional In­vest­ments. It in­vests in and helps man­age com­pa­nies that I’m in­ter­ested in across var­i­ous sec­tors. Its port­fo­lio of in­vest­ments in­cludes MP & Silva, Mast Cap­i­tal, MP Man­age­ment, The Mi­ami FC, Musik and SportBusi­ness Group. I have a se­lec­tive in­vest­ment cri­te­ria, so these are all com­pa­nies I feel match my in­vest­ment phi­los­o­phy. My team and I are heav­ily in­volved in work­ing with each of the as­sets to pro­vide sup­port where nec­es­sary to help each of the as­sets ex­pand and grow.

I’m not sure I can tell you an anec­dote from each of the com­pa­nies but I think you can imag­ine that when you are work­ing across sports, fash­ion, en­ter­tain­ment, it makes for a pretty ex­cit­ing range of op­por­tu­ni­ties! I’m very lucky in­deed.

You also have a phil­an­thropic side. Tell us a bit more about that.

I’m in­volved with a num­ber of char­i­ties and projects in Europe, Africa and the U.S., in par­tic­u­lar Mi­ami. I’m in­volved with Play for Change, am­fAR, Mount Si­nai Med­i­cal Cen­ter and the New World Sym­phony. I strongly be­lieve in giv­ing back, and I align my­self with char­i­ties with causes that are im­por­tant to me.

De­scribe your­self in three words.

Re­spect­ful, grate­ful, am­bi­tious.

How do you bal­ance your ca­reer and fam­ily life?

Spend­ing time with my fam­ily is very im­por­tant to me. I have two young boys who keep me on my toes and, even though I travel a lot be­cause of my job, we speak ev­ery day. Like many young boys – and just like me – they are ob­sessed with soc­cer so when we are to­gether it usu­ally in­volves watch­ing or play­ing soc­cer to­gether.

What do you do for fun?

I en­joy trav­el­ing, spend­ing time with my chil­dren, fol­low­ing and play­ing sports. When I’m in Europe, I’ll typ­i­cally go and see a team like Chelsea or Arse­nal play a game. When I’m in Mi­ami, I ob­vi­ously go and see The Mi­ami FC play.

If you hadn’t be­come a busi­ness­man, what would you have be­come?

I al­ways thought I’d work for my fam­ily’s busi­ness in the chem­i­cal in­dus­try, un­til I de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in the tele­vi­sion rights in­dus­try, which was a new field in the 90’s.

Any part­ing words?

Be pas­sion­ate about what you do. The best ad­vice I can give is have pas­sion, be or­ga­nized and be fo­cused.

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