Edward Weaver, class of 1988

The sense of belonging to a special place” 

Having studied chemical engineering, Edward Weaver went on to find success and carve out a prosperous career in the financial field. Having been part of Credit Suisse and Banco Garantia for more than 20 years, he co-founded asset management firm Habitat Capital. Edward is also a proud Old Paulean and parent, well known for his love of the school community. As Chairman of the St. Paul’s Board of Governors, he now faces the challenge of guiding the school during the global covid-19 pandemic. “Engineering gave me good analytical skills, but St. Paul’s gave me the soft skills that are the most valuable assets to have – communication, empathy, resilience, responsibility and personality”, he says. 

What brought you and your family to St. Paul’s? 

I’m an Old Paulean and arrived at St. Pauls in 1974 joining the kindergarten (PP1). I used to live on Rua Juquiá, and my dad was an expat, so the school was a natural choice for our family. When I became a dad myself, there was really no discussion or doubt in my mind (and of course my wife agreed), my kids would go to St. Paul’s. My two boys Henry and Philip both went to the school and were very happy and thrived there. I do hope that if and when I eventually become a grandad, the kids will also join the best school in Brazil and continue the tradition. 

Tell us more about your experience as a St. Paul’s pupil? 

Back then the school was much smaller and felt like a club – it was open during the weekends, had a lovely outdoor pool with diving boards, and living next to school meant that I would use it every weekend to swim, and play football, andtennis (yes, we had courts where the library now stands). We would roam around school without any supervision and get up to all sorts of mischief.  The teachers were real characters, full of energylots of fun and slightly eccentricAt the time, some of these seemed rather daunting and very strict indeed. I used to find English Literature rather boring and was daydreaming during a lesson once, when one of the teachers picked up an axe and slammed it against my wooden desk – that sure woke me up! I’m sure that wouldn’t happen nowadays. 

Discipline was serious – we used to stand when teachers entered the room in respect. We were all petrified and in awe of our brilliant Headmaster (Mr Ross). If he ever spoke to you, you were clearly in deep trouble. 

I also fondly recall the many school festivals e.g., Guy Fawkes nights where we would eat baked potatoes and baked beans and set up a massive bonfire on the field. Also, rock nights (discos organized by children and the school) were legendary. Rugby was played seriously back then, and it was always amazing to watch. 

It was a very happy childhood. 

First day at PP1

You are a high-flier in your business field. When and how did this interest arise? 

After St, Paul’s I went to Imperial College London and read chemical engineering, but after my internship at Mobile Oil I quickly realised I was on the wrong path. Upon graduation I decided to pursue a career in investment banking and joined NatWest Markets for two years. I then moved back to Brazil and joined Banco Garantia (Jorge Paulo Lehmann’s bank) which was later acquired by Credit Suisse where I stayed for 24 years eventually as MD and CEO of Latam Equities. I loved my career as a banker and would advise any Paulean to give it a try. Also, the message here is simple, don’t be afraid of change. If you feel you are walking down the wrong path in life, stop and go back, change route and do what you feel works for you. My change from chemical engineering to finance was a perfect example of this. 

How did your studies lead you to your career choice? 

Engineering gave me good analytical skills, but St. Paul’s gave me all the rest, all the soft skills that are, in my opinion, the most valuable assets to have – communication, empathy, resilience, responsibility, personality and above all, confidence without arrogance. 

Do you still remain in close contact with your friends from St. Paul’s? 

Absolutely – we recently set up a WhatsApp group with my graduating class – 45 participants – people in UK, US, Brazil, Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East – the group is super active – hundreds of messages each day. 

What is your favorite thing about St. Paul’s? 

The peoplethe community and the sense of belonging to a special place. Again, my friends and the privilege of being there. And I used to love the Alfajores we used to be able to buy at the tuck shop! 

Did you have a teacher at St. Paul’s who was particularly impactful? 

Mr Downey (Geography), Mr Folley (Chemistry), Mrs Ament (Biology), Mr Maxwell (Eng Lit), Mrs Jezzi (Junior), Mrs Saettone (School Nurse) and so many others. All very different but all had an impact. 

If you were to go back in time, what advice would you give to your teenage self? 

Don’t be shy! Don’t be afraid to get things wrong! Try to do things outside your comfort zone – go up on stage and participate in drama, get involved, take risks, try new things always. 

What advice would you give to St. Paul’s pupils? 

Get involved in school life – nothing is “lame” or not worthwhile – time flies so don’t waste time – jump straight into school life with energy.