Two of Latin America’s most prominent media moguls, Emilio Azcárraga-Jean, of Grupo Televisa, and Roberto Civita, of Grupo Abril, were honored last night by New York-based Worldfund for their efforts towards education in their respective countries. The third honoree of the night was Jim O’Neill, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who famously coined the term BRIC to refer to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Speaking to over 550 guests at the elegant Mandarin Hotel in Manhattan, Azcárraga-Jean and Civita received the award from Worldfund founder and CEO Luanne Zurlo, a former Wall Street analyst, who was ranked by Institutional Investor as one of the top Latin American telecommunications analysts. Zurlo, who founded the Worldfund in 2002, told Portada the fund now has programs in place in Mexico City and Sao Paulo, and has invested over $11 million in programs that the fund describes as “high-quality and results-driven.”
Azcárraga-Jean declined to be interviewed, but in remarks he made during dinner, he said “Education is the Achilles Heel for development” and cited the alarming lack of quality education in almost half of Mexico’s youth.
Azcárraga-Jean, whose Grupo Televisa recently invested an additional $1.2 billion in Univision Communications, was recognized for some of Televisa’s Foundation initiatives, including scholarship program “Bécalos;” “Goles por la Educación” (Goals for Education); and the ubiquitous TV campaign “¿Tienes el valor o te vale?,” all of which have provided scholarships to over 100,000 students in Mexico, according to Fundación Televisa. Azcárraga-Jean thanked his wife publicly, but dedicated his award to the “20,000 employees of Grupo Televisa.”
Grupo Abril’s Roberto Civita came onstage for a brief –yet direct- speech, in which he highlighted the involvement of his media conglomerate, Grupo Abril, in educational projects in Brazil. Abril publishes some of Brazil’s most popular magazines including Veja, considered the third largest weekly information magazine in the world and the largest outside the U.S.
With offices in New York, Mexico and São Paulo, the fund also provides grants and technical assistance to Latin America to improve English literacy in schools and educational programs. Its first honoree ever was Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who was recognized in 2004.