BOSTON, Aug. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Fastmarkets RISI, the definitive source of commodity data and insights for the forest products industry, has announced that Walter Schalka, Chief Executive Officer of Suzano, has been named the 2020 Latin American CEO of the Year.
It is the first time an executive from the region has won the award for the sixth consecutive year. The award will be presented virtually to Mr. Schalka at the Virtual Latin American Conference on August 11, 2020, which will be held on the Zoom/Zerista platform.
The Latin American CEO of the Year is nominated by a group of independent judges, comprised of investment analysts and portfolio managers covering the Latin American and global pulp and paper industry.
Amongst the reasons cited for Mr. Schalka's sixth win, one analyst commented, "Suzano's stock is flattish up 12% on the last 12M, but I liked how he was able to incorporate synergies from the merge with Fibria, while he found out how to turnaround the commercial strategy of the company to solve the inventories problem."
In addition to the successful handling of the merger, a second analyst commented on Mr. Schalka's "transparency on calls and meetings with analysts" and his unique ability to "maintain a good relationship with the entire market."
A third analyst referred to Mr. Schalka's resilience as a reason for his vote, mentioning that "despite a rough start in 2019, the company came around and was able to normalize its inventory levels across its supply chain throughout the year."
When notified of his win, Mr. Schalka stated: "I am very pleased to receive this honorable recognition from Fastmarkets RISI. Suzano has been transforming itself for many years and analysts, probably, are perceiving that the whole company is focused on improving cost structure, developing new applications for short fiber, expanding consumer goods. On the other hand, we recently released our new ambitious ESG goals. These are just some of our more recent moves in this never end transformation process."
According to the latest Fastmarkets RISI news reports, Suzano posted increased bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) pulp sales in the first quarter of 2020. The company traded a record volume of roughly 2.9 million tonnes in the first three months of the year and 10.5 million tonnes over the last 12 months.
With good industrial performance, the company produced and sold more pulp in the period, with inventories moving down 500,000 tonnes in the first quarter of 2020. Considering figures since July of 2019, the company's pulp inventories were down by 1.6 million tonnes.
Additionally, this month Fastmarkets RISI also reported that Suzano has partnered with the NGO WWF and consumer goods producer Procter & Gamble (P&G) to restore the native Atlantic forest in the state of Espírito Santo, where it runs the Aracruz pulp mill. One of Suzano's macro objectives for 2030 is to directly contribute to the removal of more than 40 million of tonnes of CO₂ emissions from the atmosphere, as well as support the people in its surrounding communities to rise above the poverty line.
When discussing the native forests Mr. Schalka stated, "[The] Amazon has an immense value for Brazil, it plays a geopolitical role and Brazil should be a leader in protection."
About Walter Schalka:
Walter Schalka began his career at Citibank and later joined the holding company of Grupo Maepar. In 1989, he began working as Chief Financial Officer at Dixie Lalekla. After the merger between Toga and Dixie Lalekla, in 1995, that created the Dixie Toga Group, he became General Director. In 1997, he became the group's CEO and played a decisive role in its expansion, merger and transfer of control processes. In May 2005, he joined Grupo Votorantim as CEO of Votorantim Cimentos, where he was responsible for the operations in Brazil and in 14 other countries. In January 2013, he became CEO of Suzano Pulp and Paper, where he has focused on improving the company's results.
Walter Schalka holds a bachelor's degree in Engineering from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA) and a graduate degree in Business Administration from the Getulio Vargas Foundation of São Paulo (FGV-SP). He also participated in the executive programs at IMD (Switzerland) and Harvard University (USA).
About Fastmarkets RISI
Fastmarkets is the leading price reporting, analytics and events organization for global commodities markets, including the forest products sector, as Fastmarkets RISI. Businesses working in the pulp and paper, packaging, wood products, timber, biomass, tissue, and nonwovens markets use Fastmarkets RISI data and insights to benchmark prices, settle contracts and inform their strategies worldwide. Along with objective price reporting and industry data, Fastmarkets RISI provides forecasts, analysis, conferences and consulting services to stakeholders throughout the forest products supply chain.
Fastmarkets is the leading price reporting, analytics & events organization for the global metals, industrial minerals and forest products markets. It operates within Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. Fastmarkets' core activity in pricing drives transactions in commodities markets around the world and is complemented by news, industry data, analysis, conferences and insight services. Fastmarkets includes brands such as Fastmarkets MB and Fastmarkets AMM (previously known as Metal Bulletin and American Metal Market, respectively), Fastmarkets RISI and Fastmarkets FOEX. Its main offices are in London, New York, Boston, Brussels, Helsinki, São Paulo, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore. Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250 share index. It is a leading international business-to-business information group focused primarily on the global banking, asset management and commodities sectors.