Leading Brazilian business school to open first U.S. branch in Orlando

Fundação Dom Cabral, one of Brazil's top business schools for international MBA and executive management programs, will open its first branded school outside the country in Orlando later this year, with a focus on immersive training for mid-sized companies, lead executives told GrowthSpotter.

"Our experience from talking with American businesses is that nothing exists in Orlando or Florida now that offers executive education like this, where the whole company can participate in the process," said Carlos Arruda, director of partnerships at FDC. "Our U.S. study also shows Florida to be an ideal entry point for Brazilian executives to study."

Founded in 1976 in the city of Belo Horizonte, the non-profit Fundação Dom Cabral has four campuses in Brazil and posted BRL 200 million ($65.3 million) in revenue in 2014.

FDC had more than 33,000 executives from mid-sized and large companies pass through its education programs in 2014, and counted 800 companies as clients with enrolled staff in various programs.

The non-profit has strategic alliances with schools in 13 countries, including INSEAD and Skema Business School in France, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in the United States. The Financial Times listed FDC as one of the world's best business schools in 2014.

CMP Consultoria, which also offers management training and corporate services in Brazil, has signed an exclusive partnership to establish Fundação Dom Cabral in the United States. It has been looking for commercial office space in Orlando since January, said Marcus Vinicius C. Campos, general manager of CMP.

CMP should settle on office space of 538-1,076 square feet by June for its operations and logistics, in the range of up to $3,000 per month in rent. Up to $200,000 will be invested to start up the business by the fourth quarter of this year, Campos said.

FDC offers various executive and corporate training programs in Brazil, but its new Orlando representatives plan to focus on a specific immersion program for mid-sized companies.

FDC teachers will go into a client firm and help management examine the company's operational strengths and weaknesses. Strategic planning, monthly performance review and growth strategy are part of a process that can last months.

During the in-company diagnostic, FDC teachers also identify certain staff members that would benefit from intensive courses in a classroom environment. Those staff may be grouped together with similar staff from other firms (in non-competing industries) for collaborative classes. FDC also organizes CEO networking and panel debates for clients to attend.

"CMP will give Fundação Dom Cabral its entry to mid-sized companies in the U.S.," Campos said. "It's the first step in a broader international expansion plan for Portugal, the U.S. and Mexico. Portugal because of the language ease, and the U.S. and Mexico because both have a lot in common with Brazil in terms of business management."