To the south of Portugal for this Sovereign Story. Andreia Vieira is Managing Director of the Portuguese office located in Lagoa on the Algarve. She joined Sovereign when “a mere teenager”, in July 1996 and she has stayed ever since. But the family connection to Sovereign goes back even further to another generation. We were keen to find out more.
Andreia’s mother Gabriela joined the company well before her daughter in the early 1990s. Still working at the office today, Gabriela is responsible for ensuring the office is spick and span and looking at its best at all times.
Born and brought up in the Algarve, daughter Andreia is a completely fluent English speaker having started to learn the language at school. Her neighbour during childhood was a British lady who taught her conversational English. And of course there is the small matter of working in the office all these years so that today Andreia is completely bilingual which is of enormous benefit to her clients.
Andreia worked her way up and became head of the office in January 2017 taking over from Sovereign legend Nigel Anteney-Hoare who had, most reluctantly, decided to retire having delayed the inevitable for as long as he could.
Reporting directly to the Group CEO, and despite the pandemic, Andreia has driven the office to new heights. The staff complement is sixteen – and recruitment is still going on.
As a Sovereign “lifer”, Andreia developed her many talents from the start. With a background in accounting and fiscal work it was natural for her to concentrate on private clients, mainly international, who need some local fiscal representation. Typically clients set up property holding companies and Andreia provides constantly updated, accurate advice to these individuals and their advisers.
There have been several changes to residency rules and ways to hold property in recent years. Andreia has seen a distinct shift in emphasis whereby new clients are considering placing their properties into their own names rather than via a corporate structure. She welcomes the opportunity though as these changes lead inevitably to other ways of providing valuable assistance, especially on the fiscal side.
It is no longer a legal requirement for a foreign non-resident property owner to maintain a Portuguese fiscal agent. However, they must comply with the rules and life is so much easier when Sovereign represents them locally. Although MD, she continues to manage a modest portfolio of “her own clients” which remains an aspect of the job that she enjoys very much.
As Managing Director, a typical day may consist of several client meetings, as well as dealing with staff issues and generally providing support and assistance throughout the office. She is not directly responsible for new business (this is the preserve of Shelley Wren) but Andreia takes a keen interest in sales and remains involved in this vital part of the office’s development.
Married to Roberto for more than twenty years, Andreia has two children – Rodrigo (21) a student of biomedical lab science at the University of the Algarve in Faro and 13 year old Catarina who has yet to decide on her future plans but is working hard at school.
In her limited spare time, Andreia used to practice zumba. The classes were discontinued following the instructor’s departure but she very much hopes these will restart soon. As for foreign travel, Andreia generally prefers to stay on the Algarve as it provides everything one could ask for in a destination. It comes as no surprise that overseas investors are attracted to Portugal in such large numbers. Of course, Andreia gets to enjoy it year round.
Andreia looks forward to continuing her work at Sovereign for years to come. Thank you Andreia for your time; we extend best wishes to you and your family – including your mother of course!