The Portuguese Antonio Pereira Ignacio, founder of Votorantim, arrived in Brazil in 1884, aged ten and still illiterate. His entrepreneurial capacity and his talent for managing business made him grow as a trader and industrialist, and stand out as a leader of the Portuguese community in Sorocaba, in the interior of São Paulo. From aid to earthquake victims in Portugal, through assistance to Hospital de Paredes, in Portugal, reaching the direction of Santa Casa de Sorocaba, everything counted on your participation. And that was the beginning of a family story that is always attentive to the importance of supporting the health sector.

Antonio Pereira Ignacio.


Beneficência Portuguesa is a mutual aid entity founded in 1859 and which created a hospital in the early 20th century to assist members.

When he moved to the capital of São Paulo, in the 1900s, Pereira Ignacio approached the entity and even managed it.

In 1951, with the death of Antonio Pereira Ignacio, the institution breaks the tradition of always electing a Portuguese president and invites José Ermírio de Moraes to be the first Brazilian to lead society. Upon accepting, the entrepreneur set his goal: to build a new hospital that would not be restricted to serving the partners, but was a model institution in terms of medical excellence and, at the same time, served the low-income population.


Senator José Ermírio de Moraes during the works of the new Beneficência Portuguesa hospital in São Paulo, 1956.

The idea was received with enthusiasm, materialized in a large volume of donations – the biggest ones came from Votorantim and Nitro Química -, which made possible the construction of a hospital with 24 thousand meters of built area and 440 beds. When it was inaugurated by the President of Portugal, Craveiro Lopes, in June 1957, it was the largest private hospital in Latin America.

Beneficence was administered voluntarily by four generations of the Family: Antonio Pereira Ignacio, José Ermírio de Moraes, Antônio Ermírio de Moraes and currently Rubens Ermírio de Moraes.

Today, Beneficência Portuguesa is a reference in medical and hospital care in several specialties, including cardiology, oncology and neurology, being the largest private health center in Latin America in terms of number of beds.


In addition to Beneficência Portuguesa, there are many health projects with which the Family and Votorantim have been and are involved.

In the 1940s and 1950s, two hospitals were opened in the interior of São Paulo with funds from the company: Hospital Santo Antônio, in January 1949, in the city of Votorantim; and Hospital Maternidade Santa Lucinda, in Sorocaba, in April 1950.

The Hospital de Maternidade Santa Lucinda also opened the Faculty of Medicine of Sorocaba, which used the hospital’s facilities as the headquarters of the teaching center. For the first time in Brazil, a medical school was established far from the capitals, in a medium-sized city, meeting a demand for training doctors in the interior of the state.

Santo Antonio Hospital built by Votorantim in Sorocaba to serve the employees of the fabric and cement factories.

José Ermírio de Moraes Filho followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. His main occupation in health was as a volunteer president for 12 years of the Antônio Prudente Foundation, which ran the Hospital do Câncer. His son José Ermírio de Moraes Neto is currently president of the Curator Council of Hospital A.C. Camargo (Former Cancer Hospital). José Neto’s wife, Liana Maria Carraro de Moraes, is the vice-president director of the A.C. Camargo Statutory Board.

Antônio Ermírio de Moraes, José Ermírio de Moraes Filho and Carmen Prudente open the auditorium of the Antônio Prudente Foundation, of the Cancer Hospital, named after Senator José Ermírio de Moraes, on August 9, 1998.

Antonio Ermírio de Moraes with a group of nurses from the Beneficência Portuguesa Hospital, 1985.

Antônio Ermírio de Moraes highlighted his role in health for participating in the management of several institutions. Among them the Hospital da Cruz Vermelha (1962-1966), the Hospital da Cruz Verde (1967-1975) and the Beneficência Portuguesa, where he worked for almost 40 years. At Beneficência Portuguesa he was present every day, including Saturdays and Sundays. Today, his son Rubens de Moraes, presides over the institution with the same dedication as his father and grandfather.

Rubens de Moraes, in the center, in the direction of Beneficência Portuguesa.

Clóvis Scripilliti commanded the growth of Votorantim in the Northeast from 1966 and from 1970 he became Counselor and Treasurer of AACD (Association for Assistance to Disabled Children) positions that he exercised as a volunteer. In 1985 he became vice president of AACD. In 1998, he was responsible for implementing the AACD in Recife, PE, and assumed the presidency of the AACD Board of Directors, a position he held as a volunteer until his death. His daughter Regina Helena Scripilliti Velloso, was president of AACD until April 2018.

Physical Rehabilitation Center Engineer Clóvis Scripilliti in Recife, PE. It was erected with the help of Clóvis in 1999.

Regina Velloso at AACD.