The Potolicchio family, with roots in Italy, built their thriving businesses in Caracas, Venezuela, with interests in construction and real estate development after starting what became one of the world’s most successful shoe manufacturing and exporting enterprises.
With such a solid entrepreneurial background, it’s no surprise that Vincente Potolicchio, known to everyone as Enzo, the youngest son of the clan, caught the bug. He began a construction and development firm, which he moved to Florida in 2010, where he broadened it into a booming portfolio of commercial and residential properties.
“I started in the U.S. by acquiring land in Florida but soon realized it made sense to capitalize on land through development,” Enzo explains, as he learned to deal with a new language and culture and the sometimes arcane real estate and construction regulations in America.
“We took a chance at the right time, when interesting properties became available, and bet on the growth opportunities in the east coast Florida real estate market,” he explains. Today, the company owns 10 properties, including a portfolio of luxury condominiums in Miami.
But despite the challenges and complexities – and with the company’s success in the U.S. – Enzo’s philosophy has remained clear and simple: get to understand and focus on specific markets and be careful not to be overextended.
“We also bring our family’s values to our many business operations,” he says. “We still base it on good old-fashioned trust, when a handshake is enough to seal a deal.”
“IDB is not like a big commercial bank,It’s very personal and they’re much more responsive to us – much better than any other banks.”
With these values, you’d think a thriving real estate enterprise would be enough to deal with, but Enzo’s real passion, or obsession, has been race cars. In fact, he owned a professional race car company and was a leading professional driver, having won seven titles and two world championships in the LMP-2 class 24-hour of Le Mans, the world’s oldest active sports car race, in the endurance category.
Enzo spent his early career racing Formula Ford, both at home in Venezuela, where he won the country’s Automobile Driver of the Year award, and in the American F2000 Champion Series. Today, Enzo is on the preferred “VIP” list for Porsche and Ferrari cars. He owns several collector cars, most notably two Ferraris: a LaFerrari and the LaFerrari Aperta, both very rare and worth millions of dollars.
“I’ve loved cars since I was 14 years old, but I’m not racing much anymore – once in a while. I’m a gentleman driver now,” he says with a chuckle. “I’m into the race cars for pleasure and as an investment,” he explains.
What do real estate and race cars have in common? It gets back to trust and integrity, Enzo says. “You have to have people on your team working together seamlessly in order to succeed,” he says. The family’s relationship with IDB is a case in point.
In fact, the Potolicchios have a 33-year private banking relationship with IDB, starting with Enzo’s father, Vicenzo Accardi, who’s still going strong at 90 years old. Today, Enzo uses just about all of IDB’s banking and credit services for his business.
“Our relationship with IDB is second to none; they’re part of the team, like family,” he says. “And now a third generation is working with IDB,” as Enzo’s sons, involved with the family business, also pursue their own entrepreneurial goals, just as Enzo did.
It’s this personal touch and trust that the Potolicchio family has relied on to build their successful businesses here and in Venezuela, guiding them into the future – whether they’re racing a car down a track or racing to create the next real estate opportunity.
Prior to the release of this story, we were saddened to learn that Vicenzo Potolicchio D’Accardi Sr. passed away. Shortly thereafter, Vicenzo’s wife, Maria, also passed away. We would like to express our deepest condolences to the Potolicchio family. We are honored to have had this opportunity to feature Vicenzo’s remarkable legacy and share their story of hard work, success and family values.