He is the founder of Mandarin Capital Partners, a private equity fund that creates connections between medium-sized European businesses and commercial and industrial partners in China. However, the general public knows Alberto Forchielli because he tells the Italian leader of the moment to go to hell with placid continuity in various TV transmissions in which he participates with evident success. His 715,000 followers on Facebook justify him: it’s a massive fan following, even in considering the detail that he’s an international affairs expert and not a rock star.
As you know, I’m convinced that journalists—and writers—are usually vile or cruel, strong with the weak, and weak with the strong. In my “oblòg” (and in my novels) I practice the opposite exercise. So, to harmonize objectives, and to inaugurate a column of interviews—not trivial and without frills—that will appear exclusively on my oblòg (and not under other mastheads, as I have done previously), I thought of Forchielli.
Alberto, what are the pros and cons of your work? “Buying, selling, and managing businesses in different continents provides a great opportunity to see the world and give variety to your routine. But there is not one day that passes without good and bad news: highs and lows, all the time.”
What do you love and hate about Italy and Italians? “Italians are heroes by chance. Our people don’t know how to create networks, but we have excellent individuals in both professional and human arenas. You either love Italy or you hate it, there is no middle ground.”
Tell us about an event that you will always remember? “Beniamo Andreatta was a great, a man from another planet in terms of intelligence and forecasting abilities. Having had the privilege of working with him makes today’s politicians bore me to death. Andreatta was not a leftist, he was a liberal bourgeois. And he was fervently against Berlusconi back in 1993, when he told me that Silvio Berlusconi would destroy our country’s ethics. I want to tell the following story to your readers: one day, Andreatta told me ‘Forchielli, don’t ever fight people beneath you, always fight those above you.’ There you have it. It’s a piece of advice that I’ve always followed.
Can you give us an example? “Well, think about my highly critical stance toward China. China’s willingness to export their lack of ethics, their desire to impose their delinquency and absence of rules on the rest of the world pisses me off. It’s a rather unusual stance to take at a global level.”
How do you define yourself? I love freedom more than power. The freedom to say what I think, even using obscene language. I love social media because it allows me to have direct contact with younger generations and to understand what they think. Power annoys me to no end.”