Reinfried Pohl, insurance magnate and founder of the Vila Vita Parc Resort near Armaçao de Pêra, has died aged 86.
Pohl turned Deutsche Vermoegensberatung AG into Germany’s largest financial services brokerage died of heart failure on June 12, according to company statement.
The luxury resort was built in 1989 and set the standard for the Algarve’s growing top class hotel and resort facilities.
The purchase by Pohl of the Herdade dos Grous estate near Beja in the Alentejo enabled rural tourism to develop, also the supply of carefully reared stock to supply meat to Vila Vita’s restaurants and to the butchers next to the Bierkeller in Porches, Lagoa where a meat processing facility was established.
Herdade dos Grous wines are now an award winning brand, a long journey from the Frankfurt-based insurance business that Pohl built up over the past 40 years.
Pohl started Deutsche Vermoegensberatung, better known as DVAG, in 1975 as a brokerage for investment funds, bank bonds and life insurance.
He helped build the company into an business serving 6 million clients through 3,400 financial advisers and allied staff. Pohl and his family still owned more than 60% of the huge business at the time of his death.
Pohl was born in 1928 in the eastern German town of Zwickau and served as a soldier and anti-aircraft battery member during the final period of World War II.
After then working in various insurance jobs, Pohl founded DVAG with his wife, Anneliese, who died in 2008. The insurance industry legend leaves two sons who already had taken over the management of the company.
“We have lost a unique person and loyal partner, an extraordinary entrepreneur and inspiring visionary,” according to the company statement.
The Algarve has lost a champion as Pohl’s investments in Portugal started back in the 1970’s with the Vila Vita Parc Resort a shining example of how to run a business with a total focus on the needs of the customer.