Miami, a “Wall Street South?”
Not quite, corporate and securities attorney Carlos Deupi once said of Miami’s finance scene.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to get to the level of New York,” he told the Miami Herald in 2015, but he added that, like the Big Apple, Miami has a solid financial infrastructure.
Deupi, founder and managing partner of the Deupi Law Group and chairman emeritus of the Miami Finance Forum, a networking association of investment and finance professionals, was at the forefront of that Miami financial community.
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His work was cut short Tuesday when he died of a heart attack during a ski trip to Colorado. Deupi was 53.
A week before he died, Deupi helped launch the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors, South Florida Chapter. He was founding board member and its secretary.
“He was a critical player in making this chapter become a reality in this market,” said Ygnacio Garcia-Saladrigas, the group’s founding chair and a senior director at BNY Mellon Wealth Management. “His vision and contacts and extensive network in the AMA [Alliance of Mergers and Acquisitions] community contributed to our successful launch last week. Without him, we wouldn’t have had the same level of success. He helped set the overall strategy, as well, for this chapter.”
Deupi, who spoke frequently at finance and investment conferences, represented multinational corporations, financial institutions and real estate firms in numerous deals, including mergers and acquisitions, fund formation and investments. His practice also handled commercial leasing, construction and development.
Carlos was not just diligent and professional but extremely personable and kind with the way he approached people. He was someone who people trusted as an adviser.
Ygnacio Garcia-Saladrigas, partner in the Alliance of Mergers and Acquisitions Advisors, South Florida Chapter.
In 2011, the South Florida Business Journal honored Deupi at its Key Partners Awards program, which recognizes South Florida leaders in law and accounting for their professional achievement, civic and charitable contributions. Deupi previously served as general counsel, executive vice president and corporate secretary at Brilla Financial Group and worked at the Miami office of Squire Sanders.
Born July 10, 1963, in Washington, to Cuban exile parents who moved to the United States in 1961, Deupi earned his degree in economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1985. He graduated from Boston College Law School in 1988.
“I do think the exile experience created a sense within our immediate family to excel,” said his brother, Victor Deupi, who lectures on architecture at the University of Miami and was recently elected president of the CINTAS Foundation, which promotes the professional development of Cuban architects, writers, musicians, and visual artists. “We had this incredible drive to achieve things that no one in our family ever had access to because they were raised in Cuba.”
He was an avid snow skier, oenophile, devoted husband and father.
Victor Deupi on his brother, Carlos.
Last July, Deupi, an avid snow skier and oenophile (wine connoisseur), married his second wife, Jennifer Rogers Deupi. His two children blended with her two from previous marriages.
“We were so lucky to have found each five years ago,” his wife said. “We were an inspiration for so many people for what true love is. I thank God we got married in July in Mexico and we were so happy. We had so many plans. He had two kids. I have two kids. My Sofia, she’s 8, last night she said, ‘Carlos slept next to me and he gave me a kiss.’”
Sister-in-law Jill Deupi, director of UM’s Lowe Art Museum, called Deupi “larger than life” and, in a Carlos J. Deupi Memorial Fund on GoFund Me she wrote, “He was always the life of the party and never said no to a chance to be with friends and family, no matter the circumstances.”
In agreement, Jennifer Deupi said if you were to mention almost any subject, say fishing, Deupi would scoop out his phone and flash shared pictures. “Carlos loved people. He was a happy person and he had a picture for everything.”
In addition to his wife and brother, Deupi is also survived by his children Felipe and Isabella, stepchildren Nicholas and Sofia, and parents Carlos Deupi and Teresita Vignale. Viewing will be at 5-10 p.m. Sunday at Caballero Rivero Funeral Home, 8200 Bird Rd. A celebration of life will be at 12:30 p.m. Monday at Kendall United Methodist Church, 7600 SW 104th St., Pinecrest.