León Werthein came to Argentina in 1904 on a ship carrying immigrants from the Bessarabia, a region that includes parts of present day Ukraine and Moldavia and was controlled by the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century. The Jews that lived there were subject to persecution and pogroms, which is why León decided to emigrate to Argentina. His wife, Ana Jajam, followed him one year later. Together, they settled in Bahía Blanca, a city in the province of Buenos Aires, with their 4 children: Gregorio, Elisa, Numo and Israel. Their other children, Abraham, Fany, Noel and Julio, were born in Argentina. León had two other brothers who also left Bessarabia: one went to Australia and the other went to China.
León settled in the town of Ingeniero White and found work as a longshoreman at the port. After being promoted to foreman, he moved to Salliqueló and opened a general store. From there, León and his sons Gregorio and Numo moved to Miguel Riglos (Province of La Pampa), a town that flourished thanks to the local railroad station and farming activities. Noel moved there in 1924, when he was just 13 years old.
In 1917, León opened another small general store, and in 1928, his sons founded Gregorio, Numo y Noel Werthein (GNNW),1 a farming company that laid the foundations for the creation of the Group.
During the first half of the 20th century, some members of the family managed hotels in the cities of Carhué, Río Hondo, Mar del Plata and Buenos Aires. León passed away in 1935, leaving Ana and his children to carry on the family business. His youngest child, Julio Werthein, pursued a career in the financial services industry and paved the way so that other members of the family could work in this activity.
Noel married Sara Fischman, also an immigrant from Bessarabia, with whom had three children, Leo, Daniel and Adrián. Leo studied Law but decided to dedicate most of his time to farming. Daniel studied to be a Veterinarian and, together with Leo, made the Werthein family a pioneer in animal breeding in Argentina.
Adrián became a Public Accountant and worked for the family's farming companies for several years before moving to the banking sector. Gerardo, the son of Isaías and grandson of Gregorio, studies to be a Veterinarian and later joined the Group, working in business development and sales.
In the 1980s, the family adopted a global vision of its businesses and merged its productive and financial activities. In doing so, it developed a management model that, until then, was unknown in Argentina. This model combined professionally-managed traditional companies with the sense of identity and belonging associated with family-owned companies.
Today, Noel's sons Daniel and Adrian, their cousin Gerardo, and Darío, Leo's son, are the shareholders of the Werthein Group, which has become one of the most important locally-owned private holding companies in Argentina. All of the Group's activities are directed and managed by members of the Werthein family.
The Group's portfolio currently includes companies or shares in companies related to agriculture and livestock, mass consumption, telecommunications, real estate, financial services, wineries and energy, among others.