Rafael Ascenso graduated in 1991 in Economics from the Universidade Católica in Lisbon. Already before that he worked for the company Imago, Imagem e Comunicacão, Lda as Financial Director from 1987-1991. After experience in corporate advertising, he moved on to work as the Financial Manager for Marmida, a company dealing in granite stone in Angola, from 1991-1993. This was his first professional contact with international markets. From 1993-1994, he worked as a financial consultant in a variety of companies specializing in different fields. He set up his own company, Porta da Frente, lda, in 1995 and focused on the real-estate business, initially based in the Cascais area. What began as a family-based undertaking consisting of 4 people has gradually developed into an important business in the real-estate area, with a staff of 45, covering the Cascais, Lisbon, Alentejo and Angola markets. Rafael Ascenso is fluent in English and conversant in Spanish.