Eduardo Centola, the former head of investment banking in Brazil for UBS AG (UBSN), said he will run that business for Banco Modal SA, effective immediately.
Centola, who left UBS in January after 15 months at the Swiss bank, said he has joined Modal as a partner and that the Rio de Janeiro-based firm seeks to expand.
“We are restructuring the bank, and we don’t rule out acquisitions and an international partnership,” Centola, 44, said yesterday in an interview in Sao Paulo.
Modal, which has about 200 workers, will open a brokerage and hire more people as it plans to build a full-service investment bank, he said. The firm at year-end had total equity of 246.7 million reais ($135 million) and assets of 1.5 billion reais, according to data on the website of Brazil’s central bank. Its asset-management business oversees more than 4 billion reais, Centola said.
Centola joined Zurich-based UBS in October 2010 from Standard Bank Group Ltd., where he was chief executive officer for the Americas. At UBS, he helped with Kirin Holdings Co.’s buyout of Brazilian brewer Schincariol Participacoes e Representacoes for 2.35 billion reais and PepsiCo Inc. (PEP:US)’s purchase of Brazilian cookie-maker Grupo Mabel. He is a former managing director of New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US)
Modal was in talks last year to be acquired by Plural Capital Ltda. for 300 million reais, a deal that ultimately collapsed. A surge in acquisitions and growing demand for corporate financing boosted the investment-banking sector in Brazil, the second-largest developing economy after China, and the nation’s central bank is seeking to promote consolidation in the financial industry.
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