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Opinion

Brazil banking: Goldfajn swaps quarantines

The former president of Brazil’s central bank spent six months cooling off before joining Credit Suisse.

Ilan-Goldfajn-Brazil-shadows-R-960.jpg

When Ilan Goldfajn left the presidency of Brazil’s central bank in March 2019, he had to observe a six-month cooling off period that prevented him from moving straight into a private-sector banking job.

He had joined the central bank from Banco Itaú, where he had been chief economist.

The contractual stipulation is typical. However, Goldfajn – who took up his new position as chairman of Credit Suisse Brazil in September 2019 – described it a little differently to Euromoney last month.

That quarantine was a lot better than this one!
Ilan Goldfajn

It had been, he says via Zoom, a different type of quarantine to the one that the world was and is in various stages of observing (and re-observing).

“That quarantine was a lot better than this one!” he quips.

It certainly sounds so: Goldfajn seemed to spend the majority of this enforced leisure travelling in the US, Europe and Israel.

“I went all over the place,” he says.

He was also, of course, at the same time fielding offers from banks back home in Brazil.

'Natural choice'

His choice of an investment banking berth felt like a natural one, he says, following the regulatory axe he had taken to the previously comfortable retail sector.

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