Itaú Unibanco: Banking on Maluhy
Itaú Unibanco continues to outperform its peers in Brazilian banking, but its traditional competitors aren’t the real problem.
The choice of Itaú’s next chief executive, Milton Maluhy, shows that the bank now grasps that its new challenge – and its new challengers – will come from emerging forces in the digital banking and investment world.
Maluhy has been chosen to replace Candido Bracher, who was appointed in May 2017. Bracher, who replaced Roberto Setubal, was just 58 at the time, limiting his tenure to four years, since the bank’s retirement age for its chief executive is 62.
Maluhy, on the other hand, is just 44. His youth has precedent – Setubal was only 40 in 1994 when he became CEO – but he was, of course, a member of the controlling family.
Bracher’s appointment represented a kind of lifetime achievement award, some insiders argued. He joined the bank in 2002 as employee and shareholder when the then chief executive Setubal bought Bracher’s father’s investment bank to create Itaú BBA, a deal that Setubal cites as one of his most important.