The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

BAML’s global strategy pays off in Latin American push

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has become one of the top-five investment banks in Latin America in just two years. There are plans to double revenues over the next three. In its new role as a universal bank, will BAML be able to compete with the international banking incumbents? Helen Avery reports.

WHEN BANK OF America took over Merrill Lynch in September 2008, it looked like bad timing for Merrill’s Latin American investment banking business. After having shown a lack of commitment to Latin America for several years, Merrill Lynch’s then chief executive, John Thain, was just six months into a renewed build-up in the region. In March 2008, the firm had taken on nine senior investment bankers in Brazil to spearhead a push in the region and they were just beginning to make inroads. Given Bank of America’s perceived bias towards its domestic market, it seemed that the push made on the Merrill Lynch side at broadening into Latin America would, once again, be abandoned or slowed. Two years on, though, those thoughts now seem consigned to history. The combined firm is in the top five for market share in Latin America in M&A, ECM and DCM and it has no plans to stop there.

Alexandre Bettamio was the man Thain hired to lead the build-out in Brazil. He had been co-head of investment banking at UBS Pactual. With him came seven other former UBS Pactual bankers, and one from Itaú BBA. It was a big coup for Merrill Lynch as UBS Pactual was, with Credit Suisse, one of the top-two investment banks in the region.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree