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Goldman Sachs gets serious in Brazil

Latin American private banking: Advisers sceptical of highs
BTG Pactual wants the best of both worlds

On October 1 Goldman Sachs launched its asset management and private wealth management businesses in Brazil by offering a family of funds for onshore investors. This move was a key part of the US bank’s expansion strategy. Since May 2008 it has been hiring a team of investment professionals and building a track record before offering its onshore funds to local investors.

On the asset management side, in addition to the three seed funds, another three funds were launched in October – two fixed-income funds and a multi-strategy hedge fund.

"We want to have a significant share of money belonging to the top families in any location including Brazil. We don’t so much want 2,000 clients, we want clients at the top of the pyramid," says Fernando Vallada, head of private wealth management in Brazil. For Goldman, this means clients with more than $10 million in investable assets, in contrast to Bradesco’s R$2 million ($1.1 million) minimum requirement. The wealth management unit will operate on an open-architecture platform.

Relatively senior staff such as Ciro Suplicy and Eduardo Ataide have joined Goldman from BTG Pactual, while Sassoon Kazam, Marcio Poletto, Marcos Della Manna, André Moura and George Mera have all moved over from Itaú Unibanco.

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