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Brazilian private banking: Locals versus internationals

As Brazil’s private banking market becomes more like the rest of the world, with greater product diversity and sophistication, the international banks sense an opportunity to take the competition to the locals. In recent years the Brazilians have used their presence and their nationality to win market share.

The internationals have succeeded to varying degrees – those that have been in the market for some time (Merrill Lynch withdrew from Brazil in 2012) have, in the main, flourished, with double-digit growth reported by all the banks spoken to by Euromoney for this article.

Credit Suisse

reported the highest growth in assets under management in 2012, up 40%, fuelled largely by the bank’s ability to capture liquidity events created by a strong M&A sector, an area of investment banking in which the Swiss bank dominates. "Today the clients are definitely looking for opportunities abroad and, for me, the international banks do have an advantage over the locals [in fulfilling this demand]," says Gustavo Aranha at Credit Suisse Hedging Griffo.

"Diversification is more important than in the past," says Alexandre Pinelli, affluent and high-net-worth business head at Citibank Brazil. "We are launching this year several local investment vehicles that will give our clients exposure to global markets and asset classes, such as Latin America and US corporate fixed income.

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