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Banking

Márcio Cypriano, President, Banco Bradesco

It's just over two weeks since Márcio Cypriano was named president of Banco Bradesco, Latin America's largest private-sector bank. He's relaxed about it, often chuckling as he formulates an answer. Márcio Artur Laurelli Cypriano's laid-back attitude should be helpful in an environment in which currencies and the rules of the game change frequently. Referring to the Brazilian government's disastrous attempt to make an 8% controlled devaluation of the real on January 13, followed by the currency's collapse when it was allowed to float on January 15, Cypriano says: "In 50 years, we've had 19 currencies and indexers. Many times the indexers are confused with a currency."

The new president is only the third since Bradesco was founded in the interior of São Paulo state in 1943; its HQ is now in Cidade de Deus outside São Paulo. Cypriano is counting on his bank's roots to help in the ever fiercer competition with foreign banks following Brazil's opening up of the market since Fernando Henrique Cardoso became president in 1995. "Perhaps we are one of the few banks in the world that knows how to profitably manage a bank in a country in development," he says.

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