Esteves, who was also chairman of Latin America for UBS group, will move back to Brazil from London in order to focus on the Latin American business full time. Jerker Johansson, the investment bank’s recently hired chief executive, will run the FICC business until a long-term appointment is made.
Esteves joined UBS in December 2006 after the Swiss firm brought Brazil’s leading investment bank, Banco Pactual, for $2.5 billion. The 39 year old was a managing partner at Pactual and a former head of fixed income. He held a 30% stake in the firm. He was appointed global head of FICC at UBS in August 2007. The then chief executive of UBS investment bank, Huw Jenkins told Euromoney at the time that the move was made because of Esteves’ all round level of experience: “He understands asset management, he understand sales and trading, he understands underwriting, he understands advice, and he understands risk management,” said Jenkins.
Rival bankers, however, were surprised that UBS – whose fixed income franchise was already reeling from losses racked up by its internal hedge fund, Dillon Read Capital Management, and the early effects of the credit crunch - had appointed a banker whose experience was limited to the Brazilian market to such a critical role.
UBS will hope that the decision by Esteves to move back to Brazil to focus full time on the group’s Latin American business will dampen rumours of a potential split between Pactual and the Swiss bank. Market sources in Brazil have been speculating since the start of this year that Pactual employees may seek to buy back the Brazilian investment bank. According to Brazilian sources bonus time proved to be a particularly fraught period as Pactual bankers were upset that UBS initially planned to pay bonuses that reflected the bank’s woeful performance globally – something that would have left them short-changed. A compromise was, however, reached.