Since BTGs inception in September 2008, its founding partners, Andre Esteves, former global head of UBS fixed income, and Persio Arida, former central bank governor of Brazil, have made clear their ambitions.
Within six months, the investment group had acquired Via Brasil, a distressed gas station chain, London asset management firm Lentikia Capital and signed a partnership deal with Estapar, Brazils largest parking facility managers. The group also took a profit when it bought, stripped and sold Lehman Brothers Brazilian operations.
But the jackpot in this growing empire came in April when UBS sold its Brazilian operation, UBS Pactual, to BTG. Esteves, a former partner of Banco Pactual who made his fortune when UBS bought the bank, finally had it back. The newly created BTG-Pactual will consist of an investment bank in Brazil, a broker-dealer and an asset management business in New York, and the existing Hong Kong and London asset management platforms.
"You should expect a lot of BTG-Pactual capital going into good Brazilian companies"
Andre Esteves, BTG-Pactual
But the expansion plans dont stop there. Today the focus is private equity. In years to come, when the equity markets have recovered, IPOs and pure investment banking deals will keep profits high. "If the IPO market is closed then you should be prepared to provide capital for growing companies," Esteves says. "This is one thing we will develop a lot in the next couple of months. You will see us taking principal investment and you should expect a lot of BTG-Pactual capital going into good Brazilian companies. In the future, when the cycle changes, we will IPO these companies."
Another senior banker is impressed. "They have money at BTG. They will take advantage of this crisis and are already involved in most of the M&A transactions in Brazil." Only a few teething problems, as Pactual moves back into a partnership structure, stand in the way of Esteves success.
As the biggest independent investment bank in the emerging markets, the future looks bright for BTG-Pactual.