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Awards for Excellence 2009: Brazil

Best Bank: Itaú Unibanco
Best M&A House: Morgan Stanley
Best Capital Markets House: Banco Itaú BBA

Big isn’t always best, as certain global banks have proved this year. But in the case of Itaú Unibanco, the maxim holds true.

In November 2008, Banco Itaú and its smaller rival, Unibanco Holdings, merged their operations. The deal produced a financial conglomerate with about $265 billion in assets, making it the largest bank in the southern hemisphere.

Roberto Setúbal became the chief executive of Itaú Unibanco, and Pedro Moreira Salles, the former chief executive of Unibanco, is chairman of the board of directors at the new bank.