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Investment banking: Tapping LatAm-China links

US venture focuses on private sector deals; Two-way trade growing

Max Blandon, Stephens Cori Capital Advisors

"While much focus has concentrated on Latin America’s raw materials being delivered to China, Latin American companies are also beginning to provide high-value-added products to the Asian markets"

Max Blandon, Stephens Cori Capital Advisors

Max Blandon, a veteran of Latin American debt capital markets at Morgan Stanley, has joined Stephens Cori Capital Advisors, a division of private investment bank Stephens in Arkansas. Blandon, who also used to head Morgan Stanley’s Asia Pacific leverage finance group, will spearhead Stephens Cori’s push to tap into investment banking opportunities arising from the growing trade links between China and Latin America.

Trade volumes between the two regions exceeded $140 billion in 2008, 40% up on 2007. China views Latin America as a valuable source of raw materials, especially agricultural produce, oil, iron ore and copper. These natural resources are essential to China sustaining its fast growth rates.

Commenting on Blandon’s hire, Warren Stephens, chief executive of Stephens, says: "Max brings a new dynamic to the team, facilitating investment opportunities between Asian and Latin American companies."

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