Brazil banking: Benchimol lifts XP’s star
Brazil’s changing macroeconomic environment is shaking up the investment industry – and there has been no bigger winner than XP Inc. In his first post-IPO interview with the international media, CEO Guilherme Benchimol explains the firm’s competitive edge over banks.
Illustration: Pete Ellis
It’s a hot summer’s day in São Paulo – sadly a relatively rare one this year – and Euromoney is with XP Inc’s head of media relations and the assistant to chief executive Guilherme Benchimol in an air-conditioned meeting room on the 28th floor of the newly IPO’d company. The air con and the chilled water are refreshing; while we wait, the assistant checks her phone.
“He’s nearly here,” she says. “He’s on his way in from his farm.”
Almost immediately the clattering noise of a helicopter fills the room as the machine jerkily lands on the helipad atop the adjacent tower. “Ah, there he is,” she says.
Minutes later Benchimol (called Gui by his friends) bounds into the room, athletically slim and youthful, with a mop of black hair that has only a few rogue strands of grey. He is wearing his trademark faded blue jeans and a black T-shirt. He is wearing something similar in the photos of his triumphant Nasdaq listing last November, although today there is no Brazilian flag draped over his shoulders.