Andre Esteves, UBS’s Very Expensive New Debt Head

At the end of 2006, UBS bought Brazil’s Banco Pactual for $2.6 billion. The

managing partner of Pactual, Andre Esteves, owned 30% of Pactual,

and so, naturally, he stayed on salary at UBS. (This, by the way, is why articles

about working-class

millionaires are silly: a certain type of person will just continue working

whether he needs the money or not.)

Esteves has now been promoted: while staying in charge of Latin America –

the job he got when his bank got taken over – he’s also now the

new global head of fixed income for UBS. That’s a huge job, which will require

his moving to London, but there’s no reason to think he won’t be very good at


Esteves is now very much a rising star within UBS, and is young and ambitious

enough that he could rise much further still. After all, he clearly knows how

to run a bank.

I also suspect that Esteves might be something of an unexpected upside, as

far as UBS is concerned, from the Pactual acquisition. In 1998, Sandy Weill

merged his Travelers Group with Citicorp – a bancassurance trade which

never really worked out. Nobody minded, however, because it turned out that

Travelers’ investment bank was a good fit with Citi’s commercial bank. Similarly,

the Pactual acquisition was driven largely by Pactual’s strength in Brazilian

equities. But it might turn out that the debt side of the trade – and

the Esteves part in particular – might turn out, in retrospect, to be

even smarter.

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