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Executive Excellence

May 1, 2006

Banco Itaú CEO Roberto Setúbal is a legend among investors for delivering double digit returns to shareholders throughout his 11 years at the helm.

When Bank of America took a stake in Brazil's second largest private sector bank in May, it cast a clear vote of confidence in the skills of the country's leading bankers, and in particular, Roberto Setúbal, chief executive of Banco Itaú. Thanks to skilled financiers, a number of Brazilian banks have resisted the temptation to sell out to foreigners over the years and locally owned franchises continue to dominate the Brazilian market. "They have good reputations, good products and are very well established," Setúbal states matter-of-factly. "And they were not for sale when foreign banks tried to enter the market. Foreign banks often had to buy second-tier banks." This is no boast. According to Economática, a Brazilian consultancy, Itaú was the most profitable publicly listed bank in the world last year, with return on equity of 35.6%. Other...

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