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Man of the Year: Inside the Setubal Rocket

Mar 5, 2009

After 15 years at the top of Itaú, Roberto Setubal has made it the biggest bank in LatAm. Savvy deal making is at the heart of his world-class financial institution.

by Dan Shirai Few financiers will look back on 2008 as a high point. For Roberto Setubal, however, it was the year of a defining work, the merger between Itaú and Unibanco. The union hammered out between Setubal and his Unibanco counterpart Pedro Moreira Salles, changes the landscape of one of the largest and most developed domestic banking systems in LatAm. But it is only the latest in a string of smart, well timed moves that characterize Setubal’s 15-year tenure as CEO of Banco Itaú.Setubal’s actions create waves that ripple throughout the region. For his skillful, crisis-tested leadership, foresight and slick dealmaking skills Setubal is the LatinFinance Man of the Year. At the helm of an already formidable institution in 2000, Setubal picked his shots carefully, often diverging from the strategic paths of competitors like Unibanco and Bradesco. Having already built up its retail network considerably in 1995-2000 by acquiring...

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