Man of the Year: Inside the Setubal Rocket
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 Setubals 15-year tenure as CEO of
Banco Itaú.Setubals 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
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