Mexican reform anticipation sparks hiring race

Mexican reform anticipation sparks hiring race

Mexico People

 Source: Gabriel Flores Romero
A string of new hires in the Mexico offices of investment banks and law firms is underscoring a growing bid for talent in the country as the country forges ahead with structural reforms that could attract billions in foreign investment.

Juan Carlos Merodio of M&L Estudio Legal has been chosen as advisor to DLA Piper in Mexico, the latest in a series of new appointments to reinforce Mexican teams.

He has been brought in to help develop DLA’s strategy, including in oil and gas and telecommunications areas in Mexico, which has become a favorite among investors in recent months.

Evercore has hired Scotia’s Randy Crath as a senior managing director in its oil and gas group in Houston to “help build momentum” in Mexico, Brazil and Europe, the investment banking firm said this week.

The appointments come as investment banks and law firms step up a bid for talent in Mexico as the government moves ahead with plans to implement structural reforms in the energy, telecommunications and other sectors that will likely attract a flurry of new investments.

Itau BBA opened a broker-dealer in Mexico in January, appointing Alberto Mulas as chief executive. The same month, BTG Pactual officially started operations in the country with a team of 25. And the chief financial officer of Mexico’s social security institution, Mauricio Alazraki, joined Santander’s Mexico office in February to cover energy clients.

Among law firms, Holland & Knight nabbed a team of five capital markets lawyers from DLA Piper to set up a Mexico office in the first quarter. Haynes and Boone, meanwhile, has hired former Shell executive Carlos Canales and Rafael Carmona from a local firm this year, and said in March that it was on an “aggressive pursuit” for more staff in its Mexico City office.

One senior banker in New York recently told LatinFinance that missing mandates from some of the large-scale energy and infrastructure transactions ahead in Mexico was what kept him awake at night.

“Not a lot has happened yet [in Mexico],” he said. “But if you don’t get wallet share in Brazil and Mexico, then you’re not a world-class investment bank.” LF