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Citigroup Said to Hire BofA’s Panico for Brazil Banking

Citigroup Inc. (C) hired David Panico from Bank of America Corp. (BAC) as a managing director for Brazil investment banking, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation.

Panico will remain in Sao Paulo, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the move hasn’t been announced. Panico joined Merrill Lynch & Co. in 2008 before it got bought by Bank of America, from Brazil’s Banco Itau BBA SA.

Wall Street firms are pursuing investment-banking fees in Brazil, where an emerging middle class and rising commodity prices are propelling one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Citigroup has been rebuilding its Brazil team. The New York-based firm hired Banco Itau BBA SA’s Andre Kok in March to be head of global banking for Brazil. Kok, who had been head of the Brazilian firm’s investment bank since 2008, replaced Ricardo Lacerda, who left Citigroup in July 2009 to start his own consulting firm, BR Advisory Partners Participacoes SA.

Mark Costiglio, a spokesman for New York-based Citigroup, declined to comment, as did Kerrie McHugh at Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America.

Also in March, Citigroup hired Renato Polizzi as managing director for investment banking in Brazil. He came from Banco Itau BBA SA, where he was a sector-group head since 2005, covering health care, logistics, transport, oil and gas, real estate and infrastructures.

To contact the reporter on this story: Serena Saitto in New York at ssaitto@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Sondag at jsondag@bloomberg.net.

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