Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), the second-largest Swiss bank, is creating an asset-management firm in Brazil as interest-rate declines create opportunities for hedge-fund managers.
The firm will be a partnership between the Zurich-based bank and a group of 16 executives, said Antonio Quintella, formerly head of the Americas at Credit Suisse who was named chief executive officer of the firm, Peninsula Investimentos. Sergio Fraiman Blatyta, ex-head of proprietary trading at Banco Santander Brasil SA, is in the partnership group, Quintella said.
“The opportunities to grow with a new line of hedge funds are exceptional now that the Treasury bonds in Brazil will not offer liquidity, high yields and low risk at the same time anymore and the investors will be forced to diversify,” Quintella said yesterday in a phone interview.
Brazilian government policy makers have cut their key rate by 3.5 percentage points since August to 9 percent a year. They’re seeking to invigorate an economy that grew last year less than Russia, India, China and most of Latin America.
Quintella is also chairman of Credit Suisse Hedging-Griffo, the asset-management and private-banking subsidiary. Hedging-Griffo’s assets under management have quintupled since it was acquired by Credit Suisse in 2007, he said. The unit has 32 billion reais ($16.4 billion) in assets under management and 42 billion reais in the private-banking business, according to the bank.
Quintella’s compensation of 15.63 million Swiss francs ($16.7 million) made him the top-paid executive at Credit Suisse in 2010. He’ll leave New York and be based in Sao Paulo.
He has led Credit Suisse’s Brazilian business since 2003. The bank was the third-largest adviser on Brazilian takeovers last year and ranks second this year. Credit Suisse trails UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank by assets.
Jose Olympio Pereira, 49, took Quintella’s place as CEO of the Brazilian subsidiary. He said in an interview that the market for hedge funds may grow as much as 30 percent a year in Brazil. About 80 percent of the 1.5 trillion reais in assets under management in the country are invested in fixed income-related products and that may decrease, Pereira said.
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