UBS Said to Seek Brazil CEO as Salles Prepares to Retire

UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, is seeking a chief executive officer for its Brazil unit as Lywal Salles prepares to retire, according to two people with direct knowledge of the plans.

Salles was hired in October 2010 under a two-year contract to build a local subsidiary for the Zurich-based bank, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. UBS decided to establish a Brazil unit after selling Banco Pactual SA in April 2010 for $2.5 billion to Andre Esteves and his partners, who created Banco BTG Pactual SA.

UBS declined to comment, said an official who asked not to be named in accordance with company policy.

The lender, after waiting almost two years, is close to obtaining a banking license in Brazil, the people said. The firm, which had considered buying a local bank for authorization to operate in the South American nation, instead acquired some assets from a small bank, one of the people said.

Salles, before joining UBS, was chairman of Banco Itau Holding Financeira SA’s private-banking units. He previously led Itau Private Bank and held positions at New York-based Citigroup Inc. (C), including as regional director in Latin America for high net worth clients.

To contact the reporters on this story: Francisco Marcelino in Sao Paulo at mdeoliveira@bloomberg.net; Cristiane Lucchesi in Sao Paulo at clucchesi5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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