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Santander’s Berenguer Said to Plan to Leave for JPMorgan’s Gavea

March 2 (Bloomberg) -- Jose de Menezes Berenguer Neto, head of retail, asset management and private banking at Banco Santander Brasil SA, will leave to join a unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co., two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Berenguer, 45, will depart at the end of March to join JPMorgan’s Gavea Investimentos Ltda., the Rio de Janeiro-based private-equity and hedge fund founded by former Brazil central banker Arminio Fraga, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been made public.

Santander, which generates more profit in Brazil than anywhere else, will announce management changes for the country at the end of March as it boosts the number of Spaniards on the team, the people said. Brazil contributed more than 28 percent of Santander’s earnings last year.

Berenguer referred questions to a Santander spokesman, who declined to comment, as did a spokesman at Gavea.

Berenguer joined Santander in 2008 when the company acquired Banco ABN Amro SA, where he was a senior vice president. ABN Amro’s former Brazil chief executive officer, Fabio Barbosa, became Santander Brasil’s CEO at the time and took on the role of chairman last year. Barbosa resigned in September to become head of Abril SA, a Sao Paulo-based media company.

Berenguer, an executive with experience in investment banking and corporate finance, took on Santander Brasil’s retail business in March 2011 in what was supposed to be a step toward replacing Barbosa as CEO, according to the people. That plan was abandoned. Marcial Portela, a former general director at Santander in Spain with close ties to Chairman Emilio Botin, succeeded Barbosa as CEO last year.

Ignacio Dominguez-Adame moved to Brazil from Spain to take over for Berenguer as head of global banking and markets in Brazil in March 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cristiane Lucchesi in Sao Paulo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at

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