KKR Names Ex-Brazil Central Bank Chief Meirelles Adviser

KKR & Co., the New York-based buyout firm run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, named former Brazil Central Bank Governor Henrique Meirelles as a senior adviser.

The appointment of Meirelles, Brazil’s central-bank chief from January 2003 until December 2010, is effective immediately, KKR said today in a statement.

Brazil has attracted private-equity firms seeking to profit from stronger economic growth in emerging markets. KKR, Washington-based Carlyle Group LP and TPG Capital, based in Fort Worth, Texas, are among firms that have opened or are planning to open offices in the country. KKR has been telling investors as much as 25 percent of its next flagship buyout fund will go to deals in regions outside North America, such as Latin America, according to a person familiar with the firm’s plans, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

“Today’s announcement is an exciting step in building our presence in Brazil and a reflection of our long-term interest in Latin America,” Alex Navab, co-head of KKR’s North American private-equity business, said in the statement. “We will rely on Henrique’s advice and insights in the world of government, finance and investment as we expand our business in Brazil and throughout Latin America.”

Meirelles led the Latin American business at FleetBoston Financial Corp. before becoming president of Brazil’s central bank. He was the longest-serving Brazilian central banker and cut the annual inflation rate by more than 50 percent.

Meirelles became chairman of J&F Participacoes SA in March, and Lazard Ltd., the world’s biggest independent merger adviser, named him chairman of its Americas business in May. He’s also a board member of Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras SA, the Brazilian airline founded by David Neeleman, and was named head of Brazil’s Olympic Games authority last year. Rio de Janeiro is the host of the 2016 Summer Games.

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