Greenhill & Co. hired Daniel Wainstein, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s former head of investment-banking in Brazil, to open an office in Sao Paulo, the New York-based advisory firm’s first South American branch.
Wainstein, 43, will build a team able to advise major Brazilian companies on global transactions, he said today in a statement from Greenhill. Wainstein left Goldman Sachs in June after 13 years, including 11 in Brazil, according to the statement.
Greenhill is expanding into Brazil as some international banks pull back. Goldman Sachs halted an expansion there after announcing plans in April to hire 50 people for the region. UBS AG, based in Zurich, and London-based Barclays Plc have been reducing staff in Brazil as competition with local lenders intensifies. Economic growth decelerated last year to 0.9 percent, capping the slowest two years in a decade.
“If a region is going through some cyclical economic challenges, it can be an even more opportune time for us to recruit,” Greenhill Chief Executive Officer Scott Bok, 54, said today in a separate e-mailed statement. “Brazil will certainly have its ups and downs, just like the U.S. market does, but Brazil is clearly a large market that will see significant economic growth over the long term.”
Announced mergers and acquisitions involving companies in Brazil declined 13 percent to $39.7 billion this year from the same period in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as the outlook for economic growth worsened and volatility in equity and exchange-rates markets led to some deals being postponed. That’s the slowest pace for the period since 2007, the data show.
Brazil’s benchmark Ibovespa index has lost about 13 percent this year, compared with a 19 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Wainstein was appointed chairman of Brazil investment banking at New York-based Goldman Sachs in April 2012, when Antonio Pereira and Fabio Bicudo were named co-chief operating officers. Before working at Goldman Sachs, he spent two years at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in New York, Greenhill said in the statement.
Wainstein was one of only two Goldman Sachs partners who are Brazilian.