Jose Berenguer Said to Replace Berquo as JPMorgan’s Brazil CEO

JPMorgan Chase & Co. named Jose de Menezes Berenguer Neto, once a contender to run Banco Santander SA’s Brazil unit, to succeed Claudio Berquo as head of its own business there, said two people with knowledge of the move.

Berenguer will relinquish the money-management role he has held since March at JPMorgan’s private-equity and hedge-fund unit, Gavea Investimentos Ltda., said the people, who asked to not be identified because the appointment wasn’t announced. Gavea was founded by former Brazil central banker Arminio Fraga.

Berenguer, who previously led Banco Santander Brasil’s retail, asset-management and private banking businesses, will become chief executive officer of a JPMorgan unit that ranks as Brazil’s 15th-largest bank by assets, with 32 billion reais ($16.2 billion). Berquo was named to the CEO post in November 2009, overseeing the operation with about 700 employees.

A JPMorgan spokesman declined to comment on the moves, and there was no response to calls and e-mails to Berquo and Berenguer. Brazilian columnists Sonia Racy, from Estado de S. Paulo, and Lauro Jardim, from Veja, reported Berenguer’s appointment earlier today.

Berenguer, who had prior 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 then-CEO Fabio Barbosa, people familiar with the matter said last year. That plan was later abandoned.