Citigroup’s Top Mexico Investment Banker to Add Dealmakers

Citigroup Inc.’s Mexico investment banking chief said the company is adding staff to meet rising demand for advisory services on mergers, acquisitions and equity issuance in the Latin American nation.

Citigroup will expand its team by 10 percent to 20 percent this year, Alfredo Capote, the Mexican group’s head investment banker, said in an interview in Davos, Switzerland. He declined to say how many bankers the lender currently employs in the Latin American country.

“There’s a very important search for talent right now,” Capote said. “The idea is to invest now because in two or three years there’s going to be significant growth with regards to all of this.”

Investment banking has grown in Mexico amid speculation the country will benefit from an accelerating economic expansion in the U.S., where it sends about 80 percent of its exports, and legislation passed last year opening the Latin American nation’s energy industry to private investment. Mexican investment banking revenue surged 70 percent to $663.4 million in 2013, while in Brazil it fell 12 percent to $832.6 million, according to London-based research company Dealogic.

Capote said other lenders are probably also expanding. The entrance of new firms is another sign of rising growth expectations in the investment banking industry, he said.

Sao Paulo-based Grupo BTG Pactual, the investment bank founded by billionaire Andre Esteves, got permission last year to start a brokerage in Mexico.

“More and more clients are asking for local experts” in investment banking, in addition to the bankers that fly in from New York to work on deals, Capote said.

He joined Citigroup in December 2012 from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

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