Barclays Said to Keep Latin America Advisory Business in Brazil

  • London-based firm decided to exit Brazil in early 2016
  • Barclays closed broker-dealer in nation, returned license

Barclays Plc, which decided in early 2016 to exit Brazil, kept open an investment-banking advisory division for Latin America there after closing its broker-dealer, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The bank also returned its banking license for the country, the person said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Barclays ranks third among advisers on announced mergers and acquisitions in Latin America this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Barclays, the U.K.’s second-largest bank, began exiting businesses and closing offices around the world in early 2016 as part of a move by Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley to bolster profitability. The bank posted fourth-quarter profit in February that missed analysts’ estimates on a charge for accelerating the costs of deferred bonuses, while it signaled progress in efforts to divest its Africa unit and sell unwanted assets.

Staley, a former co-head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment bank, worked at the Wall Street firm’s Latin America division for most of the 1980s, serving as general manager for the Brazil brokerage for eight years.

A spokesman for Barclays declined to comment on the firm’s strategy in Latin America.

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