Itaú's CEO to step down next year; other executive changes set

Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:00am EST

* Setubal to relinquish CEO role when he reaches retirement age

* Board wants CEOs to retire at 62 instead of 60 now

* Itaú eliminates one key post in management shuffle

By Aluísio Alves

SAO PAULO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Itaú Unibanco Holding SA , Brazil's No. 1 bank by market value, said Chief Executive Officer Roberto Egydio Setubal would step down next year when he reaches the retirement age of 60.

Setubal, who has been the bank's CEO since 1994, will then assume the presidency of an Itaú holding company to ensure a smooth transition as the bank reshuffles its management, according to a company email sent to Reuters. The bank's board will ask shareholders to approve lifting the retirement age for future CEOs to 62 at an assembly on April 19, the email added.

Itaú, which cut almost 10,000 jobs last year, faces weak growth in loan disbursements, a focus on less-risky types of credit that charge lower interest rates, and a rapid compression in banking spreads. Setubal said earlier this month that slowing a decline in margins was the biggest challenge at Itaú.

The bank also said that Marcos Lisboa, the senior vice president in charge of insurance and internal controls, would step down. Other executives will take over units under his responsibility, effectively reducing the number of senior vice presidents to nine from 10.

Marcio Schettini, who is currently the senior vice president for card transactions, will oversee insurance as well as auto and mortgage lending. Chief Financial Officer Caio Ibrahim David was promoted to senior vice president under the changes, the statement added.

Recently, Setubal named Eduardo Vassimon as senior vice president for risk and compliance, replacing Sergio Werlang. Vassimon, who left Itaú in 2008 to pursue other interests, will be in charge of risk modeling and compliance in all areas of Brazil's largest private-sector lender.

A source told Reuters at the time that the dismissal of Werlang as senior vice president for finance, risk and compliance was probably linked to an internal view that the division was responsible for massive credit-related losses in some segments last year. Following his dismissal, Itaú separated the finance unit, led by CFO David, from risk and compliance.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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