UPDATE 1-Goldman taps Brazil investment bank co-heads as Wainstein quits

Wed Mar 6, 2013 11:25am EST

* Bicudo, Pereira are Goldman veterans in M&A, DCM

* Wainstein was one of two partners based in Brazil

* Goldman seeks growth in Brazil with complex products

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal

SAO PAULO, March 6 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc named bankers Fabio Bicudo and Antonio Pereira as co-heads of investment banking in Brazil, where the U.S. firm is seeking to leverage growth in fast-growing activities such as structured finance and corporate lending.

Both bankers were co-chief opperating officers of Goldman's investment-banking unit in Brazil prior to the appointment, according to a memo obtained by Reuters on Wednesday. Both Bicudo and Pereira are veterans of the New York-based firm, where the former worked in mergers and acquisitions primarily and the latter worked in debt capital markets deals for some time.

The appointments came the same day that Goldman Sachs announced that Daniel Wainstein, chairman of the investment-banking unit in Brazil, plans to retire from the firm after 13 years. Wainstein has been a partner of Goldman Sachs - one of the two that the firm has in Brazil - since 2010.

"As co-heads, Fabio and Antonio will continue to develop our strategy and strengthen our developing client franchise in this important market," the memo said.

Goldman Sachs is seeking fast growth in Brazil, where demand for debt and hedging instruments has swelled as interest rates have fallen to all-time lows this year. Companies and investors are stepping up demand for corporate bonds, asset-backed securities and private equity fund-related vehicles posting higher returns than equities and government debt.

Its investment bank ranked eighth in mergers and acquisitions in Brazil last year, with $14.56 billion worth of advisory work, according to Thomson Reuters data. In terms of equity underwriting, Goldman Sachs was the fourth-biggest earner from share offerings in Brazil with about $700 million in proceeds. It failed to make any of the first 15 spots in global debt underwriting for Brazil in the Thomson Reuters rankings.

The lender has been expanding aggressively in Brazil since 2009, when it became a full-service financial institution. The bank, which last year increased the capital of its Brazilian unit to about $400 million, has doubled its workforce in the South American country over the past two years to approximately 300 people.

A spokesperson for Goldman in Brazil declined to comment on the appointments or Wainstein's departure.