UBS names veteran banker Salles as Brazil chairman

* Names former Itau banker Salles as Brazil chairman

* Mendonca Barros to lead brokerage unit in Brazil

* Confirms Centola will lead Brazil investment bank
(Adds context on hiring, adds expansion plans in Brazil, adds
share movement)

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal

SAO PAULO, Oct 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Swiss bank UBS (UBSN.VX: )
(UBS.N: ), which has expanded in Brazil in recent months, hired
veteran banker Lywal Salles as its chairman in that country,
as part of a push to rebuild its operations in one of the
world’s fastest-growing financial markets.

The 64-year-old former Chase Manhattan Bank and Citigroup
Inc (C.N: ) banker will oversee all UBS operations in Brazil, the
bank said in a statement. He is currently chairman of Banco
Itau Europa, a unit of Itau Unibanco (ITUB4.SA: ), Brazil’s
largest nongovernment bank.

Eduardo Centola, the former chief executive of Standard
Bank’s (SBKJ.J: ) Americas unit, was hired as head of UBS
Investment Bank in Brazil, UBS said. Daniel Mendonca Barros
will head the bank’s securities and broker-dealer units,
following UBS’ takeover of broker Link Investimentos in April.

“With its solid, growing economy and expanding wealth base,
we see strong potential for all our business areas in Brazil.”said Robert Wolf, UBS’ chairman and CEO for the Americas.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Centola was to
head UBS’ Brazilian investment banking arm, citing two people
familiar with the situation. [ID:nN07129792]

Investment banks are expanding in Latin America’s largest
economy as mergers and acquisitions and share sales are likely
to yield record profits this year, prompting a wave of poaching
as firms look to beef up staffing levels. Goldman Sachs in
March poached dealmaker Fabio Bicudo and six bankers from
Citigroup (C.N: ) to rebuild its Brazilian unit. [ID:nN22192474]

UBS is building up its Brazilian operations after its $112
million acquisition of Link Investimentos. Last month, UBS
relaunched its wealth management unit in Brazil as the fastest
economic expansion in almost two decades increased the number
of millionaires and demand for specialized investment advice.

The Swiss bank, which for the past two years has been
reeling from losses stemming from the credit crisis, is trying
to regain a foothold in Brazil after its exit from the country
last year.

UBS sold its UBS Pactual unit back to former Banco Pactual
partners last year for about $2.6 billion to help raise funds
to cover credit- and asset writedown-related losses elsewhere.
The bank had acquired Pactual for a similar sum in 2006.

Merger and acquisition activity in Brazil will likely
gather steam in the second half of 2010. Announced M&A volumes
surged 43.2 percent in the first half of 2010 from a year
earlier, reaching $49 billion, data from the Brazilian
Association of Financial and Capital Markets Firms, or Anbima,
showed last month.

Volumes for the remainder of the year could be larger,
Anbima said in August.

Shares of UBS were up 1.4 percent at 17.28 Swiss francs in
Europe.
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, editing by Matthew
Lewis)

UBS names veteran banker Salles as Brazil chairman