Cavallo Leads the Charge
Argentina’s political and financial crisis reached a new peak in March when President Fernando de la Rúa twice replaced his economy minister in an effort to restore market confidence and political stability. The most recent cabinet shift occurred during the Inter-American Development Bank’s annual meeting in Santiago when de la Rúa tapped market veteran Domingo Cavallo to replace Ricardo López Murphy as economy minister. Cavallo, a Harvard-trained economist, gained fame during former President Carlos Menem’s administration by stabilizing Argentina’s hyperinflation by tying the peso to the US dollar.
Corta Joins White & Case in Mexico
The former executive secretary of Mexico’s Bank Savings Protection Institute (IPAB), Vicente Corta, has joined White&Case as partner in the law firm’s Mexico City office. As head of IPAB, Corta led the Mexican government’s controversial bailout of the banking system following the 1995-1995 peso crisis. Before heading IPAB, Corta had a distinguished career with the Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.
Telefónica Móviles Names CEO for Mexican Division
After taking control of Motorola’s four northern Mexican cellular phone providers, Spain’s Telefónica Móviles named José Luis de Peña as CEO of the four companies. Peña had worked as Telefónica Móviles’ director of sales in Madrid. As CEO, Peña will oversee Bajacel, Movitel, Norcel and Cedetel.
Former Anif Chief Goes to Rothschild
Armando Montenegro, president of Colombia’s National Association of Financial Institutions (Anif), has been named managing director of the Bogotá office of N.M. Rothschild&Sons. He will assume his new post in April. Montenegro, who holds a doctorate in economics from New York University, has served as president of Anif since 1996 and was previously Colombia’s planning director under former President César Gaviria.
The Passing of a Patriarch
Walter Moreira Salles, the patriarch of Brazilian finance, died in late February at his home in Petrópolis at the age of 88. Moreira Salles created Unibanco in 1967 through a merger of several smaller banks including the family’s Banco Moreira Salles. Unibanco went on to become one of the country’s biggest and most successful private sector banks. Moreira Salles also had a distinguished career in public service, serving as Brazilian finance minister and ambassador to the United States. Moreira Salles later turned over management of Unibanco to his son, Pedro Moreira Salles, himself a gifted financier. His other son Walter Moreira Salles Jr, is an internationally acclaimed film director.
Cisco Promotes Insider to Head Americas
Cisco Systems, the Internet networking company, named Keith Goodwin as its vice president for the Americas. Goodwin replaces Gordon Astles, appointed senior vice president for Cisco’s operations in Asia. Goodwin previously worked as Cisco’s vice president for global operations and earlier for Hewlett Packard.
Boord Retruns to Salomon
Salomon Smith Barney hired John Boord as head of investment banking for Mexico. Boord returns to Salomon after a one-year-absence during which he created a Spanish-language Internet portal. He previously worked as director of Salomon’s Latin American equity capital markets desk in New York. Boord will report to Carlos Guimaraes, head of Latin American investment banking.
(From left to right) Antonio del Valle, Grupo Financiero
Leadership Council Meets in Santiago
LatinFinance held its fifth meeting of the Latin American Bank Leadership Council during the March annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank in Santiago. The Council is a forum in which senior Latin America bank executives can exchange ideas and discuss issues related to the banking industry. José Castañeda, president of Bladex, chaired the meeting. Raimundo Morales, general manager of Banco de Crédito del Perú, gave a presentation of his bank’s recent $100 million securitization deal. Vicente Garcia, of Hewlett Packard, updated members on advances in electronic banking. Sebastiao Cunha, senior vice president at Banque Sudameris, reported on the progress in reforming the BIS’s capital adequacy regulations. Archie Baldocchi, president of Banco Agrícola Comercial de El Salvador, spoke about his country’s dollarization policy.