Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, elected on April 14, appointed central bank governor Nelson Merentes as finance minister. The move cheered analysts, who say Merentes is likely to be more pragmatic than his predecessor, Jorge Giordani. Commerce minister Edmée Betancourt was nominated as president of the central bank.

Itaú BBA hired Morgan Stanley’s Charles Stewart as CEO of its London subsidiary, to replace Almir Vignoto, who moves to New York to run US operations in June. Stewart worked at Morgan Stanley for 19 years, and previously headed LatAm investment banking. BBVA Bancomer’s Rafael Gamboa González was named CEO of Mexican development bank Fideicomisos Instituidos en Relación con la Agricultura (FIRA), replacing Rodrigo Sánchez Mújica.

BlackRock hired former Mexican undersecretary of finance and public credit Gerardo Rodríguez as a managing director in New York. He will work in the asset manager’s emerging markets business including on product development strategies. Rodríguez spent 14 years at the Hacienda.

Mizuho is making a push into emerging markets, recruiting five people for debt sales and trading. The bank hired Allan Grauer as head of LatAm trading, Sebastian Azumendi as head of LatAm credit trading, Georges Fernandes for high-yield credit trading, and Rod Eichler and Nestor Cybriwsky, for EM fixed income sales.

Felipe García-Moreno joined JPMorgan to head banking coverage for Mexico. He joins from Morgan Stanley, where he ran the bank’s Mexico office. Mario Duque resigned as CEO of BBVA Corredores de Bolsa in Chile in March, and is said to be leaving for a management role at an international food distribution company. Paul Misle, previously head of sales for BBVA Chile, takes his spot.

Goldman Sachs promoted its Brazil investment banking COOs, Fabio Bicudo and Antonio Pereira, to co-head the bank’s IB business in the country, after Daniel Wainstein retired from the firm. He had been head of Brazil IB since 2010, and chairman since 2012.

Francisco Ossa stepped down as CEO of Merrill Lynch Corredores de Bolsa in Chile, and is replaced by Max Cuenca.Corpbanca Corredores de Bolsa CEO Cristián Donoso Larraín resigned, and will be replaced by Pablo Meyer.

Nathan Moussan joins Mexico’s Actinver as head of debt capital markets from Santander Mexico’s domestic DCM team, which he joined in 2011. Michael Cummings has rejoined Credit Suisse, as head of debt capital markets for Latin America. He left CS last year, after eight years, for UBS. Cummings fills the void left by Michael Schoen, who left CS late last year.

Vicente Monge retired as Chile country head for JPMorgan, replaced by Alfonso Eyzaguirre, the bank’s head of investment banking in Chile. Monge had been with the firm since 1986.

Sada heads Vitro

Vitro promoted glass container operations president Adrián Sada to CEO, replacing Hugo Lara, who had been at the Mexican glassmaker since 2004, and CEO since 2008.

Abílio Diniz was appointed chairman of Brasil Foods (BRF), replacing Nildemar Secches who is retiring. The businessman remains chairman of retailer Grupo Pão de Açúcar.

Brazilian insurer SulAmérica promoted vice-president for health and dental, Gabriel Fagundes Filho, to CEO. He replaces Thomaz Cabral de Menezes. 

Concessionária Auto Raposo Tavares (CART) named Tulio Abi-Saber as CEO. He was previously an executive in the planning department of Invepar, CART’s controller. Abi-Saber replaces Ricardo Duarte.

Enrique Valdivieso resigned as CEO of Chilean state-run copper producer Empresa Nacional de Minería (Enami) in April.

José Luis Murillo was named CEO of Chilean water utilities Esval and Aguas del Valle, replacing Francisco Ottone, who held the post on an interim basis since Rodrigo Azócar departed in November.

Ottone returns to his role managing the company’s planning and research area. Murillo has since 2012 been CEO of Spanish transportation and logistics Grupo Sesé.

Gustavo Estrella, director of planning and control, was appointed CFO of Brazil’s CPFL Energia. He replaces Lorival Nogueira Luz who resigned at the end of February after two years in the role.

Telecom Argentina appointed Stefano De Angelis, director of planning, administration and control at Telecom Italia, as CEO. He replaces Franco Bertone, who had been in the job since March 2009, and who moves to Telecom Italia. LF