September 30, 2016 / 8:37 PM / in 2 years

Banker Oliveira leaves Brazil's BI&P to open advisory firm

SAO PAULO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Brazilian investment banker Samuel Oliveira said on Friday he has left Banco Indusval & Partners SA to set up a firm specializing in merger advisory, the latest in a series of defections at bulge-bracket lenders dealing with a harsh recession and tepid capital markets activity.

Oliveira, who remained a partner at mid-sized lender and advisory firm BI&P between 2013 and last month, will set up the firm with two other bankers. The firm, which will be named North Stone Participações, will focus on M&A, capital markets and restructuring advisory, he said.

Oliveira said he would team up with Gilberto Faiwichow, a former senior vice president at BP&I, who will be responsible for an area that will manage client money, and Luiz Gustavo Saito, a former managing director at Rothschild & Co, at North Stone.

“The retrenchment of some global banks in Brazil leaves plenty of room for independent advisory shops,” said Oliveira, a 50-year-old banker and former government official who had stints with Credit Suisse Group AG and the predecessor of Grupo BTG Pactual SA.

Growing caution among private-sector banks as Latin America’s largest economy completes two years of recession has made it harder for hundreds of mid-sized companies to refinance existing loans or obtain new ones.

They are reaching out to investment banks or advisory firms to help them dispose of assets that could eventually help them cut their debt.

Sectors in which debt refinancing problems have deepened during the recession include sugar and ethanol, farming, oil and gas and engineering. The reason to hire independent advisers such as North Stone is that borrowers can avoid conflicts of interest with lenders who are also acting as advisers.

Many seasoned dealmakers in Brazil left the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley & Co to set up their own advisory firms, such as Olimpia Partners and Volt Partners which were formed in 2010. (Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal)

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