BTG Pactual co-founder and former chief executive André Esteves is set to regain power within the firm if he’s acquitted in a corruption case that landed him in jail in 2015.
Bloomberg reported on February 22 that Esteves would rejoin the investment bank’s controlling group once he’s cleared in the case, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.
The BTG Pactual executive was arrested in November 2015 on charges that he had obstructed Brazil's biggest corruption investigation.
In December 2015, Esteves resigned as CEO and seven BTG Pactual partners took control of the firm, which made Esteves the biggest shareholder but saw him lose part of his voting stock and left him out of the controlling group.
Esteves was released from jail in April 2016 and rejoined BTG Pactual as an advisor. In September 2017, the Brazilian prosecutor’s office said there was ‘no sufficient proof’ against Esteves in the case and that the federal court should acquit him, which set the stage for his return to BTG Pactual’s controlling group.
His comeback occurs as other partners, including wealth management head Rogerio Pessoa, plan to increase their stakes and influence in the firm, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, chairman Marcelo Kalim plans to sell his BTG Pactual holdings to start his own bank, the publication reported.
Esteves has always denied wrongdoing, but his 2015 arrest sent BTG Pactual into crisis mode. To survive, the firm sold more than $3.5 billion in assets and cut jobs in New York, London and across Latin America.
As part of the plan, BTG Pactual had to quickly sell Swiss bank BSI to EFG international for $1.3 billion in a transaction announced February 2016. The Brazilian firm had only finalized its acquisition of BSI from Italian insurer Generali in September 2015 for about $1.7 billion.
Since then BTG Pactual, which offers a host of investment banking, and asset and wealth management services across Latin America, has since worked to rebuild its image and business through actions such as the opening of a brokerage in Argentina.