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Ex-Citi and Safra directors launch $1bn wealth manager in Brazil

Ex-Citi and Safra directors launch $1bn wealth manager in Brazil

Two former Citi Private Bank directors and a J. Safra Sarasin executive have launched a wealth management practice in Brazil that has already attracted more than $1 billion in client assets.

Citi’s Rubens Coutinho and Moti Abadi, along with Safra’s Renato Bucholtz, officially launched the business on April 6, Citywire Americas has learned. The three joined Brazilian financial firm Garin Investimentos as partners to add a wealth segment to the company’s offering, which already includes management of local mutual funds.   

The trio runs the venture together and manages assets for six Brazilian families in the ultra-high net worth investor segment, Coutinho (pictured below) told Citywire Americas. Some were the partners' clients at their previous companies.

Garin Investimentos provides asset allocation services and mandates for families with a net worth of at least $50 million. The firm advises on Brazilian and offshore assets, and it books through banks such as Santander, Itaú and UBS, Coutinho said.

He added that given the size of their client accounts, he expects Garin will take on at most 20 families. Coutinho also said the firm plans to hire a junior and a senior banker within the next two months.

Talking from experience

Before founding the Garin wealth practice, Coutinho was a private banker at Citi in Brazil for seven years. He specialized in family offices, offering customized solutions such as portfolio analysis and cross-border strategies.

Abadi, meanwhile, served as head of Brazilian capital markets for Citi Private Bank in São Paulo. With more than 20 years' financial experience, he also worked at Salomon Smith Barney as a fixed income trader and at UBS Financial Services.

Bucholtz kicked off his career in 2000 at the Safra group, where he went on to serve as private banking head, first in the Bahamas in 2008 and two years later in Panama.

The three joined a roster of experienced colleagues who launched Garin as an asset manager in July 2017.  

These partners include Ivan Kraiser and Andre Mattos, who came from Brazilian asset manager Legan Administração de Recursos.

In 2014, Italy’s Azimut bought a controlling stake in Legan. Kraiser and Mattos negotiated to leave the group last year to start Garin using the track record of a low volatility strategy they used to run, Coutinho said.

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