André Esteves, co-founder and CEO of Brazil-based BTG Pactual, the largest investment bank in Latin America, will be a keynote speaker tomorrow (Sat., March 9) at a conference on Latin America held at Harvard Business School (HBS).
At the invitation of Club Latinoamericano, an organization of Harvard MBA students, he will deliver his address at the Club’s annual conference, a major event that has regularly featured Latin American heads of state and business leaders as well as panels and networking opportunities for hundreds of attendees from Harvard Business School, Harvard University, and other institutions. During his visit, he will also hold meetings with Harvard student entrepreneurs in the Harvard University Innovation Lab (i-lab).
Esteves, a member of Harvard Business School’s Latin America Advisory Board, has also made a significant personal donation to Harvard Business School to renovate Baker Hall, a residence hall built in 1969 and used by the School’s Executive Education programs, which annually attract some 10,000 businesspeople from around the world, a significant proportion of them from Brazil.
“Education is an essential ingredient in the development of people, the growth and success of regions, and the rapid development of intellectual capital,” Esteves said. “Harvard Business School is the global leader in educating people who make a difference in the world. The men and women who graduate from its Executive Education programs have a long-lasting impact on the progress of their workers, their companies, and their countries, and have done so in particular in Brazil. I am delighted that Esteves Hall will play an important role in the education of new generations of business leaders for years to come and help raise the visibility of Brazil on the world stage.”
For several years, Esteves and his colleagues have worked with Harvard Business School faculty on an executive training program for members of BTG Pactual’s management team. He was inspired to pursue this undertaking because of his interest in education and in opportunities to improve management education in Brazil by sharing best practices learned at Harvard Business School.
Esteves was also impressed by the many other exchanges he saw underway in recent years between Brazil and Harvard University, ranging from President Dilma Rousseff’s visit last year at the Harvard Kennedy School to the enrollment in 2012-13 of 85 Brazilians as students across the nine faculties of Harvard University, the highest number in history. The year 2012 also saw the signing of a major agreement between the government of Brazil and Harvard University to support students in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in an effort to increase Brazil's capabilities in science and mathematics in particular.
Also in 2012, more than 230 first-year Harvard MBA students worked on projects in 33 companies across Latin America to fulfill a requirement of the first-year curriculum called FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development) that brings them to an emerging economy in January to work with an enterprise on the development of a new product or service. Ninety of these students visited São Paulo to use Brazil as a significant site for experiential learning. Last year, thirty second-year Harvard MBA students traveled to Brazil as part of the School’s Immersion Experience Program (IXP) to learn firsthand about the country’s businesses, economy, and culture.
The Esteves gift will further solidify Harvard Business School's connection with Brazil as well as the rest of Latin America. HBS faculty, for example, work in Brazil and other Latin American nations to do research, run educational programs, and consult with companies. An HBS senior researcher is based in São Paulo and works closely with the School’s Latin America Research Center in Buenos Aires, which since 2000 has produced numerous research cases and other educational materials on management and economic issues in Brazil and other countries in the region.
Recent case studies include one on Mr. Esteves’s firm, BTG Pactual. There are now a total of more than 170 cases pertaining to Brazil in the HBS case collection.
The Latin America Research Center also supports the Global Colloquium on Participant-Centered Learning, a course for faculty at business schools in emerging economies that trains them in interactive methods of teaching and learning, and the Social Enterprise Knowledge Network, a consortium of eleven leading Latin American business schools that do research and develop teaching cases on social enterprises.
In addition, HBS Executive Education will hold an “alumni immersion” event in Brazil later this year for graduates of its Owner/President Management Program for entrepreneurs, and a team of a dozen HBS faculty will visit the region in early 2013 as part of a faculty immersion. The HBS Alumni Club of Brazil offers a wide range of activities for its members and is responsible for organizing all Latin American participants in the Harvard Business School’s Alumni New Venture Competition, which is designed to support alumni in launching promising new businesses and social-impact ventures.
Harvard University also has a Brazil Office in São Paulo as part of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, whose mission since its founding in 1994 has been to increase knowledge of the cultures, economies, histories, environment, and contemporary affairs of past and present Latin America. The Brazil Office and accompanying Brazil Studies Program facilitate ties between Harvard and Brazilian research institutions; support Harvard faculty and students in their research, teaching, and learning throughout Brazil; offer a robust set of programs and activities at Harvard and in Brazil; and provide a hospitable environment for Brazilians at Harvard and for Harvard scholars in Brazil.
Thanks to the generosity of Brazilian businessman and philanthropist Jorge Paulo Lemann, a 1961 graduate of Harvard College, and the Lemann Foundation, the Lemann Fellowships at Harvard University were established in 2006 to give Brazilians who work or aspire to work as professionals in education, government, or public health the opportunity for advanced study at Harvard University to help build a stronger and more effective public sector in Brazil. Over 60 Lemann Fellows, many already significant leaders back in Brazil in their fields, have benefited from this innovative Harvard fellowship program.
Born into a working-class family in Rio de Janeiro, Esteves earned a bachelor's degree from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in 1989 and immediately joined Banco Pactual as a systems analyst. The forerunner of BTG Pactual, Banco Pactual began as a broker dealer in 1983 and quickly expanded into asset management and investment banking. Working out of the firm's office in São Paulo, Esteves was soon promoted and assigned to fixed income investments. He was named a partner in 1993 and managing partner in 2002. Four years later, he oversaw the deal to sell Banco Pactual to UBS AG, the Swiss financial services giant, for approximately $3.1 billion USD. He became CEO of the new entity, UBS Pactual, and was subsequently named global head of fixed Income, commodities, and currencies, based in London.
In 2008, Esteves and several former Banco Pactual partners decided to leave UBS. Joined by a group of senior UBS traders and the former governor of the Brazilian Central Bank, they formed their own investment company, BTG (for Banking and Trading Group). It was not long before an opportunity arose to make an unexpected acquisition. Buffeted by the 2008 financial crisis and in need of cash to meet its capital requirements, UBS offered to sell UBS Pactual to Esteves and his colleagues for $2.4 billion USD. Their new firm was renamed BTG Pactual. Since then, the firm has made a number of acquisitions, including, most recently, Celfin, a brokerage house in Chile; Bolsa y Renta, a brokerage in Colombia; and the Brazilian retail bank Banco PanAmericano.
Raising further funding through a highly successful initial public offering in 2012, BTG Pactual is now one of the twenty largest firms on the São Paulo stock exchange, with market cap in excess of $15 billion USD. It has nearly 2,000 employees and offices in eight countries, with its core business units focusing on sales and trading, investment banking, corporate lending, asset management, wealth management, and principal investments.
Esteves serves on the board of the Federation of Brazilian Banks as well as Conservation International and Fundação Estudar, a private scholarship fund that supports Brazilian students at Harvard University.
“At the age of only 44, André Esteves has already had a remarkable career as a banker and entrepreneur,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria. “He has been a leader in creating an important financial institution in one of the world’s most important economies. With roots in Brazil, BTG Pactual has had an impact not only throughout Latin America but in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In the global century in which we live, the need for well-trained business leaders who can make a difference in the world has never been greater.
“The aim of our Executive Education programs is to help fulfill that need at all levels of organizations worldwide, and we are interested in increasing our focus in Latin America,” Nohria continued. “This gift contributes greatly to our ability to accomplish that and puts Brazil squarely on the stage as a global player, thanks to André’s commitment.”
Said Professor Das Narayandas, senior associate dean and chair of Executive Education. “Because of André Esteves's generosity, we will be able to give our participants an even more significant and memorable experience. Beyond that, it emphasizes the importance of Brazil in both the world economy and the Harvard University community.”
Dates and details regarding the residence hall renovation will be announced at a later date.