Lazard Ltd has announced that Henrique Meirelles, former President of the Central Bank of Brazil, has been appointed Chairman, Lazard Americas, effective immediately.
Based in São Paulo, Meirelles will advise senior management regarding important initiatives internationally.
Lazard also announced it has integrated its Brazilian operations, which were previously run as a joint venture known as Signatura Lazard. Marcelo Lyrio and Jean Pierre Zarouk, founders of Signatura, will retain their titles and responsibilities as Managing Directors and co-heads of Lazard’s Brazilian Investment Banking operations, based in São Paulo.
'These announcements underscore our belief in the current and future opportunities in Brazil, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic economies', said Antonio Weiss, Global Head of Investment Banking of Lazard. 'We have known and admired Mr. Meirelles for many years. His perspective on the financial system and global economy will be invaluable to Lazard and our clients. We are also pleased to cement our relationship with our São Paulo partners after eight years of successful cooperation'.
Meirelles was President of Brazil’s Central Bank from 2003 through 2010, during which time he helped lead Brazil through a period of unprecedented growth and prosperity. Before that, he was President of FleetBoston’s Corporate and Global Bank, and President of its predecessor BankBoston, which he joined in 1974. Meirelles is Chairman of the advisory board of J&F Participações SA, the holding company of JBS SA, and a Board Member of Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras.
The Signatura Lazard joint venture was formed in 2004 and has provided local and cross-border financial advisory services to a diversified client base. During this period, Lazard, Messrs. Lyrio and Zarouk and the team in Brazil have advised on several relevant transactions including: Aggreko in its acquisition of Poit; The Principal Group in its acquisition of Claritas; Sodexo in the acquisition of Puras do Brasil; the Special Independent Committee of Vivo Participações in the merger with Telesp; the merger of Casas Bahia and Globex/Ponto Frio; the merger of LDC Bioenergia, a subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus Commodities, and Santelisa Vale to form LDC SEV; the sale of Alphaville to Gafisa; and, the acquisition of Ripasa by Suzano and Votorantim.