A scandal cost Brazil billionaire bank CEO his job, but not control

SAO PAULO/NEW YORK, July 19 (Reuters) – Twenty-three days in a Rio de Janeiro jail and getting stripped of his chief executive role were enough to make billionaire banker Andre Esteves consider leaving both Brazil and BTG Pactual , the investment bank he founded.

Six years later, Esteves, whose stake in the bank is worth roughly 40 billion reais ($7.89 billion), is closing in on a comeback, four sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

Far from quitting, the sources said Esteves has increasingly controlled key decisions at the bank even though he has no formal management role there, fashioning the publicly held BTG after Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) in its days as a private partnership.

The Esteves revival gained strength after he was first exonerated in one of Brazil’s “Car Wash” corruption inquiries in July 2018. He has now put most of his other legal troubles behind him, and could get final regulatory approvals soon to rebuild his controlling stake at BTG.

In the two years since Brazilian regulators allowed him to rejoin a group of partners known as the “G7”, which holds a majority stake in BTG but is different from the board, Esteves has overseen a push into retail banking, led negotiations on two acquisitions and worked directly with clients on initial public offerings and other deals, the sources said.

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Source: Reuters, Tatiana Bautzer, Carolina Mandl, Jessica Dinapoli