The Brazilian bank announced yesterday that Álvaro Pimentel will be in charge of the entity in Colombia until next November 1

Heidy Monterrosa – [email protected]

In the first half of the year, several reorganization moves were announced among the country’s bankers. Of the 10 banks that the Financial Superintendence classifies as foreign, Bbva, Citi and Itaú announced that their main heads in the country would be replaced.

The most recent announcement was made by the bank of Brazilian origin, which yesterday reported that after almost four years as president of the entity in the country, Álvaro Pimentel will leave office on November 1 to assume the role of executive director of Itaú Latam, who It is responsible for the operations of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

From that date, Baruc Sáez, who currently serves as director of Investment Banking of Itaú BBA for Latin America, will assume the presidency of the bank in Colombia.

Sáez has 10 years of experience in Grupo Itaú, where in addition to leading the regional team of Investment Banking, he also directed the international fixed income platform for debt capital markets, loan syndication and credit structuring.

The new president of Itaú, who has a master’s degree in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University and a BA from Bard College, worked at Marathon Asset Management, Deutsche Bank, ABN Amro and ING Barings.

For Alfredo Barragán, a banking expert from the Universidad de Los Andes, one of the challenges for the new president will be to consolidate the bank’s position in the local market and strengthen the implementation of good practices in other countries in the country, especially from Brazil where the participation of electronic payments is high.

“It should also continue to strengthen technological integration and digital banking, where considerable progress has been made in recent years,” he said, adding that with the pandemic the acceleration on this front would be greater.

Wilson Triana, an expert in banking and insurance, agreed with him, adding that in addition to the digital transformation, the segment of people should continue to be strengthened with solid offers.

“This is a bank that has all the potential to position itself at the top of the ranking in Colombian banking,” he stressed.

As for the other banks in which executives also moved, Bbva announced in February that after 12 years at the helm of this entity in the country, Óscar Cabrera left the Spanish group and would be replaced by Mario Pardo, who assumed leadership from the bank in March.

At the time, it was indicated that among Pardo’s challenges would be to increase the number of active digital clients and continue to approach fintech companies.

In relation to this, Openpay, a Bbva Group payment platform, came to the country with which different electronic means of payment can be received, even without having a website or dataphone.

In March the Board of Directors of Citi approved the resignation of Álvaro Jaramillo, who was head of the bank in the country and the Andean region for more than two years. In fact, he was in charge of the entity when they sold the portfolio of people and SMEs to Scotiabank Colpatria. He was replaced as Chief Country Officer (CCO) Pablo del Valle, who took office in May. He was also a CCO in Guatemala.

Banks’ profits fall due to virus
In the most recent report on the financial system’s figures, which corresponded to April, the Financial Superintendency announced that banks continue to record profits despite the situation. However, these were lower than those registered in the same month last year. Commercial banks obtained $ 2.63 trillion in profits, 25.3% less than the close to $ 3.3 trillion they earned as of April 2019. The national bank obtained profits of $ 2.10 trillion (-27.8%), while that foreign banks earned $ 542,637 million (-14.2%).


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