(Adds more CFO comments on Esteves’ acquittal)
By Carolina Mandl
SAO PAULO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Banco BTG Pactual SA Chief Financial Officer João Dantas said on Wednesday there will be no changes to the bank’s management in the short term following the acquittal of its founder, Andre Esteves, of corruption charges last month.
In a phone interview with Reuters, Dantas did not say which position Esteves, who came back to BTG Pactual in April 2016 as senior adviser, could hold if he were to return formally to BTG Pactual.
“There is no decision yet on management changes,” Dantas said. “But BTG partners want to avoid mistakes made in the past and give investors the impression of a concentration of power in one man.” Esteves remains its largest single shareholder.
The bank was forced to cut jobs and shed assets after Esteves, its chief executive and chairman, was arrested and spent 23 days in jail in 2015.
Dantas said that Esteves’ acquittal will not have any effect on the bank’s business and key metrics such as leverage, solvency and liquidity.
Earlier on Wednesday, the executive told investors the bank is slowly increasing its leverage. Units in Banco BTG Pactual SA closed up 1.8 percent on Wednesday after Brazil’s largest independent investment bank reported higher quarterly profits.
The São Paulo-based bank reported on Tuesday 685 million reais ($182.56 million) in recurring net income, which excludes one-time items, up 13.6 percent from a year earlier, boosted by its fund management and investment banking revenue. The bank’s loan book grew by 16 percent in the quarter.
“We believe this is a good set-up for 2H2018, when the presidential elections could keep markets volatile,” Goldman Sachs analyst Carlos Macedo wrote in a note to clients.
A new digital investment platform known as BTG Pactual Digital is the bank’s bet to attract new wealth management clients, Dantas added.
Dantas expects a rise in the number of clients after September, when BTG will launch an online broker. The platform will also start working with independent brokers to lure more customers.
$1 = 3.7521 reais Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by David Gregorio and Phil Berlowitz