Alvarez & Marsal has launched its new Latin American transaction group with four appointments as the advisory firm looks expand its private equity practice in the region.
The advisory firm’s appointments include Fabio Pires and Alvaro Araujo to managing director, and Sergio Aguilar and David Arrabito as senior directors. Pires will be based in Los Angeles with Arrabito, while Araujo will work from Miami alongside Aguilar.
The new team aims to advise the firm’s fund manager clients on investment opportunities, Paul Aversano, global practice leader for the transaction advisory group at Alvarez & Marsal told Private Equity International.
“What has changed is the larger [private equity] funds that had pulled out or scaled down in the region following the financial crisis, are now going back into the region, and some are also raising Latin America-specific funds, as well as some newer upper middle market entrants seeking to raise Latin America funds that replicate the strategy of their US funds,” Aversano said.
Pires was formerly a partner at Ernst & Young where he specialised in cross-border transaction advisory on Latin American deals, along with Araujo, who spent 10 years at Ernst & Young’s transaction advisory services group as an auditor in New York and Miami; the pair have experience in Brazil, Mexico Colombia, Chile and Peru.
Similarly, Aguilar has more than nine years of transaction advisory experience with a particular expertise in Colombia whereas Arrabito has worked extensively in Brazil, with experience in buy-side and sell-side financial due diligence and cross border acquisitions.
Alvarez has historically been focused on providing operational restructuring and performance improvement services to businesses in Latin America after launching operations in Brazil a decade ago.
The region has attracted the interest of fund managers like global private equity group Abraaj, which announced in August that it had acquired courier company URBANO Express, which provides its services in Peru, Ecuador and El Salvador. In addition, its other deals in the region have included the investments it has made in Peruvian restaurant group Acurio Restaurants, Colombian discount store group D1 and Mexican leasing company Liquid Capital.