Brysam invests $98m in Colombian bank

The private equity firm co-founded by ousted AIG chief executive Robert Willumstad has acquired a 19% stake in BCSC, Brysam’s third transaction since its founding in January 2007.

Private equity firm Brysam Global Partners has acquired an 18.8 percent stake in privately-held Colombian bank BCSC for roughly $98 million.

The bank will use the capital to implement best practices and expand its products and services.

Other investors in BCSC include Fundación Social, BCSC’s largest shareholder with a 71.6 percent stake, and the World Bank division the International Finance Corporation, with a 9.5 percent stake.

Colombia: attracting
bank investment

Brysam is a specialised private equity firm that invests in financial services with a focus on consumer opportunities in emerging markets. The firm was co-founded in January 2007 by Robert Willumstad, a former president and chief operating officer of Citigroup, and Marge Magner, the former chairman and chief executive of the bank’s global consumer group.

Largely financed by JPMorgan Chase, Brysam has reportedly raised more than $1 billion. The firm in July 2007 acquired a 28 percent stake in Mexico City-based Ixe Grupo Financiero for $230 million and in February 2008 acquired a 9.9 percent interest in Moscow-based financial institution Vozrozhdenie Bank.

Willumstad replaced former American International Group chief executive Martin Sullivan in June 2008 after being chairman of the board since 2006. Willumstad was ousted from his post at AIG last month when the US government replaced him with Edward Liddy, former chairman and chief executive officer of Allstate, as part of its $85 billion bailout of the ailing insurance giant.

Willumstad remains a senior advisor to Brysam.