Investment Banking in Brazil

Hey there, I am studying at an European university and I am quite drawn to the opportunity to work in an emerging economy. As a result I am looking to get an internship in Brazil to explore the industry and gain a sense of what it is like to work there. I would greatly appreciate if anyone could provide any advice about the recruitment process and culture there. Cheers!

Comments (13)

  • Senior Consultant in Consulting
Jan 18, 2021 - 4:52pm

The bulk of IB in Brazil is based on 3 main categories:

  • LatAm offices of BBs
  • Local big banks (e.g. Itau, Banco Bradesco etc.)
  • Local M&A advisors (e.g. BR Partners, Leme Partners etc.)

BBs and large local players have pretty structured recruitment with positions going live on their websites with a certain degree of cyclicality. Small advisory boutiques hire on a need and rolling basis. 

Jan 18, 2021 - 6:49pm
unash, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The bulk of IB in Brazil is based on 3 main categories:

  • LatAm offices of BBs
  • Local big banks (e.g. Itau, Banco Bradesco etc.)
  • Local M&A advisors (e.g. BR Partners, Leme Partners etc.)

BBs and large local players have pretty structured recruitment with positions going live on their websites with a certain degree of cyclicality. Small advisory boutiques hire on a need and rolling basis. 

Thanks for the input! I am aware that  banks in Brazil tend to have 1-year internships for local students. Do you know if these players also typically have a structured summer internship? Or are summer interns hired on a need basis (through networking)? 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 18, 2021 - 9:29pm

Hey! Brazilian here and an IB analyst at a BB in NYC. From everyone I've met from the Brazil office, all were part of this one year internship program. However, I know I few that interned (the regular 9-10 week internship) with the LatAm group out of NYC, worked with the Brazil team on local/international deals, and later either went on to do the same full time or transferred to the Brazil office.

If that's something you're interested in, recruiting has the same calendar as that in the US, but you apply for the LatAm group instead, which has a separate application. Knowing Spanish or Portuguese is either a requirement or recommendation, although I've not used either for anything else besides some VERY occasional googling. Let me know if you have any other questions - happy to help!

Jan 19, 2021 - 5:38am
unash, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey! Brazilian here and an IB analyst at a BB in NYC.
From everyone I've met from the Brazil office, all were part of this one year internship program. However, I know I few that interned (the regular 9-10 week internship) with the LatAm group out of NYC, worked with the Brazil team on local/international deals, and later either went on to do the same full time or transferred to the Brazil office.

If that's something you're interested in, recruiting has the same calendar as that in the US, but you apply for the LatAm group instead, which has a separate application. Knowing Spanish or Portuguese is either a requirement or recommendation, although I've not used either for anything else besides some VERY occasional googling. Let me know if you have any other questions - happy to help!

Hey, thank you for the reply! So joining the one year internship seems to be the common route to get the grad position. Do you mind if I ask if you have started in Brazil and then moved to NYC?

That is quite interesting, do you recommend applying to NYC office for the LatAm group then? I hold an European passport and thought it'd be easier to get a visa in Brazil than in the US, do you know if this is the case? The recruitment cycle for this year is closed, isn't it?

Thank you!

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 19, 2021 - 7:50am

For sure, happy to help. I went to college in the US, and did the 10 week internship program in NYC at the LatAm group of a BB. I then returned full time in mid 2020 to this same group. However, because I'm Brazilian and I've expressed my interest in focusing on Brazilian deals, I've essentially strictly worked with Brazil stuff. I know that this arrangement is uncommon, as Brazil deals are usually handled by the local team at most BBs. I also know someone who managed to do a 10 week internship at a BB and someone else at an MBB in Brazil, although neither officially offered such programs. They also went to school in the US, so they didn't have the availability to do a 1-year internship due the academic calendar of schools in the US, where you intern during your summers. My recommendation, then, is to follow this route. If you want to work explicitly with Brazil deals, then working with the Brazil team is the solution. Working from NYC at a LatAm group is only really feasible if you are already in the US or go to school in the US, with the drawback of not being Brazil-focused. Knowing the two people I know who talked with their respective BBs and MBBs to make a 10-week summer internship work, I would advise you to do the same! I can talk to them and answer any more specific questions on this as well.

May 18, 2022 - 11:11pm
sawbig, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey, I managed to intern in one of the top banks there for 6 months in 2021.

My take on the processes: Most of the banks and boutiques there won't have short internships (or at least will tell you or advertise in their website they don't have it).

How me and most of my friends did it: Network with people in the banks and boutiques you wan't to work in through Linkedin, this is less common in Brazil and I'd say its easier to get an answer from someone there than when doing the same abroad (specially if they went to the same school as you did; this was my case). When in contact with this person show your interest in the Bank, learn about how it's IB is organised and ask about internship positions (summer or off-cycle). I'd focus on Associate level and beyond, they will likely be the ones capable of moving things inside to find an intern spot for you. The interviews were 'easier' than the ones I had for abroad and more focused on my fit and motivation for the role (people I've talk to are really afraid of interns entering the job and quiting after one month of internship)

Another strategy is: apply for the 1y internships, start interviewing and explain your situation while showing how good you are during the process. Had a friend who managed to get a spot at Lazard like this. Worst case scenario you will end up with future connections at the bank and withouth an internship there (but you already don't have one so no harm in trying)

Of course it will be easier to get a spot in a place where this type of internship has taken place before so here is my advice list based on my research in 2020/2021:

- BTG, has a structured recruiting system for summer internship where you could flag your interest for IB (or you could get in contact directly with the HR in charge of the recruiting process for IB or someone from the team, more effective than applying only directly through their website) (FT offer received by the intern) [Also had a MBA intern back then]

- GS, structured recruiting system through their website

- Seneca Evercore, structured recruiting system. Saw the summer-internshi spot annouced through BRASA (more infos in the bonus tips below)

- Santander, had a summer intern in 2021, no idea how he ended up there

- VGL, had an off-cycle intern in 2021. Networking (FT offer received by the intern)

- CRG Core, had an off-cycle intern in 2021. Networking (FT offer received by the intern)

- Artica had summer and off-cycle interns, they use to advertise the process but my friends who interned there got it through Networking

- Rothschild, been told by one analyst they only hire 1y interns. Never heard of anyone interning there in a different frame

And if you are into PE/VC:

- Canary VC has a structured Summer internship process

- GP Investments has had some part-time and full-time summer interns (MBA, Bachelor and Masters) throughout these years

- Patria and Gavea used to have structured summer internships but didn't have anything in 2021

- Actis has had MBA summer interns

- Advent has had MBA summer interns. Been told by one analyst there they don't hire interns for less than the one year frame for non MBAs

- Temasek didn't hire interns outside the 1y frame

- GA, GIC, Mubadala, Lightrock, Softbank, CVC, CPP IB and Brookfield will likely only hire you (i) if you are a stellar intern for 1y (super rare conversions for the places that accept interns) or (ii) if you have done some years in IB or PE

Bonus tip: Sometimes you will find some people who studied abroad and have transitioned their careers to Brazil, if you get in contact with them they will be more inclined to help you enter their team specially if they know and respect your university

Bonus tip 2: There are some NGOs dedicated to help brazilians abroad (ex. BRASA). They often have newsletters with open spots in the Brazilian Financial Market + you can find people through their network who were summers in Brazil and can even recomend you at the firm they interned in (at least I did while I was there and it was well seen by the seniors)

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
May 19, 2022 - 10:59am

This is all super useful. Thanks for sharing the info. Do you happen to know what's comp like in Brazil? Does it differ a lot from salaries in the US?

Most Helpful
May 19, 2022 - 7:39pm
sawbig, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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