Since the arrest of banker André Esteves, Wednesday morning, and the search and seizure operation at BTG Pactual’s headquarters on Avenida Faria Lima in São Paulo, the bank has become a big crisis office. Instead of traditional meetings with clients, the 14th floor rooms now host endless conference calls and gatherings of partners, shareholders and regulators to monitor the liquidity situation of the sixth-largest private-sector bank in the country, preserve businesses and outline directions amid an unprecedented stress scenario. The tension is noticeable, even though all try to pass an air of calm and even relaxation.
It was in this environment that Persio Arida, a BTG Pactual partner who was appointed as acting chief executive as soon as Wednesday, received Valor Thursday afternoon for an interview squeezed between meetings, with duration of 35 minutes and whose beginning was delayed for over an hour, while other urgent matters were addressed.
Questioned whether the bank would be up for sale, he was emphatic: “Certainly not.”