2015 All-Latin America Research Team: Economics, No. 1: David Beker, Marcos Buscaglia & team
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2015 All-Latin America Research Team: Economics, No. 1: David Beker, Marcos Buscaglia & team

< The 2015 Latin America Research Team

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David Beker, Marcos Buscaglia & teamBank of America

Merrill LynchFirst-Place Appearances: 1


Total Appearances: 11


Team Debut: 1993Under the guidance of David Beker and Marcos Buscaglia, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s regional economics team claims its first top finish, rising from No. 2 and ending Morgan Stanley’s winning streak at four years. From their offices in Mexico City, New York and São Paulo, the group of five analysts “offers an insightful perspective and a unique macro view, and has a deep understanding of the macro trends,” one investor attests. The team is monitoring regional prices and rates ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s anticipated interest rate increase, foreseeing that eventual higher borrowing costs in the U.S. could exert pressure on local rates, especially in Mexico and Peru. Latin American performance will be disappointing again this year, the economists project, with further downside risks for Brazil and Venezuela countering upside potential for Argentina and Peru. Moreover, presidential and general elections in Argentina in October and parliamentary contests in Venezuela in December are key events to watch, they advise, because the voting could lead to regime changes. In this environment the squad continues to expect Mexico to be the area’s growth outperformer in 2015 and beyond. “The divergence between Mexico and the rest of the region that we have discussed for some time is starting to materialize,” Beker says. Real gross domestic product “growth and retail sales are now running faster in Mexico than the rest of the region.” The country’s manufacturing link to the U.S. is starting to pay off, he explains, and consumer sentiment is better in Mexico than elsewhere in Latin America, save for Argentina, while Mexican investment and export trends are diverging from those of its regional peers. Beker, 39, who previously worked as an economic analyst at Unibanco Asset Management in São Paulo, has been with BofA Merrill since March 2003, apart from a year he spent on the buy side as an emerging-markets fixed-income portfolio manager at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. He earned a master’s degree in economics from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do São Paulo and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo. This year Beker also co-captains two additional crews to second place: on the Brazil lineup, with Felipe Hirai; and on the Local-Markets Strategy list, with Claudio Irigoyen. Buscaglia, 45, teams with Frank McGann in shepherding the No. 1 group in Argentina; with Felipe Hirai, he directs a team that merits a runner-up position for its coverage of Chile. Buscaglia joined the firm in September 2010 after serving as acting Latin America chief economist at Citi. He obtained a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a bachelor’s degree in the same field from the Pontifícia Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires.



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