How Miami’s thriving international population creates lucrative opportunities for the banking sector

Antonio Cassio Segura President & CEO – Banco do Brasil Americas

What encouraged Banco do Brasil, the largest bank in Brazil, to establish a presence in Miami?

Miami is an international gateway that welcomes foreigners who are both short-term tourists and long-term visitors. Given their different interests, this is a perfect opportunity for Banco do Brasil Americas, which seeks to provide comprehensive international banking solutions for foreigners, not simply people living in Brazil. The average foreigner stays in South Florida an average of three months a year. During their stay, they need full access to a variety of banking services. We provide valuable assistance to these foreigners by offering credit cards, checking accounts, auto loans, mortgages and investment options in their preferred languages: English, Portuguese or Spanish.

How has the perception of Miami evolved within the Brazilian business and investment community?

Brazilians love Miami. They see the city as an ideal second-home destination because it is very similar to the environment they are used to back home in Brazil. It has the same good weather, beautiful beaches, high-quality restaurants and amazing nightlife that they can find at home, as well as good infrastructure, good schools and security, both in terms of physical safety and safety of assets. Increasingly, Brazilians are buying businesses and commercial property as well.

For those Brazilian investors seeking business opportunities in Miami, what are their preferences and what interests them in terms of property?

There are two kinds of Brazilian investors we are seeing in South Florida. One type is looking to buy commercial property to lease later. These investors want income in U.S. dollars and are looking forward to further diversifying their investments. They don’t simply want to put their “eggs” (money) in different “baskets” (types of investments). They also want to put these “baskets” into different “wagons”—in other words, they want to invest outside of Brazil. These investors are buying stores like CVS and Walgreens, as well as strip malls and shopping centers. The second type of investors have already achieved great success in Brazil and want to further their reach to Miami. Because they want to expand on their assets in Brazil, they are opening affiliates or branches of their existing companies or institutions—especially clinics and schools— in Miami. However, these groups share similar goals for their activity in Miami in that they want to continue succeeding in the market for the long-term. From where the international market stands, it is clear that the investment flows going from Brazil to Miami and back is an irreversible trend. There is no going back.