Brazil is currently a relatively open market for financial services, with still a few exception areas such as legal services.
Financial & Professional Services in Brazil
Brazil has vast natural resources, a rising middle class, an increasing consumption pattern backed
by Governmental policies and a developed industrial base. Further to that, Brazil is a stable
democracy with a booming economy.
As the largest single economy in the region, the state of the Brazilian economy and the value of
its currency have great influence on other economies in the region. The Stock Exchange in São
Paulo (Bovespa) is by far and away the most important in Latin America. If British financial
services companies can succeed in Brazil, it will have far reaching consequences for their
success in the rest of the region.
Brazil is currently a relatively open market for financial services, with still a few exception areas
such as legal services. As an emerging market, fluctuations in the fortunes of the economy
frequently occur. The principal factor affecting conditions in the near future are the challenges to
continue to promote sustainable growth in a period of continued global economic slowdown and
unstable market conditions.
Insurance & Reinsurance
The steady rise of the middle class along with increased incomes levels has led to more demand
for different lines of insurance products including home, automotive, life and causality. Places
formerly seen as marginalised, like the outskirts in Rio and/or the poor communities in Sao
Paulo, are now being regarded as a very fertile ground for business. Also the opening of the
reinsurance market and gradual dissolution of the state monopoly has created a space for
experienced multinational companies to fill the current void.
Public Private Partnerships (PPP)
In Latin America alone, it is estimated that in the next 5 years US$70 billion will be needed in
infrastructure development. More than two thirds is expected to be channelled to Brazilian
backed regional projects like the Transoceanic Road linking Brazil and Peru. The role of PPPs in
Brazil has greatly increased in importance given the need to detach financial mechanisms from
the development bank BNDES as a means not to impact the country’s fiscal sustainability. The
upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games will present PPP business opportunities.
The developing carbon market in Brazil is providing opportunities for British expertise to cash in
on the growing demand, as joint-ventures, and consulting partnerships can be of mutual benefit
to both parties. The newly established (December 2011) BVRio has been created to enable
trading of environmental commodities through an exchange .
Venture Capital/Private Equity
Venture capital/private equity has shown tremendous opportunity for direct investment from
abroad. As the number of business opportunities arises in Brazil, so has the need for funding. As
a f undamental instrument in the development of emerging markets, PE/VC has been of huge
importance to the Brazilian economy.
Legal Service Sector
The legal services sector in Brazil is considerably more protectionist when compared to the
UK’s. The Federal Bar Association in Brazil (OAB Federal) enacted a Resolution in 2000 which
restricts the entrance and operations of foreign law firms (British included). However, there are
still some profitable opportunities for British business in the Brazilian legal services sector.
English law is still reasonably used in Brazil, particularly in relation to international trade and
insurance/ reinsurance contracts.
Latest export opportunities – Financial & Professional Services
Latest export opportunities - Brazil
Getting into the market
It is important to take a medium to long term view, as success in Brazil requires commitment and
patience. Many global players are present in the country and some sort of local presence is
preferred. Even so there are niche areas of expertise where there is significant scope for
operating remotely from the UK, requiring only periodical visits to the market.
The market is moderately liberal and there are opportunities for investment by commercial banks
through purchase/joint-venture with existing Brazilian banks. Other service providers may find
that local association or partnership, where permitted, is the best way to approach the market,
particularly to benefit from the market knowledge and network already established. Some form
of local presence is vital to doing business in Brazil, and strongly recommended.
More about doing business in Brazil
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
ξ Daniel Mangabeira, British Consulate-General São Paulo, Brazil. +55 (11) 3094-2740 or
ξ Frank Ehrenfried, British Consulate-General São Paulo, Brazil. +55 (11) 3094-1885 or
Contact your local international trade team
Lord Mayor Visit Brazil
Date: 23-30 October, 2012 TBC
Location: (Sao Paulo, Rio, Recife)
TheCityUK Brazil`s Working Group
Date: Every two months
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events – Financial & Professional Services
Latest events – Brazil
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters