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Industries – Metals & Mining : First

Bank of America Merrill Lynch captures the crown for a fourth consecutive year.


Felipe Hirai, Thiago Lofiego
& team
Bank of America
Merrill Lynch
First-place appearances: 6

Total appearances: 19

Team debut: 1996

Bank of America Merrill Lynch captures the crown for a fourth consecutive year. This year the São Paulo–based threesome is co-directed by the very busy Felipe Hirai — the 34-year-old also co-leads teams that rank as runners-up for coverage of Brazil (with David Beker), Chile (with Marcos Buscaglia) and Equity Strategy (with Marina Valle) — and newcomer Thiago Lofiego, who also helms the No. 1 squad in Pulp & Paper. The analysts report on 13 stocks, with “clearheaded thinking and thorough analyses,” as one money manager in puts it. They garner praise for cautioning clients about the effect of rising iron-ore prices and growing steel imports on Brazilian steel producers, and for repeatedly highlighting their long-standing underperform on Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais. Downgraded from neutral in February 2011, at 20.08 reais, the shares tumbled to 6.55 reais in mid-July 2013, for a loss of 66.9 percent that trailed the sector by 21.1 percentage points. Lofiego, 30, who joined Merrill Lynch from Itaú BBA in 2007, earned a bachelor’s of business administration at Brazil’s Fundação Getulio Vargas. — Ben Mattlin


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