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The 2014 Latin America Research Team: Food & Beverages, No. 1: Thiago Duarte, Rafael Shin & team

Thiago Duarte, Rafael Shin & team BTG Pactual First-place appearances: 1

Total appearances: 5

Team debut: 2007

In its four previous appearances on this lineup, BTG Pactual never placed higher than runner-up, the position it won in 2013. This year the firm’s four-strong team under the direction of Thiago Duarte and newcomer Rafael Shin rockets all the way to the top. Clients laud the analysts for their “atypical thinking” and “immediacy in reporting,” as one fund manager puts it. They cover 16 regional food and beverages names and intend to add coverage of Mexico’s Arca Continental, a nonalcoholic beverage bottler, and diary operator Grupo Lala. For the year ahead the analysts predict that protein producers will outperform the overall market. On that theme, says Duarte, their favorite name is Brazil-based BRF, which is the world’s largest poultry exporter, “based on our long-standing belief that a shift in the company’s culture, driven by new management, is starting to pay off.” Although “valuation isn’t a bargain at current levels,” he adds, “we reckon that 34 percent 2014–’16 earnings-per-share compound annual growth rate — reflecting the synergies’ ramp-up — supports our mid-to-long-term view.” BRF’s shares closed at 57.35 reais in late July, and the researchers have assigned a target price of 61 reais. São Paulo–based Duarte, 30, holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brazil’s Universidade de São Paulo. Before joining BTG in 2009, he reported on Brazilian consumer stocks at U.K. buy-side firm Schroder Investment Management. This year he also leads the top-ranked team in Agribusiness. Shin, 33, is headquartered in New York. He joined the firm in 2010 and previously covered Latin America’s beverages, food and retailing sectors for Credit Suisse. The analyst earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and an MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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