April 15, 2016 / 8:52 PM / 2 years ago

Exclusive: Temer eyes Goldman banker, investor for Brazil economic team: sources

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s Vice President Michel Temer is considering a senior executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and an experienced money manager as candidates to join his economic team should he take over the presidency in coming weeks, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Brazil's Vice President Michel Temer speaks during a news conference in Brasilia, Brazil April 11, 2016. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Paulo Leme, the chairman of Goldman Sachs in Brazil, may be picked to serve as finance minister or central bank chief, said the sources, who asked to remain anonymous because the selections are still under consideration.

The sources added that Luiz Fernando Figueiredo, a former central bank official and founder of asset manager Mauá Capital, could be tapped as Treasury secretary or for the central bank.

“They are two economists whose names have been brought up in discussions but that does not mean they will be part of the team,” said one of the sources. “It’s still being decided whether to tap a team of prominent people or technocrats to run the economic team.”

The sources declined to say whether Leme or Figueiredo had been directly contacted by Temer.

Leme, who for years was Goldman’s chief Latin America economist, did not respond immediately to calls and messages seeking comment. Figueiredo did not respond to an email or calls to his Sao Paulo office.

Temer, the head of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), could become Brazil’s next leader in coming weeks. The lower house of Congress will vote on Sunday on whether President Dilma Rousseff should be impeached for breaking budget laws, a vote that the leftist leader is widely expected to lose.

Brazilian markets have rallied in recent weeks on the prospect of a Temer government that will be more friendly to investors as Brazil struggles with its worst recession in more than a century.

The impeachment process remains clouded by uncertainty, however.

Wellington Moreira Franco, coordinator of the PMDB’s economic plan, told Reuters on Wednesday a Temer administration will gradually rebalance the country’s depleted public accounts and launch an aggressive private concession plan.

Leme and Figueiredo were consulted for the drafting of the PMDB’s economic program dubbed “A Bridge to the Future,” the sources said.

Other names being considered for top cabinet posts under Temer are former central bank chief Arminio Fraga and opposition Senator Jose Serra, a former planning and health minister, the two sources said.

A small group of Temer confidants are analyzing a short-list of names for the economic team that they hope will rebuild credibility in Brazil and restore growth to Latin America’s largest economy.

Reporting by Alonso Soto; Additional reporting by Tatiana Bautzer and Guillermo Parra-Bernal in São Paulo; Editing by Tom Brown

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