Here to Learn, Eduardo Carvalho Also Brings His Own Bankable Knowledge
Like most students enrolled in the Graduate Studies Program at the University of Virginia School of Law, Eduardo Carvalho LL.M. ’19 brings a wealth of experience to share as he interacts with his classmates and professors.
Specifically, Carvalho brings experience with wealth.
As part of the award-winning Global Mergers and Acquisitions legal team at Itaú Unibanco, headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil (and led by managing counsel Rafael Vietti da Fonseca LL.M. ’14), he was involved in the bank’s recent acquisition of a 49.9 percent stake in XP Investementos — a fast-growing brokerage firm. Regulators signaled their approval of the $6.6 billion Brazilian reais deal (about $1.7 billion U.S.) during the summer.
Carvalho also participated in Itaú’s acquisition of Citibank’s Brazilian retail banking and insurance assets. That deal, which required a complex negotiation, became final with regulatory approval last year.
“It’s pretty strategic; that’s why I like it so much,” Carvalho said of his job.
He works in a division that focuses on the bank’s proprietary deals, separate from the rest of the legal counsel, to avoid conflicts of client interest. His duties involve working directly with negotiators and advising executive leadership, drafting and revising transaction agreements and other legal documents, and executing post-closing procedures.
“We stay segregated from all the other lawyers, and stand alongside the business team negotiating the deals,” he said. “We get to discuss many, many things right with the top executives of the bank. This is really good, but also kind of dangerous! Because you can’t make a mistake there when you are advising them.”
Carvalho has been with Itaú Unibanco since 2014, having started in wealth management and services. Before joining the bank, he worked for the global law firm Mayer Brown, as well as for a small asset-management company, both in Brazil.
He is a 2010 graduate of the top-ranking law school in the country, Universidade Federal do Estado de Minas Gerais, located in Belo Horizonte, where he grew up.
Carvalho is just one of the 53 accomplished students pursuing an LL.M. or S.J.D. degree this year from UVA Law. The Graduate Studies Program provides an American legal education to lawyers who have obtained their first law degree in their home countries.
Itaú Unibanco is the largest bank in Brazil in terms of market capitalization, and one of the largest in the world. In the Southern Hemisphere, no bank does more business.
The powerful financial institution has a history of sending its employees to UVA Law to continue their professional education. Along with Carvalho and Vietti da Fonseca, Claudia Politanski LL.M. ’99, the bank’s executive vice president over legal and other functions, is an alumna.
Part of the appeal of UVA’s Graduate Studies Program is that LL.M. candidates take classes alongside J.D. students, allowing participants to fully engage in the community. They learn from their professors, but they also learn from their U.S. classmates, and vice versa.
Carvalho said Vietti da Fonseca and his wife, Alexia Raad ’14, an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy in São Paulo, highly endorsed UVA based on their experiences.
“Rafael was a big influence,” Carvalho said. “I had a couple of options, but he could vouch for UVA. They both could say a lot about the school. The big selling point here for me is the community and the non-competitive approach that people have.”
In practical terms, Carvalho’s education at UVA will help him facilitate cross-border transactions with greater ease, he said. More broadly, it will help him understand how American lawyers think. He is currently taking a seminar with Jim Donovan, an adjunct professor who is a partner at Goldman Sachs, and looks forward to learning from Professor Paul Mahoney, an expert in securities regulation and corporate finance who is now serving on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee.