Nurturing the Next Generation of Capital Market Leaders in Brazil

December 15, 2023
IFC Mi Program Graduation Event IFC 2023

By Hlazo Mkandawire

Meet Danilo Mariotti, a 28-year-old Brazilian, who is among the 16 graduates of the 10th cohort of the IFC-Milken Institute Capital Markets Program (CMP), an accredited 8.5-month postgraduate certificate program. Danilo made history as one of the first three Brazilian representatives in the program and the first to undertake an internship at IFC’s Treasury Client Solutions department.

In this interview, Danilo shares insights about his background, the motivations behind his career in capital markets, his experiences with the capital markets program, and his passionate drive to improve regulatory frameworks to expand access to finance for small businesses in Brazil.

Tell us about yourself?

I was born in São Paulo, but my family relocated to Sorocaba, a small city renowned for the most delicious coxinha in Brazil—a traditional creamy chicken-filled croquette.

Growing up in a tight-knit family of four, my early inspirations stemmed from my father, an accomplished IT professional who worked in banking. Like many Brazilians, I enjoyed playing soccer in my youth, but it was my father who kindled my ambition to pursue a career in financial markets. This ambition began to take shape in 2013 when I returned to São Paulo at the age of 17 to study for a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of São Paulo.

Outside my professional life, I am an avid traveler and I like to watch soccer. I am a staunch supporter of Santos FC, a top tier Brazilian football club where the legendary Pele began his career.

Danilo joins a network of over 220 professionals from across 55 countries who have completed the program and gained advanced knowledge and skills to strengthen and develop viable and robust local capital markets. 

What influenced your career choice? 

My career path has been influenced by various factors. In Brazil, it is a requirement to complete an internship before obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After spending a semester in the United Kingdom in an exchange program in 2016, I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps and embarked on an internship at BBVA, one of the largest Spanish banks, where I was introduced to corporate credit and risk analysis. My knowledge and interest blossomed, leading me to a position at B3, the Brazilian Stock Exchange, as a Junior Analyst in 2018.

In that role, I focused on regulatory compliance related to investment funds, public offerings, and supervision for more than one year. In 2019, I was promoted to Analyst—and again in 2021 to Senior Analyst—and my responsibilities shifted to market development. This moment marked a significant turning point in my career, and ultimately paved the way for my participation in the capital markets program.  

Tell us more about the IFC-Milken Institute Capital Markets Program?

My employer nominated me to apply. I submitted my application in 2022 and successfully passed the selection process. I am immensely proud to be a part of this program, which consists of two phases each lasting approximately four months: an academic component and an internship.

Danilo achieved the highest academic honors, earning the title of valedictorian by attaining the top grades in his class. He delivered the valedictory address at the graduation ceremony. 

The program brings a diverse team of professors, with rich and varying experiences, some leaning more towards academia and others rooted in practical expertise. I found the subject of financial crisis management particularly fascinating. When I was growing up, Brazil experienced a big financial crisis in 1999. For this reason, I am eager to learn how to analyze the risks and characteristics of financial crises to prevent them in the future.

The program also convenes highly skilled professionals well-versed in different aspects of capital markets, including representatives of central banks, ministries of finance, stock exchanges, and financial regulators. The exchange of ideas and experiences with these individuals has been invaluable. We will continue to network and interact beyond the program, to learn and consult one another.

The program also has fun activities to encourage interaction. I enjoyed the weekly happy hours and occasional barbecues, using them as opportunities to build connections with colleagues in informal settings.

How was your internship experience with IFC Treasury Client Solutions?

After successfully completing the academic portion, I started my internship with IFC’s Treasury Client Solutions department in June 2023. Prior to the internship, my work primarily focused on equity deals and corporate governance practices. The internship exposed me to complex structured finance projects, along with derivative transactions.

For example, I worked on a project exploring how to finance broadband internet access in rural communities in Nepal. The deal required providing long-term local currency finance to the borrower and was eligible for blended finance. This experience gave me a deeper understanding of how to employ swaps, the mechanics of blended finance instruments, and how to structure local currency bonds.

I have also been struck by the knowledge and camaraderie of the IFC Treasury Client Solutions team.

In a rapidly changing world filled with unprecedented challenges such as mounting debt, inflation, currency depreciation, and geopolitical events and natural disasters, it is imperative to have well-trained regulators and policy makers who can enact reforms to modernize the financial sector and respond to crises. This is why IFC has partnered with the Milken Institute to develop a critical mass of professionals who understand the benefits of well-functioning markets and can adapt international best practices to their local realities. 

How do you plan to use some of this knowledge and experience in Brazil?

The program has given me a fresh perspective. My goal now is to utilize the tools and insights I have gained to further develop Brazil’s local capital markets. I plan to continue working on simplifying and improving the regulatory barriers that hinder small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from accessing finance through capital markets in Brazil. This issue has persisted for a long time in my country and the capital markets program has exposed me to new approaches to tackle the problem.