Offshore broker-dealer Alterna launches new wealth unit in LatAm push

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Alterna Securities, the former brokerage arm of Mexican banking group Actinver, has hired an advisor from PNC to launch a new wealth planning unit targeting mass affluent clients in Mexico and greater Latin America.

Manuel Ibuado, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry, was hired in April from PNC’s wealth management business in Houston, Texas and has been charged with spearheading Alterna’s new business unit, Roberto Cortina, head of sales at Alterna, told Citywire.

‘With this new unit we’re trying to be an all-in-one shop for our clients,’ said Cortina. ‘The idea is that we provide an all-around service which will focus on delivering family office-like services to our base of retail and affluent clients,’ he added.

Ibuado’s business unit will be based in Houston and will pair wealth planners with advisors to provide generational wealth planning and other services to clients who may not be able to afford the costs associated with having their assets managed by a family office, said Cortina.

Ibuado previously worked at BBVA in Houston for a decade prior to its purchase by PNC in late 2020.While at the firm, he built out a similar wealth planning strategy unit for its Latin American clients.

‘Basically, we’re trying to replicate what BBVA was doing for Latin American clients [in Houston],’ said Cortina. 

He added that he sees a greater opportunity to grow in the mass affluent client segment of Mexico, as well as Colombia, Peru and Chile.

It’s part of a larger strategy to diversify Alterna’s business away from focusing solely on Mexico, the group’s native market, and move into an industry which has historically shied away from catering to mass affluent clients in the region.

‘There’s this niche market between retail and high net worth clients… Not many banks have been willing to make the effort to open offshore accounts for those with maybe $2m and below so this is our niche and we want to give a personalized service to them,’ he said.

Cortina added that his firm would look to hire a few advisors this year for its new Houston business and has set a goal of adding $200m in assets to its wealth management platform by the end of the year.

Alterna Securities was founded last year when it broke away from its former parent group Actinver as part of a plan to grow its offshore base of clients. While still under the same ownership as Actinver, the firm can operate more independently.

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