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ECONOMY | 17-06-2024 16:09

Caputo’s number two at Economy Ministry quits government

Economic Policy secretary Joaquín Cottani resigns for personal reasons; Likely replace is Argentine-born Chilean economist José Luis Daza, who worked with Luis Caputo at JP Morgan and Deustche Bank.

President Javier Milei’s administration has suffered another resignation following the news that Luis ‘Toto’ Caputo’s number two at the Economy Ministry has quit the government.

At the end of the month, Economic Policy secretary Joaquín Cottani will become the 47th official of the Milei government to leave his post since the President took office last December. 

The Economy Ministry said Cottani’s departure was for family reasons. “His family is back in New York, and he struggles going back and forth all the time,” sources at the portfolio disclosed, adding that he would remain in post until the end of June.

The likely candidate to replace the official is Argentine-born Chilean José Luis Daza, an economist who previously worked with Caputo at major financial institutions JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank. 

Daza also lives abroad, so his appointment may take some weeks to be confirmed, said the Economy Ministry sources. 

The likely replacement founded QFR Capital Management, one of the most important hedge funds in emerging markets, together with Argentines David Sekiguchi and Demian Reidel, figures who are both members of President Milei’s advisory council.

Daza previously represented the Chilean Central Bank in Asia, based in Tokyo. He was also head of emerging markets at JP Morgan, where he met Caputo, and the duo also worked together at Deutsche Bank.

The Chilean economist has a doctorate in economics from the University of Georgetown and an economics degree from the Universidad de Chile. 

During Chile’s last presidential campaign, he supported far-right politician José Antonio Kast, an apologist for deceased military dictator Augusto Pinochet. 

Daza would have been economy minister in a government led by Kast, who eventually lost the election to Chilean left-winger Gabril Boric. 

 

Cottani’s departure

Cottani’s departure will add to an ever-growing list of officials who have quit or been ousted from the Milei government. He is the ninth to have left the Economy Ministry since Caputo took over.

Minister Caputo had praised Cottani as “one of the silent creators of the best moments of the 1990s” when the economist agreed to join the government last November. 

In 1991, Cottani held the post of finance undersecretary during Domingo Cavallo’s time as economy minister during former president Carlos Menem’s government.

An economist who graduated from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Cottani studied at Yale University, where he obtained a master’s degree, a doctorate, and a postdoctoral degree.

He worked at Lehman Brothers, Citi Bank, the World Bank and was head of Latin America for S&P Global Ratings. He also taught economics at Boston University.

Until 2023, he worked as business advisor for the financial sector via LatinSource, a network of independent consultants based in New York, and is a managing partner of DFC Associates, LLC, a consultancy and investment advice company.

 

– TIMES/NA/PERFIL

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