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Rise of the slashers

Latin America’s oil majors are turning to bankers to cut fat and mend desperate finances

When oil prices were booming, Latin America’s oil giants spent big chasing world-beating reserves, from Brazil and Mexico’s deep waters to Argentina’s shale deposits. Today, they are spending less time hunting for new discoveries and more time trying to repair balance sheets wrecked by oil’s downward turn and swamped by huge debts. Mending those finances demands a different skill set at the top. Petrobras, Pemex, Ecopetrol and YPF have all seen turnover in the chief executive’s office in the past 15 months. The new faces show that industrial engineering skills are out and financial engineering expertise is in. New leaders from the financial world have moved in to the top roles. They bring

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