Maria Helena Santana

Special Advisor
Sao Paolo | Brasil
Maria Helena Santana has been a leading figure in capital markets, corporate governance and sustainability in Brazil for over twenty years.

As Head of Listings and Issuer Relations of the São Paulo Stock Exchange (now B3) from 2000 to 2006, she was the driving force behind the creation of the Novo Mercado. Under Maria Helena’s leadership, the Novo Mercado became the most successful listing segment of any stock exchange to set standards for improving the corporate governance of listed companies.

Maria Helena joined the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) in 2006 and served as its Executive Chair from July 2007 to July 2012. In that capacity, she was member of the Financial Stability Board from 2009 to 2012 in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. While she was at CVM she also served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) from 2011 to 2012 and as a member of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).

Maria Helena Santana has been a member of the OECD’s Latin America Corporate Governance Roundtable since its inception in 2000. She served as vice-chairman of the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance (IBGC) from 2004 to 2006, and as a member of its Board of Directors from 2001 to 2006. From 2014 to 2019, Maria Helena was a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation.

Maria Helena has extensive board experience. She currently serves as a non-executive director and Chair of the Nomination, Compensation and Governance Committee of Oi S.A.; as a non-executive director of Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A.; as a non-executive director and Chair of the Audit Committee of CI&T Inc. and as non-executive director of Fortbras S.A.

Maria Helena received her B.A in Economics from the Faculdade de Economia e Administração da Universidade de São Paulo (USP).
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