Transportation area has a new strongman

He is the new transport major in government Dilma: Daniel Sigelmann, 42-year economist coming from the Treasury, became the strongman at the Esplanade of Ministries for taking care of every detail of the concessions program of highways and railroads. Sigelmann makes the dialogue between the government and private investors, talks with public banks to assemble the concession financing package and actively participates in all decisions involving changes in rates of return.

The economist concentrate matters as diverse as the $9.98-billion bidding for the interstate bus passenger tracks, the creation of a fund with strategic partners to enable the bullet train and alluring disbursements from the Merchant Marine Fund (FMM).

The ironic reference to the military hierarchy, made by a presidential adviser, is not random. Sigelmann clearly increased his status from the beginning of the year and was the primary beneficiary of a silent rearrangement of power in the government’s structure that deals with issues of logistics infrastructure, whose main victim was Bernardo Figueiredo.

Figueiredo, CEO of Empresa de Planejamento e Logística (EPL), is increasingly dedicated to plan the sector and study new rounds of concessions in the future, but participates less and less of the final preparations of the current round of bidding. Former transport captain, he had privileged access to President Dilma and did not hesitate to frontally collide with ministers when he thought necessary – characteristics that major Sigelmann does not have.

The economist ended up receiving much of Figueiredo’s assignments. Amid Dilma’s ethical cleanup in the Ministry of Transport, which removed the high ranking of Dnit and Valec in 2011, he took over the secretary of promotion for actions of transport in this office. He had a position of trust in the National Treasury and was taken by former minister Paulo Passos, with the blessing of Figueiredo, who was still on the rise.

The three worked together in the assembly of the embryo of the Brazilian Growth Acceleration Program (PAC – Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento), the Multiyear Investment Plan, mechanism negotiated by Brazil with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to exclude from the calculation of the primary surplus infrastructure works with economic return and medium and long term impact on productivity.

Disciplined, Sigelmann likes to keep away from the spotlight. His proximity to the Treasury Secretary Arno Augustin made the economic team prescription reaches the Ministry of Transport. For private sector executives, it has pros and cons. On the one hand, it contributes to faster decisions and to reduce conflicts. On the other hand, it aligns almost all settings at the thought of the Ministry of Finance, which has not been well-regarded in the market.

With the current minister, César Borges, he has a relationship described by sources as needed – Borges, neophyte in the industry, has been using the Sigelmann’s knowledge to implement the office’s priorities while gaining experience and independence.

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