Portrait of Francisco Couto

Francisco Couto : Consultant

Francisco is a member of Oxera’s Finance & Valuation team, with experience working in regulatory finance, state aid and subsidy control issues, and commercial disputes. Francisco has worked on cases across a wide range of sectors, including transport, manufacturing, energy, agriculture, payments, capital markets and telecommunications. Francisco was seconded into NATS En Route Ltd (NERL) to provide day-to-day support on regulatory and business planning matters during the preparation of its business plan for the NR23 price control (2023–27). He is also a lecturer at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, teaching the Master’s course Regulation and Antitrust Economics for Business.

Francisco holds an MA in Economics and Finance from the University of Edinburgh, and an MSc in Economics and Finance from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. In both degrees, Francisco worked extensively with large datasets and financial models, developing strong Excel and Stata skills. Before joining Oxera, he was a trainee at the European Central Bank’s Monetary Policy division, focusing on money markets and short-term rates.

Francisco speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Tel: +32 (0) 2 793 07 04

Francisco's specialisms include:

professional experience

  • Advising an international bank in the context of a UK High Court dispute with a high-net-worth individual relating to the sale and purchase agreement of a small bank in Africa (2023–)

  • Supporting a large international airline in Oceania during its discussions and interactions with various stakeholders regarding the capital investment plan of a large multinational airport (2023)

  • Advising a large European manufacturing firm regarding its application for regional state aid to build an innovative production plant in Eastern Europe, including quantifying the profitability of the project in different possible sites (2022–)

  • Supporting Transport Canada in its review of the merger between WestJet and Sunwing, focusing on the estimation of efficiencies from the proposed tie-up, and stress-testing the financial viability of the firms under different COVID-19 traffic recovery scenarios (2022)

  • Critically assessing the methodology used by the central bank of a Central American country to set caps on card payment fees (2022)

  • Assessing the impact of the removal of ownership and control restrictions on the ability of European airlines to raise additional equity and quantifying the direct and indirect economic impact (2022)


  • Robins, N. and Couto, F. (2023), ‘Familiar Tools in Foreign Settings: Practical Considerations for Complying with the New Foreign Subsidies Regulation’, CPI Antitrust Chronicle, May.


  • CFA Level 3 candidate, having passed Level 2 in November 2022

  • MSc Economics and Finance, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, Spain

  • MA Economics and Finance, University of Edinburgh, UK

Latest Insights:  Francisco Couto

23 minute read
There have already been two well-publicised requests for the Commission to use its ex officio powers under the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR), to investigate alleged distortive subsidies granted to…
16 minute read
The EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) becomes applicable this year. To assess its potential impact, we ask: what might have happened had the Regulation been applied to the acquisition of…

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