BarCap bulks up in European M&A

May 21, 2009

Signs are displayed on the former Lehman Brothers, now Barclays Capital building in Times Square in New York

Barclays Capital has hired a senior Citigroup banker and a former top Morgan Stanley banker as co-heads of European mergers and acquisitions (M&A), as the former debt powerhouse repositions itself as a full-service, global investment bank.

The duo are Matthew Ponsonby, formerly Citigroup’sglobal co-head of infrastructure investment banking, and Mark Warham, who until earlier this year had been chairman of UK investment banking at Morgan Stanley.

BarCap, like SocGen and others, sees a chance to grab market share in M&A and other advisory work. Granted, European M&A volumes are less than a third of 2007′s — but some competitors are weakened and some bankers are restless (if not actually unemployed).

In an interview this week with Reuters (only available to professional subscribers), SocGen M&A head Michel Payan, who’s looking to hire 35 senior bankers, pointed to something of a recovery in dealmaking.

“(M&A) activity is much higher than it was in the first quarter, projects that were in incubation have been re-started since mid-April and we are working on some new initiatives,” he said. What’s more, he added: “We have an extraordinary window of opportunity in terms of recruitment.”

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