DealZone

Investment bank in hiring shock

Barclays Capital is thinking big. As Reuters banking correspondent Steve Slater wrote earlier:

“Barclays Capital, the investment bank arm of Britain’s Barclays Plc (BARC.L), will hire more than 750 staff this year as part of its plan to win leading positions in equities and M&A advisory, a top executive said.

“The bank, which bought the U.S. business of Lehman Brothers in September, is now expanding in Europe and Asia. It is also targeting a top three spot in prime services to take advantage of a retreat by rivals servicing hedge funds, he said.

“Barclays Capital (BarCap) has hired 450 people in equities and plans to hire another 250 by the end of the year, said Jerry del Missier, president of BarCap. It plans to hire about 65 merger and acquisition (M&A) advisers this year, he said.

“It’s certainly our intention to be a leading global player in equities and advisory over the next three years,” del Missier told Reuters in an interview this week.”

Better late than never?

A giant sculpture constructed with the faces of clocks is seen outside a Paris train station

Is now the time to be bulking up in M&A and other kinds of corporate finance advice?

On Monday, Societe Generale trumpeted the hire of a top French dealmaker from JPMorgan — the auspiciously named Thierry d’Argent — and reiterated its big plans for European M&A. Daiwa Securities SMBC agreed to buy mid-market corporate finance house Close Brothers Corporate Finance. Meanwhile Barclays Capital is making lots of equity markets hires, and says it aims to be one of the world’s top full-service investment banks.

As I wrote:

“A clutch of banks with previously limited reach in European takeovers and other corporate advisory work are betting now is a good time to grab market share — before the dealmaking business recovers.