More shifts in European leverage staff

The European leveraged finance staff merry-go-round continued apace last week, with senior RBS staff moving to HSBC and Deutsche Bank engaging in a modest re-organisation of its set-up.

Veteran leveraged finance banker Jackie Allen has left RBS and joined HSBC as a managing director, where she will report to Kevin Adeson, global head of leveraged and acquisition finance. She will focus on key sponsor clients and lead the origination and execution of European leveraged and acquisition transactions.

Allen was also a managing director at RBS, where she had worked since 1985 and where she was a founding member of its leveraged finance team in 1993.

The hire is another plank in HSBC’s fast growing leveraged and acquisition finance platform as the bank seeks to shake off its famously conservative approach, adopt a true investment banking culture and make better use of its enormous balance sheet.

Adeson joined the bank in April 2006 together with Oliver Duff, global head of leveraged finance syndications, in order to help effect these changes. Both men came from Morgan Stanley.

Recent leveraged and acquisition finance deals in which the bank has been involved include a bookrunner role in the £3.4bn (€4.9bn) facility for the acquisition of National Grid Wireless by Macquarie, as well as a bookrunner for the US$29bn (€21.4bn) acquisition of First Data Corporation by KKR.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank has appointed Brian Bassett as head of its European leveraged finance business, adding to his responsibilities as head of European high yield and loan capital markets.

Bassett will be responsible for all aspects of European leveraged finance, except sponsor coverage, and although some reporting lines into him will have changed, his day-to-day role will not be markedly different. He will continue to report to David Fass, Ivor Dunbar and Mike Paasche.

Michael Starmer-Smith, who heads the bank’s investment-grade acquisition finance team, will also report to Bassett.

Bassett’s appointment comes after William Maltby’s decision to take a sabbatical after 22 years with the bank. Maltby will return in November to work in sponsor coverage.

Maltby’s departure means that Nick Gaynor, head of European financial sponsor coverage, will also report to Fass, as well as Mark Epley, global head of Deutsche Bank’s financial sponsor coverage group.

These developments are the latest in what has been a dramatic year for European leveraged finance bankers with SG, JPMorgan and RBS combining their loan and high-yield platforms in a bid to reflect the asset class’ converging investor base and the dynamism of leverage finance in Europe.

Nachum Kaplan