Bram Smith, formerly head of loan syndication at Morgan Stanley, joined Bear Stearns last Monday as a senior managing director in leveraged finance. Smith is reporting to Keith Barnish, senior managing director and co-head of global leveraged finance, which includes teams in New York and London. Smith said he would also be focusing on loans both in the U.S. and Europe in his new position. He added that Bear Stearns will be selectively ramping up the department. "The first task is trying to integrate me," he added with a bit of humor.
Sources said Barnish approached Smith, who was eager to get back into the loan business after leaving Morgan Stanley in January. Smith did not comment to the details behind his new appointment. "He's good at doing the heavy lifting," one banker said of Smith after learning of his new position. Smith left his spot as co-head of the syndications group at Bankers Trust to join Morgan Stanley in 1996, when investment banks were raiding commercial banks for seasoned pros that could get lending efforts off the ground.