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CommentP&M Notebook

We’ll always have Paris

Skyline of Paris with Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Panoramic s

The European capital of romance, culture and... capital markets?

Last week’s report by GlobalCapital that Barclays syndicate manager Karan Shah would be relocating to Paris surprised some rivals. But it was one more sign of the greater stature of the French capital in the capital markets.

Before 2016, there were only a few banks with significant syndicate operations in Paris, notably Natixis, and they were a bit cut off from the rest of the community in London.

But additions in the past few years mean that a vibrant DCM scene is developing.

Last year, the syndicate bankers that arrived in Paris included UBS’s Alexandre Campargue and Max Fitzpatrick, who joined NatWest Markets from Société Générale at the same time, while this year, besides Shah, the City of Light welcomes Aubélia Botta, who has relocated to take the job of head of EU DCM bond syndicate at MUFG.

And there could be more to come. One senior banker in London who was surprised to read about Shah’s move nevertheless suspected that regulatory pressure to relocate more DCM and syndicate bankers would only grow.

“You’ve still got to watch how Europe is monitoring activity,” he said. “Still quite a few banks have DCM covering Europe based in London.”

In any case, as a result of the moves that have already taken place, there is now enough of a critical mass for syndicate managers and DCM officials to have a decent get-together — subject to local Covid-19 rules, of course.

Speaking of which, France eased its onerous travel restrictions on visitors from the UK on Thursday, removing a requirement for vaccinated visitors to self-isolate.

Given the emergence of Paris as something of a hub for pan-European bond syndicate and its proximity to London, it would be well positioned to host conferences on European debt capital markets, if such things ever become normal again.

And it will surely only be a matter of time before capital markets correspondents feel the need to visit the city to cement their relationships with sources there.

Please send any people move news or invitations to meetings in Parisian cafes to richard.metcalf@globalcapital.com.

Going global at CS

Back in London, there were some very high level appointments to be announced at Credit Suisse and NatWest Markets over the past week.

The big shake-up at Credit Suisse appeared not to have much immediate impact on capital markets. In a memo to staff, the CEO of the investment banking and capital markets division, David Miller, explained that Jeff Cohn and David Hermer would continue to run the global capital markets business, as they had before.

However, the firm said that it would “fully consolidate primary activity across origination and syndication a global basis.” This was presumably a reference to the plan, announced in November, to merge the investment banking and capital markets teams in Switzerland and Asia Pacific, which have until now been run as separate regional businesses, back into the main IBCM division.

If you can make it there…

At NatWest, on the other hand, there will be a big change for one capital markets banker, James Tayler, who is returning to the UK from the US after five years to become head of primary capital markets.

Relocating to the US appears to have done wonders for Tayler’s career. He was a vice president on the corporate syndicate desk when he left London in 2017, but through a series of promotions he quickly secured the title of head of US capital markets. He is handing over in New York to Edward Brown, who has also enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks.

Meanwhile, in a sign of NatWest’s seriousness when it comes to blockchain technology, the bank has given Chris Agathangelou an additional title as head of digital capital markets.

And finally, at Santander, a hire at the VP level was a sign of increased ambition in SSAs. The Spanish bank has hired Thibault George from Crédit Agricole to give it some extra manpower for its push into agency and supranational DCM.

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