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Where there’s a Wells…

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By Richard Metcalf
25 Jun 2021

Could San Francisco-headquartered Wells Fargo crack EMEA DCM? Its latest hire suggests that it is about to have a swing at it.

The bank is a solid top 10 if not a top five bank for DCM in the US. So far this year, it is ranked sixth for US marketed DCM volume, according to Dealogic.

But in Europe, its has historically focused narrowly on deals for its US client base, meaning it is a frequent sight in the bond market during waves of reverse Yankee issuance, but less so otherwise.

However, the firm has been looking to increase its footprint in EMEA since hiring John Langley out of retirement in 2019 as head of EMEA corporate and investment banking and regional president. Langley recruited HSBC’s former global co-head of UK banking, Robert Ritchie as head of banking and capital markets for the corporate and investment bank in 2020.

“Will Wells Fargo ever be serious in Europe?” mused a headhunter a couple of weeks ago. “Everyone's kind of expecting it, and there’s a huge amount of interviewing going on that’s being led by John Langley and Rob Ritchie.”

An answer to that question started to take shape when the bank surprised onlookers by successfully luring James Marriott away from NatWest Markets, where he was head of DCM and advisory for financial institutions as well as sovereigns, supranationals and agencies, to be its new head of EMEA DCM in London.

He will report to Ritchie in London and also along a dotted line to John Hines, head of investment grade DCM, who has been a fixture of the office in Charlotte, North Carolina, since the Wachovia days.

As rumours of Wells’ coup swept through DCM and bank treasury teams in London, some bond market sources who know Marriott literally could not believe the news, considering the effort he had put in at NatWest. “It’s the biggest move in DCM for five years,” said one industry observer.

More moves are likely to follow, as Wells is understood to be looking to have a new SSA banker in place by the end of summer. Watch this space!

SSA shuffle

Speaking of SSAs, there have been plenty of moves to follow in that area recently. Myryam Zapata, a managing director in Crédit Agricole’s SSA team is leaving to take a job at French rival BNP Paribas in September, while a position has opened up in Stockholm for someone to replace Karl-Johan Nystedt as global head of public sector origination at SEB. That’s because Nystedt is heading to New York to lead the bank’s fixed income, currencies and commodities business in the Americas.

There has been movement on the funding side, too, with French sovereign debt office Agence France Trésor picking up Antoine Mannevy from mortgage bank Crédit Foncier. Mannevy is a former Crédit Agricole debt syndicate banker.

Moving up in EM

Several emerging markets bankers at Citi have been rewarded with promotions this week, including Samad Sirohey, who is now head of CEEMEA debt financing. Iman Abdel Khalek and Tommaso Ponsele, meanwhile have been appointed as co-heads of CEEMEA DCM while Zain Zaidi is elevated to head of CEEMEA loans.

Elsewhere in emerging markets, Credit Suisse has lost a senior EMEA fixed income salesperson to Barclays, while on the buy-side, HSBC Asset Management hired an EM debt portfolio manager from APG Asset Management.

ABS big hitters

There were big moves this week in securitization, with Deutsche Bank hiring Alex Danehy as head of US CLO syndication from JP Morgan in New York, while in London Rob Scott has gone to the buy-side after a 19 year run at Barclays. Barclays has already plugged the gap by hiring back Arun Sharma, who left in March 2014 for Credit Suisse.

Meanwhile, the UK’s University Superannuation Scheme has made progress on its plan to begin investing in asset backed bonds by hiring BlackRock’s Janet Oram to build a team. Interestingly, in an early sign of the pandemic’s lasting impact on working practices, she will do the job four days a week.

One more revamp

Last but not least, our Southpaw column this week focuses on the latest drama at HSBC in New York, where no less than four managing directors have left the bank in a reshuffle aimed at restoring confidence in its US strategy.

By Richard Metcalf
25 Jun 2021