Macquarie Builds in the U.S.

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Macquarie Bank, the Australian investment group which has made a 1.5bn hostile bid for the London Stock Exchange, has hired Citigroup's former head of investment banking in Australia, Alan James, to lead its business expansion and acquisition efforts in U.S.

The Sydney Morning Herald, citing unnamed sources, reports that James will become chairman of Macquarie's American interests with primary responsibility in utility and energy sectors. James will join Macquarie early next year in the firm's New York office, the paper reports.

James left his Citigroup post in May. Before Citigroup, he founded Deutsche Bank's infrastructure business in Australia.

The paper reports that Macquarie only has a small presence in U.S. at the moment but that James' appointment is part of the group's move to actively look for acquisition deals in US.

Macquarie is also embarking on an aggressive European expansion and has hired about 150 bankers in London this year as part of its growth plan.

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