Five high-level hires in Bank of America's equity capital markets division suggest that investment banks see equities as a growth area while fixed-income headcounts shrink.
Since July B of A has brought in a new co-head for the division plus group leaders for four key sectors, according to Investment Dealers' Digest. The sectors are financial institutions, natural resources, healthcare, and technology/media/telecom.
Jefferies & Co. and Lehman Brothers also have added or are about to add senior professionals to their respective equity teams, the magazine says.
To be sure, most of the new B of A bankers mentioned in the article replaced others who departed.
The new head of the financial institutions group, Henry "Hank" Erbe, joined B of A from Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller where he was global head of equity capital markets. B of A's previous FIG capital markets leader, Mike Anderson, was hired away by UBS last year, according to IDD.
Michael Davis joined B of A as head of natural resources equity capital markets from Credit Suisse - the same institution that had hired away his predecessor, Rob Santangelo.
Grant Miller, B of A's new head of healthcare equity capital markets, came over from Lehman. His predecessor Jeff Rosichan departed for Deutsche Bank in April, where he is vice chairman of equity capital markets.
Howard D. "Trip" Wolfe joined B of A from Jefferies as head of technology, media and telecom equity capital markets, a new position.
The four sector heads will report to Doug Baird and Derek Dillon, co-heads of global equity capital markets. Baird was hired in July from Deutsche Bank. An unnamed recruiter told IDD he wouldn't be surprised if Baird brings over some former colleagues from Deutsche.
Meanwhile, IDD says Lehman recently hired Stanley Rowe from Deutsche Bank to head Latin American equity capital markets.
Jefferies Adds Seven Equity Sales and Trading Professionals
Jefferies, for its part, announced last week that it added seven professionals in trading, sales trading and research sales, part of an ongoing expansion of its cash equities business. They include Rhys Brooks, head of consumer trading; Neil Higgins, Michael A. Spataro and Michael J. Wharry, research sales; and Joseph "Trey" E. Laird III, Donald J. O'Shaughnessy, Jr. and John C. Riedel, sales traders.
Separately, Jefferies also announced the hiring of a corporate CFO, and two managing director-level additions to its Helix Associates division that solicits investors for private equity funds.
"Targeted expansion" in equity capital markets groups "increasingly appears to be a strategy utilized by the large investment banks given the troubled states of the fixed-income market," IDD says, citing recruiter Richard Lipstein of Boyden & Associates.
On the opposite side of the coin, the magazine reports that 37 equity analysts are being laid off following Wachovia's purchase of A.G. Edwards earlier this year