eFC Briefing: Quattrone(!); Jefferies Hires; UBS May Slash

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Frank Quattrone is back with heavyweight tech-sector endorsements for his new boutique, Qatalyst. Jefferies continues to expand in London.

Bubble-era corporate finance star Frank Quattrone made a splashy return to investment banking via Qatalyst Group, a new technology-focused merchant banking and advisory boutique. The press release includes endorsements from top executives at Google, Intuit, Facebook and Accel Partners - a client list in line with Quattrone's past role raising funds for tech stalwarts like Cisco and Amazon.

Along with Quattrone, Qatalyst's initial founders include two former Credit Suisse colleagues - Internet banker Jonathan Turner and M&A/corporate finance lawyer Adrian E. Dollard - and Neil Chalasani, from the tech-focused private equity firm Evercore Partners. Also slated to join are Goldman Sachs Vice President Brian Slingerland and Vista Equity Partners Associate Brian Cayne. "Qatalyst plans to expand its founding team over the next few months," the release says.

Quattrone, the chief executive, spearheaded many of the 1990s' biggest tech-sector initial public offerings while at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. His 2004 conviction on obstruction of justice charges related to Credit Suisse's distribution of hot IPO shares was overturned on appeal last year. Prosecutors have decided not to pursue another trial.

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Bear Stearns' shotgun wedding with JPMorgan poses an imminent threat to the jobs of as many as half its 14,000 employees, according to various media reports. Moreover, the proposed fire-sale price of $2 per share would erase $5 billion of equity held by employees, officers and directors compared with the shares' value last December. Employees and directors together own almost 40 percent of Bear Stearns, according to Thomson Financial data cited by Financial News.

Headhunters told eFinancialCareers News that resumes are flooding in from worried Bear employees. They caution against panicky forays into a tough job market while the bank's ultimate fate is unclear. One recruiter advises employees to research how their department stacks up against its counterpart at JPMorgan in order to make an informed judgment whether their job will be preserved in the merged firm.

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Jefferies hired a London-based team of industrial-sector investment bankers away from CIBC, following staff cuts at the latter firm. Financial News reports that team leader Ian Williams will lead Jefferies' non-U.S. advisory and underwriting business after jumping along with four CIBC colleagues. Separately, Ian Crosbie joined Jefferies from Ferghana Partners and will build its international health care banking business. New York-based Jefferies Group has been expanding in Europe, acquiring media industry advisory boutique LongAcre Partners last May and setting up shop in Frankfurt in July.

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UBS may eliminate as many as 8,000 jobs as it continues to overhaul operations. Sonntagszeitung, a Swiss weekly newspaper, reported that Chief Executive Marcel Rohner ordered managers to submit next month detailed plans to reduce headcounts in their departments by 5 - 10 percent. UBS had 83,560 full-time employees at the end of last year.

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Famed stock-market bull Abby Joseph Cohen quietly stepped down as Goldman Sachs' most visible stock-market prognosticator in late December, but remains with the firm as a senior strategist "working on broad global issues," The Wall Street Journal reported. Cohen becomes president of Goldman's Global Markets Institute, which produces research on long-term topics. Her replacement as day-to-day strategist is David Kostin, who Cohen hired four years ago. She told the Associated Press her transfer of responsibilities was voluntary and gradual. Goldman made no public announcement.

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Citigroup named John Havens chief executive of its institutional clients group, which oversees both investment banking and markets and alternative investments. Like other Citi senior executives named recently, Havens is a former close associate of Chief Executive Vikram Pandit from his days at Morgan Stanley and Old Lane Partners. At Citi, Havens was in charge of the alternative investments group. Michael S. Klein was named chairman of the institutional client group, created last October under former Chief Executive Chuck Prince. Klein was co-head of Citi's investment banking business.

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Barclays President Bob Diamond plans to split his time between New York and London - further underlining the U.S. market's enlarged profile within the UK-based bank. In January Jerry del Missier, the president of the investment banking unit, Barclays Capital, moved to New York from London. Diamond, who is American, also has personal reasons to spend more time in the U.S., according to The Wall Street Journal: his three children will all be attending college in this country.

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