The U.S. is the promised land for investment banks seeking lucrative deals in the world’s biggest market, and European banks are continuing to build their teams to compete with the dominant local players.
One of those banks is Rothschild, which has promised to spend €20m bulking up its U.S. operations by both opening an office in Chicago and hiring senior bankers.
Three months on from this announcement, senior bankers are coming through the door at Rothschild. The latest of these is Paul Klepetko, a former managing director at Credit Suisse in New York, who joined Rothschild earlier this month.
Klepetko worked in M&A at Credit Suisse for more than 15 years, having joined from Macquarie in 2002. He spent five years at the Australian bank after graduating from the University of Sydney in 2002.
Rothschild has also poached Michael Speller from Credit Suisse to lead its debt advisory business in North America. Speller joined earlier this month, but his appointment was reported in late November.
Rothschild is comparatively small in the U.S. It has around 160 investment bankers in offices in New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC.
It’s one of many European investment banks looking to increase their presence in the U.S. market. Berenberg, Mizuho and Nomura are all looking to hire in senior advisory bankers. Meanwhile, UBS and Barclays have said that they’re willing to hire senior bankers if the right person becomes available.
Nonetheless, it’s slow progress. The entire top five investment banks by revenues in 2016 were U.S. firms, according to figures from Dealogic, and only three European banks – Barclays, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank – broke into the top ten.
Klepetko and Speller are the only two senior hires at Rothschild in the U.S. over the past three months. Oliver Pécoux, co-head of Rothschild, told the FT in November that the bank was “under-represented” in the U.S. “It is a bit frustrating because it is taking a lot of time,” he said.
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