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The growing London buy-side firm targeting junior bankers

If you’re a junior investment banker looking for a move across to the buy-side, there’s a new player in town that continues to poach from bulge bracket firms in London.

PSP Investments, the private debt fund of Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board, is building out its London operation as it looks to grab a bigger slice of the European leveraged finance market.

Oliver Duff, the former head of capital financing at HSBC, signed up to PSP Investments as a managing director for principal debt and credit for its European operation in July last year. He’s proving to be something of a magnet for young leveraged finance professionals across the City.

The latest hire is Camillo Villani, an associate within the leveraged finance and high yield division of HSBC who joined PSP Investments as a manager in its principal debt and credit investments division. Meanwhile, Anita Das, an associate within Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking private credit group, has also joined PSP as a manager within its European private debt group.

PSP is offering junior investment bankers both a promotion and a coveted move to a fast-growing firm on the buy-side. At the time of Duff’s appointment, it was reported that he had the go-ahead to hire a team of London-based senior private debt investment professionals and had $4.3bn to deploy in private debt financing over the next three years.  PSP's European hub officially launched in May and now has 28 people working in its office in Victoria.

As we reported previously, PSP has been targeting people at large investment banks. David Witkin, a former executive director at Goldman Sachs, joined as a senior director in January, while juniors at J.P. Morgan and Perella Weinberg made the switch at the tail of last year. Marco Strizzi, a former J.P. Morgan analyst and associate who spent the last two years at private equity fund BC Partners, along with Paola Rastelli, an infrastructure investments specialist from Arcus Infrastructure also joined in April.

PSP’s success in recruiting junior bankers is reflective of the fact that the leveraged finance divisions of investment banks are being raided by a broader range of buy-side firms. The likes of Permira Debt Partners, Park Square Capital and Albacore Capital have all tapped investment banks’ leveraged finance divisions in recent months and this continues.

Uzair Chiragdin, an associate in leveraged finance at RBS, has just joined debt advisory firm Marlborough Partners, while Nicole Schoenauer, an associate in European leveraged finance at Deutsche Bank, has recently signed up to Stepstone Group. These moves are not restricted to smaller players, however. As we mentioned last week, KKR has been poaching from banks’ leveraged finance teams – most recently hiring in Risham Saif from J.P. Morgan.


Image: Getty Images

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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