HSBC has begun 2019 as it ended 2018: hiring for its struggling M&A franchise.
The British-based bank recruited Mark Milano, the former head of diversified industrials for EMEA at Nomura. Milano joined HSBC this January according to his LinkedIn profile. He's a managing director (MD) in industrials and business services M&A.
Milano's arrival follows a difficult period for HSBC's M&A franchise. The bank ranked outside the top ten for EMEA M&A revenues in 2018 according to Dealogic. In May 2018, Thomson Reuters said the bank had dropped to 42nd place globally for M&A, down from 15th one year earlier.
HSBC's fading M&A fortunes prompted an anonymous letter, sent in September 2018, which called for the resignation of Robin Phillips, the head of HSBC's investment bank. The letter, apparently sent by HSBC's managing directors and directors, cited a “flood of senior banker defections” at HSBC and some “second-rate” replacements. In May last year, Reuters already estimated that at least 10 high profile M&A bankers had left.
Milano therefore represents HSBC's latest attempt to rebuild its franchise. He spent 11 years at Nomura, preceded by six years at Credit Suisse. Last year, HSBC made various external hires, including Christian Hepp from Jones Lang LaSalle, Giulio Hoffmann from Macquarie, Nikolay Iankov from BAML, and Peter Enns from Goldman Sachs. In October it hired Greg Guyett from J.P. Morgan to replace Matthew Westermann the former Goldman Sachs banker who previously ran the business before leaving in November 2017 after apparent disagreements over his management style.
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