Senior bankers leave William Blair's London office after hiring spree

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William Blair has been hiring in London. The U.S.-based independent investment bank did some heavy hiring towards the end of last year. Since January, there have been some significant exits too. 

Net, William Blair added 11 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)-registered staff between March 2018 and March 2019, an increase of 18%. Most of the hires were juniors, with William Blair recruiting at least 10 analysts during the period. The recent exits, however, have been very senior.

Since January, William Blair's London operation has lost both Matthew Gooch and Beth Pickens. The two senior bankers were mainstays of the London office, with Gooch (who was head of European banking) joining in 1997 and staying over 21 years, and Pickens (who was head of European consumer banking), joining in 2000 and staying nearly 19 years.

Both Gooch and Pickens have gone onto new roles as business development professionals on the buy-side. Gooch joined private equity firm Berkshire Partners in January. Pickens joined private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners in March.

The exits come after William Blair appointed Anurag Sharma to lead the firm's investment banking activities in Europe in January. 

William Blair has a reputation for paying comparatively generously. Its most recent accounts - for the year ending December 2017 - show it paying an average of £300k per head to staff in London.

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