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Wells Fargo's London build hit by exit of EMEA M&A head

Wells Fargo has lost its head of M&A in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Unconfirmed reports suggest he may be off to UBS.

Sam Small, head of EMEA M&A at Wells Fargo, is understood to have quit the bank. Small didn't respond to a request to comment on his whereabouts and Wells Fargo declined to comment, but multiple sources confirmed his disappearance. UBS didn't respond to a request to comment on claims they have hired him.

Small joined Wells Fargo as a metals and mining banker in 2013 and was made head of EMEA M&A in 2017. 

Wells Fargo has been expanding its investment banking business in London. In February, for example, it hired Nicola Free from HSBC for European real estate financing. Last year, it ingested James Marriott from NatWest for DCM and Rahul Rajesh from Citi for FIG investment banking in EMEA. It also appointed Charlotte Weir from Barclays as head of the corporate bank. 

However, the flow of talent isn't entirely incoming. Alongside Sam Small, Wells Fargo is understood to have recently lost Blaise Girard, its head of EMEA consumer and retail banking, who was hired from EY in 2017. In June 2020 it also parted company with Amir Zafar, a healthcare MD who went to Axial International, an advisory boutique where he says he works on a freelance basis. 

The exits come across other changes in the London operation. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Julien Pajot, the deputy CEO of Wells Fargo Securities Europe and head of TMT EMEA may be moving internally to work on the West Coast of America.

While senior staff are changing, junior staff are being offered inducements to stick around. Earlier this month, Financial News reported that Wells Fargo hiked salaries for first year analysts to $110k, thereby matching Goldman Sachs. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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