UPDATE 1-RBS M&A bankers plan boutique spin-off - executive

Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:25am EDT

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DUBAI, April 30 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland's mergers and acquisitions (M&A) business will be spun off into a boutique advisory firm run by some of its current staff, the bank's chief executive for the Middle East and Africa confirmed on Monday.

"The M&A bankers plan to form a boutique business," Simon Penney told reporters in Dubai.

"It's not clear as to which regions would join in but that's the plan," he added.

The bank, 82-percent owned by the British government, is exiting mergers and acquisitions as part of a restructuring announced in January aimed at reducing costs and exposure to areas of investment banking deemed risky by the authorities.

Sources told Reuters last week that the M&A business would be spun off, with around 45 bankers from RBS joining the new firm led by John McIntyre, currently head of corporate finance for EMEA at the bank.

No timescale for the launch was given by the sources. This would depend on the attracting of investors to back the firm, with consideration also given to providing adequate protection to ongoing deals for existing clients.

The Middle Eastern part of the M&A business, which Penney confirmed in January had been put up for sale by RBS, could form part of the new boutique, he said on Monday.

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