UPDATE 1-Bank of America hires new investment bank head for Nordic region

Mon Apr 7, 2014 2:22pm EDT

(Adds quote from co-head of EMEA investment banking, Nordic M&A background)

LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) - Bank of America Merrill Lynch has hired JPMorgan's Johan Lustig to lead its global corporate and investment banking division in the Nordic region, it said on Monday.

Lustig, who has spent his entire 17-year career at JPMorgan, most recently as head of Sweden, will be based in Stockholm and report to Bob Elfring and Diego De Giorgi, BoAML's co-heads of investment banking for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Elfring told Reuters that "in general we are in growth mode in corporate and investment banking in EMEA", though hires would remain selective.

"Where we feel we can do more we have expanded the bench."

Elfring said Nordic countries have been important for the bank in terms of fees it has earned in Europe and the strength of their economies had kept them interesting.

In the first two months of the year, there were 200 M&A deals in the Nordic region, more than triple the level of 2013 and the strongest start to the year in more than a decade.

In an internal announcement, the bank said Harri Sundvik, who has led the investment bank in the Nordic region since 2006, had been appointed its vice chairman, a client-facing role.

BoAML also announced on Monday that Birger Berendes, currently a partner and managing director at Greenhill, a boutique M&A firm, would join the bank in June as head of M&A for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The appointments follow a string of senior hirings at the U.S. bank's EMEA operations, including Kevin McLoughlin as head of global insurance investment banking and Michele Foresti as head of EMEA fixed income, commodities and currency trading.

(Reporting by Clare Hutchison; Editing by Mark Potter and David Evans)