* BarCap hires Astaire for key UK role
* Battle for UK corporate broking clients heats up
By Steve Slater
LONDON, Feb 29 Barclays Capital
has poached the head of corporate broking from Bank of America
Merrill Lynch to take on a senior investment banking
Mark Astaire, who was BofAML's London-based head of
corporate broking, will join Barclays Capital as vice-chairman
of investment banking in early June, a person familiar with the
He is expected to work with British companies and work
across BarCap's corporate broking and advisory teams. Alisdair
Gayne remains head of corporate broking.
BarCap declined to comment. BofAML confirmed Astaire had
resigned and said Simon Mackenzie-Smith would continue to
oversee its UK & Ireland Corporate & Investment Banking
business, which includes corporate broking, as chairman.
The departure of Astaire, who joined BofAML in 2004, adds to
a bad month for BofAML's corporate broking unit after Andrew
Osborne, a managing director, was fined 350,000 pounds by
Britain's financial regulator in a high profile market abuse
Osborne has left the bank, and Simon Fraser, previously
co-head of the unit, also retired at the end of last year. BAML
said it hired four new managing directors in the business last
year and plans to make more senior hires.
The changes come as a fight for corporate broking clients
hots up in Britain, as banks eye the clients of Hoare Govett
after Royal Bank of Scotland sold the business to
A mainly British phenomenon, corporate brokers offer advice
to clients for minimal fees, usually in the hope of winning
their bank more lucrative business, such as M&A or equity
fundraising, further down the line. They also act as a
go-between for their clients and investors.
BarCap has been ramping up its corporate broking teams and
has won 26 broking mandates since the start of 2010 and advises
eight FTSE 100 firms, including BHP Billiton and IAG.