U.S. banks are stocking up on MDs in Frankfurt and Paris

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Slowly but surely, there are signs that banks other than BofA are adding senior staff in Frankfurt and Paris. Local banks may need to reconsider their remuneration as a result.

Nomura announced today that it has appointed Rolf Petermann as a coverage banker and managing director (MD) in its investment banking team, responsible for the FIG and the real estate sectors in Frankfurt. Jefferies has been hiring in the German city too, after bringing in Ulrich Boeckmann in July. JPMorgan's Franfurt office landed Patrick Czornik from Goldman Sachs in London to run M&A for Germany and Austria in September. Goldman itself is building-out a mid-market M&A team under Tobias Koster in Frankfurt. Meanwhile, Credit Suisse recently hired Friedrich Von Schwedler from Deutsche Bank for healthcare banking in the city.

In Paris, Bank of America has been adding MDs like Gilles Tre-hardy from Lazard in telecoms M&A as it accumulates 400 people in its fancy new French headquarters. JPMorgan is now running EMEA tech banking out of Paris under Xavier Bendel and Citi appointed new heads of French investment banking (who were there already) in April 2019, in the form of Maja Torun and Emmanuel Regniez. Morgan Stanley strengthened its French fixed income business with Ana Cendoya-Delcroix from Deutsche in October.

Yesterday's Goldman Sachs managing director promotions reflects the interest in bolstering investment banking teams in local markets. Philipp de la Chevallerie, Goldman's head of EMEA chemicals, was promoted in Frankfurt, along with Eva Maria Wiecko, a utilities and infrastructure banker in the German city. In Paris, Goldman promoted Camille de Lamotte, head of origination for the fashionable private capital unit, plus Meriem Feghoul and Giulia Lewandowski.

As U.S. banks stock-up in Continental Europe, local banks are likely to be increasingly squeezed in terms of pay. This is particularly the case in Paris, where French banks have traditionally paid moderate salaries and even more moderate bonuses. This week's court case involving Stephane Fima illustrates the discrepancy. Fima was SocGen's former head of acquisition financing in Paris and a managing director at the French bank. After being fired for gross misconduct in 2016, he attempted to take the French bank to court to recover his lost bonus. This week, the court case failed. More notable than Fima's gripe, however, was the size of his disputed bonus: €130k. Most U.S. banks would associate that kind of amount with associates or junior VPs rather than MDs. SocGen could be in for a shock.

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