BNP Paribas to hire rival's private equity chief

BNP Paribas has recruited an investment banker who until recently co-led the team serving Jefferies’ private equity clients in Europe to run its own sponsors business globally.

BNP Paribas office front with logo

BNP Paribas is set to install a new head of its global financial sponsors business

James Seagrave, who Jefferies said upon hiring him in August 2011 would be a “vital part” of its private equity coverage effort, had joined the US bank after spending his entire 22-year career at JP Morgan and its predecessor Chase Manhattan.

He left his role as Jefferies’ co-head of financial sponsors in Europe earlier in June. Around the same time the US bank hired Lazard’s former head of European financial sponsors, Fotis Hasiotis, as its international head of that business.

Seagrave is expected to join the French bank in the coming months as global head of financial sponsors, according to two people familiar with the move. He is not directly replacing anyone in that role, and will report to Jose Placido, head of financial institutions coverage at BNP Paribas since July 2015, one of the people said.

The French bank ranks 25th for global financial sponsors M&A in 2016, according to Dealogic, having worked on 15 deals worth $ 4.6 billion so far. At the same point in 2015, it was 15th. Jefferies is 14th in the rankings so far in 2016, having been 12th at the same point in 2015.

Seagrave’s departure from Jefferies was one of a series of senior exits across the US group’s European operations over the past year, with the president of Jefferies’ European business David Weaver and co-head of European healthcare Henry Elphick among other recent departures.

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