BoA Bulks Up Canadian M&A Team

TORONTO (Reuters) – Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on Tuesday it hired banking veteran Brad Cameron to head its Canadian mergers and acquisitions team, the latest sign a capital markets pick-up may be in the making in Canada.

Cameron is to assume the post in Toronto in the fall, likely in September, and is the third high-level addition to the U.S. bank’s team north of the border since July .

A 23-year veteran of investment banking, Cameron has spent time at Canada’s top investment banks, including 17 years at RBC Capital Markets (RY.TO). He also held posts at BMO Nesbitt Burns and Lehman Brothers.

Capital markets have started to warm up again in Canada in recent months after an extended dry spell during the global financial crisis and recession, and banks are jockeying for position to capitalize on new activity.

“In this unique environment, the firms that will continue to gain market share and emerge as leaders in the M&A business will be those that possess the right mix of capital and advisory talent,” said Jeff Kaplan, global head of mergers and acquisitions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the global banking and markets businesses of Bank of America Corp (BAC.N).

Much of the so-called M&A action is seen happening in the oil and gas space, which featured major deals in recent years, including several that Cameron was involved in.

As recently as June, China’s largest oil refiner Sinopec said it would buy Toronto-listed Swiss oil explorer Addax Petroleum Corp (AXC.TO) for $7.24 billion.

China’s biggest overseas acquisition, the Addax deal was seen as the tip of the iceberg as Beijing snaps up reserves to secure energy supplies to fuel its growing economy.

($1=$1.10 Canadian) (Reporting by Pav Jordan; editing by Rob Wilson)