Rothschild Hires Three Lehman M&A Bankers

LONDON (Reuters) – Boutique investment bank Rothschild has hired three M&A bankers from Lehman Brothers in a sign that some smaller banks remain confident even as the credit crisis ravages their larger rivals.

Rothschild, a more than two centuries old family-owned business, said it had appointed Antonio Villalon as co-head of its Global Financial Institutions Group (FIG).

“We are seeing significant demand for our FIG-related independent advice,” the bank said on Monday.

Boutique banks have an opportunity to expand now that only two major investment banks — Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) — have survived the credit crisis independently, while others have been bought or have failed.

Rothschild also named Stephen Fox as co-head of its UK FIG, while Philippe Le Baquer joined to work on FIG deals in continental Europe and on cross-border deals.

All three bankers joined from Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy in September. Most of Lehman’s assets have been sold to Barclays (BARC.L) and Nomura (8604.T).

Rothschild has advised on the Dutch government’s 10 billion euro ($12.44 billion) recapitalisation of ING Groep (ING.AS) and the sale of Lehman’s Asian operations to Nomura, amongst other deals, it said. (Reporting by Douwe Miedema, editing by Will Waterman)