Head of investment banking for Merrill Lynch Europe, Middle East & Africa
Claudio Aguirre has long been one of the most admired investment bankers in Spain. Now, in the wake of the departure of Justin Dowley and Huston McCullough, Merrill Lynch's two former co-heads of European investment banking, Merrill is hoping that he can extend his reputation across the whole of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
When he was 31, Aguirre became the youngest-ever general manager at Chase Manhattan when he took charge of the bank's Spanish office. Later, at Goldman Sachs during the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was involved in almost every large Spanish privatization and M&A transaction. These included the sales of the first tranches of Spain's three largest state-owned companies, Telefónica (1989), Repsol (1990) and Endesa (1991).
He has been a similar success at Merrill Lynch, which he joined in 1994. He masterminded the 1996 acquisition of Spain's leading broker-dealer, FG Inversiones, in perfect time to take advantage of an equities boom.