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Banks battle for arranger mandates

The number of banks competing for LBO arranger mandates has increased significantly over the past six years. Almost every major continental European bank now has a leveraged loan team. BNP Paribas and HypoVereinsbank are both expanding their coverage as are - to a lesser extent - Crédit Agricole and HSBC.

       
Tim Ritchie

The number of banks competing for LBO arranger mandates has increased significantly over the past six years. In the mid-1990s - when most of the deals took place in the UK - the only firms actively bidding for business were British commercial banks and the big US and Canadian investment banks. Today almost every major continental European bank now has a leveraged loan team. BNP Paribas and HypoVereinsbank are both expanding their coverage as are - to a lesser extent - Crédit Agricole and HSBC. Bear Stearns hired 10 LBO specialists, most of them from WestLB, last year and is actively bidding for business.


Bankers with leveraged loan expertise do not come cheap. According to one London-based recruitment consultant, the most experienced LBO financiers command annual salaries of $4 million or more, while junior LBO specialists expect to be paid at least $500,000.


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