Citigroup Poaches Nomura's Staff in Europe, Hires Three Energy Analysts

Citigroup Inc. has hired three European energy analysts and one equity salesman from Nomura Holdings Inc. as it expands its coverage of oil and gas stocks.

Alastair Syme will join the New York-based bank as managing director of the energy research team in London, according to an internal memo dated Oct. 4 obtained by Bloomberg News. He will report to Terence Sinclair, head of the bank’s research business.

Citigroup also poached analysts Michael Alsford and Ryan Kauppila from the Japanese bank, while James Talbot will become managing director of energy specialist sales, the memo said. Alsford will be director and Kauppila will be vice president of the team, the document added.

“We are building the best energy research team on the street anywhere in the world,” Sinclair wrote in the memo. The analysts will join a team of at least five working on energy companies in Europe.

Citigroup said on Sept. 15 that it had hired a group of UBS AG energy investment bankers including its global head, Stephen Trauber. Trauber may earn $30 million over three years, the Wall Street Journal reported last month, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Mark Fletcher, Citigroup’s current managing director of the energy research team, will move internally to focus on emerging Europe oil and gas markets, the memo said. His replacement, Syme, will return to Citigroup after leaving for Merrill Lynch in 2001, where he led the energy research team until his departure to Nomura in 2009, the document said.

A geologist from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Syme topped the oil and gas European analyst ranking in Institutional Investor magazine’s annual poll in 2009 and 2010, the memo said. Talbot was voted top specialist salesperson in oil and gas across Europe in the 2010 Thomson Extel survey.

Jonathan Hodgkinson, a Nomura spokesman in London, declined to comment. Spokespeople for Citigroup weren’t immediately available.

To contact the reporters on this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto in London at jspinetto@bloomberg.net; Alexis Xydias in London at axydias@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net; David Merritt at merritt1@bloomberg.net.

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