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Macquarie Hires Former Bear Banker Hassen for Oil & Gas Deals

Macquarie Group Ltd. hired Thomas Hassen, a former banker at Bear Stearns Cos. and Credit Suisse Group AG, to be chairman of oil and gas banking as Australia’s biggest investment bank seeks growth in the U.S.

Hassen, 68, will be based in New York, Sydney-based Macquarie said today in a statement. Hassen most recently worked at Irving Place Capital Management LP, the private-equity firm that used to be affiliated with Bear Stearns.

Macquarie has been bulking up its North American investment bank as it seeks to reduce dependence on its infrastructure fund business. It bought Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller, a firm with 267 employees that focuses on financial services, and real estate specialist Presidio Partners LLC in the past year.

“Energy is a big part of who Macquarie is, and we’re looking to continue to build on that,” said Tim Bishop, the head of Macquarie’s U.S. operations, in an interview. Macquarie plans to hire more oil and gas bankers, he said, and is looking to expand in industrials, gaming, lodging and entertainment.

Most of Macquarie’s oil and gas advisory business in North America comes from the acquisition of Tristone Capital Global Inc., a Calgary-based energy boutique with 170 employees, in 2009, and Toronto-based Orion Financial Inc. in 2007.

Hassen worked at Morgan Stanley for 20 years, rising to co-head of the energy investment-banking group. He left in 1998 for Credit Suisse and joined Bear Stearns in 2005. He moved to Irving Place after the sale of Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2008.

Macquarie is the world’s 22nd-biggest adviser on mergers and acquisitions this year, with $47.8 billion of transactions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Morgan Stanley is ranked first with $407.3 billion.

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