BlackRock Said Hiring UBS’s Cook for Capital Markets Team

Edward Cook, the banker who ran European equity syndication at UBS AG, is joining BlackRock Inc., the largest money manager, at its new capital markets team in London, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

Cook will report to Rob Leach, former partner and portfolio manager at SAC Global Investors LLP, said two of the people, who declined to be identified because the plans are private.

Leach will serve as head of the EMEA capital markets, which includes debt and equities, while Cook, 31, will head syndication, focusing on equities, one of the people said. Michael Dennis, formerly of the hedge fund Marshall Wace LLP, will also be part of the three-man team and focus on debt, the person said. The team is set to start working next week, the person said.

New York-based BlackRock’s entry into the capital markets business in Europe could provide its money-management clients with direct access to bond and equity sales. The firm, which had $3.7 trillion in assets under management as of March 31, may use its size and connections to compete with Wall Street banks.

Criticizing Banks

BlackRock’s U.K.-based portfolio managers Luke Chappell and James Macpherson last year criticized investment banks handling of initial public offerings for their “unrealistic” valuation indications and fee structure.

“We are concerned that companies have been appointing advisers based on unrealistic indications of valuation,” they wrote in the letter. They also expressed concerns about “the structure of incentive fees which maximize returns for the price achieved on the first day of trading rather than at a more distant date.”

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is the biggest equity underwriter in the EMEA region this year, followed by Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. UBS ranks fifth, the data show.

Companies raised $46 billion from share sales in the region this year, compared with $62 billion during the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The departure of Cook, whose official title at UBS was head of equity capital markets group syndicate, comes amid a series of high-level exits and hires at UBS’s investment bank in recent weeks.

Exits and Hires

Bank of America Corp. hired Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, chairman of UBS’s investment bank, as president of Europe, rebuilding a team depleted by the departure of two of its most senior executives in the region. Andrea Orcel, former chairman of global banking and markets at Bank of America, left to co-head UBS’s investment bank.

Three senior UBS bankers left last week, including the head of consumer banking, Roland Phillips, the co-head of U.S. mergers and acquisitions, Ehren Stenzler, and the head of investment banking in the Americas, Aryeh Bourkoff. The bank has also hired about 40 managing directors in the last 12 months.

Cook joined UBS in 2005 after more than two years at BNP Paribas SA, according to his LinkedIn profile. He holds a degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

A spokeswoman at UBS declined to comment on personnel changes. A representative of BlackRock was not immediately available for comment.

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