• Simon Dowker to join PJT's chemicals team in London this year
  • Frangenberg, head of chemicals investment banking, also left

PJT Partners Inc., the M&A firm created after Blackstone Group LPspun off its advisory unit, has hired Simon Dowker from Jefferies Group LLC to lead its chemicals dealmaking team in Europe, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Dowker, who worked at UBS Group AG prior to joining Jefferies in 2011, will be based in London, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the appointment hasn’t been announced.

Dowker’s exit is a further dent to Jefferies’s chemicals investment banking team at a time when mergers and acquisitions in the industry have picked up. Guggenheim Partners said Monday it had hired Gunter Frangenberg, Jefferies’s head of investment banking for chemicals companies in the Americas, as a senior managing director.

Representatives for PJT and Jefferies declined to comment.

Last year saw a jump in chemical M&A to $145.6 billion, compared with $84.6 billion in the prior year, according to a quarterly report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, published in February. PwC predicted further consolidation as companies seek operational efficiency, competitive advantages, as well as geographic and customer-base expansion.

Blackstone announced the separation of its M&A advisory group in 2014 to better compete with Evercore Partners Inc. and Moelis & Co. Paul J. Taubman, who started PJTin 2013, merged his business with the Blackstone unit into a new, public entity. The separation removed potential conflicts of interest with Blackstone’s money management business that had hampered M&A advising work.

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