Greenhill Says Europe Banks' Retreat Offers Global Opportunity

  • Bok says dislocation to `shake loose' talented people
  • CEO cites Australia, Brazil as markets where rivals scale back

How Much Fear Is Surrounding European Banks?

Greenhill & Co. Chief Executive Officer Scott Bok said the struggles of Europe’s largest banks give his firm the opportunity to expand not only on the Continent, but in other markets around the world.

“It’s become increasingly clear that some of these big firms do not have that big a revenue opportunity,” Bok said Tuesday at a conference held by Credit Suisse Group AG in Miami. “While that’s probably centered with the European firms, it’s not centered in Europe, in the sense that those firms obviously have people all over the world and in some cases are pulling out.”

Greenhill and other New York-based boutiques have been adding dealmakers from firms like Credit Suisse, Barclays Plc and Deutsche Bank AG, which have been scaling back from some businesses and limiting pay increases to guard capital amid tighter regulation and volatility in global markets. The dislocation “will shake loose, I think, some very talented people to move over to our firm and firms like ours in the year to come,” Bok said.

Bok’s comments built on his November remarks about recruiting. Tuesday he highlighted countries beyond Europe.

Deutsche Bank, UBS

“You know, Barclays pulled out of two markets that we’re in recently -- Australia and Brazil,” Bok said Tuesday.

UBS Group AG’s head of investment banking in Brazil, Carolina Lacerda, left the firm in November after the Zurich-based firm restructured its Latin American business amid an industrywide revenue slump in the region. Deutsche Bank, the German lender exiting countries such as Argentina and Mexico, is planning to cut about half its employees in Brazil, people with knowledge of the decision said last month. 

Bok appointed Rodrigo Mello in January to join his former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. colleague Daniel Wainstein as co-head of Brazil. Greenhill in 2013 hired UBS’s Michelle Jablko as a managing director in Melbourne.

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