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As Lehman people reconvene at UBS, Barclays needs to hire

If you're a banker of a certain vintage who once worked for Lehman Brothers, there's a new place to hang out in New York: UBS. 

All the guys are going there. 

In the past few months, at least 12 senior Barclays bankers in the US have left for UBS, including Laurence Braham, Richard Hardegree, Richard Casavechia, Ozzie Ramos, Jason Williams, Neil Meyer, Ken Tittle, Marco Valla, Jeff Hinton and Kurt Anthony. At least six of them previously worked for Lehman Brothers, including Valla. 

Valla is the biggest name in the recent moves.  Internally, it was expected that he would replace John Miller as Barclays' co-head of investment banking (Miller himself recently escaped to Jefferies). Instead, Cathal Deasy arrived from Credit Suisse and took Miller's role himself. Valla left in response. 

However, insiders point out that the Lehman-Barclays-UBS axis existed long before Valla's harrumph. In 2014, Rosalyn L'Esperance (AKA Ros Stephenson), the former head of global corporate finance at Lehman Brothers and ex-head of global corporate finance and M&A at Barclays, herself joined UBS as co-head of global investment banking. There she remains. Now aged 60, it's thought to be L'Esperance who's really getting the gang back together. 

Barclays is looking 

While the ex-Lehmanites gather at UBS in New York, Barclays is smarting from all the exits. The Financial Times estimates that 30 senior bankers have left in total this year. And although Barclays has hired too, only a few of its new names - like ex-Goldman Sachs MD Douglas Melsheimer, really stand out. 

Barclays isn't commenting on its plans for filling the gaps created by its managing director exodus in New York. However, headhunters say there are already mandates out to fill the gaps and that the bank is willing to pay generous bonus guarantees to those it hires.  "They need to do a load of hiring," says one. "Or course they're going to guarantee."

When Barclays really wants to hire, there are signs that it will pay. Earlier this year, it submitted an H1B visa request for a managing director in technology (a CIO at Barclays Services corp) on an $800k salary. Presumably, its senior M&A bankers will be on similar packages.

Who can get you those jobs? Again, Barclays isn't commenting, but rival headhunters suggest trying Spencer Stuart, which has long helped the bank in its time of need. In 2015, for example, Spencer Stuart found Jes Staley as Barclays' new CEO. That didn't work out well, but it's easier to hire M&A bankers than chief execs.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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