BNP Paribas lost a top M&A banker in Frankfurt

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BNP Paribas lost a top M&A banker in Frankfurt

One of BNP Paribas’ senior M&A bankers is set to leave the firm. Sebastian Bihari, who joined in 2016 as head of the bank’s automotive investment banking team, is leaving at the end of the year to launch his own venture.

Bihari, who is set to launch a fund dedicated to investing in the fast-growing global mobility sector, has helped to boost BNP’s presence in M&A since his arrival from Moelis & Co and last year was instrumental in the bank winning a role advising Renault on its proposed €33bn merger with Fiat Chrysler until talks collapsed after an intervention by the French government, Renault’s biggest shareholder in June.

Frankfurt-based Bihari is among a handful of senior bankers who have left BNP Paribas in recent months. Berthold Müeller, its most senior industrials banker who was also based in Germany, quit in the summer to join Jefferies in Frankfurt, where he will be head of industrials for continental Europe and vice chairman of the bank’s activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In September telecoms banker Damien Anzel quit to join EY in Paris as a partner in M&A, while long-serving M&A banker Christophe Moulin joined Paris-based boutique Cardinal Partners in September. Moulin left BNP Paribas after losing out to George Holst for the job of head of the bank’s corporate clients group as part of a wider revamp a year ago.

BNP Paribas is the midst of a push to become a leading M&A and ECM house to its clients as it looks to take advantage of retrenchment by European rivals such as Deutsche Bank. This month, BNP Paribas sealed the acquisition of Deutsche Bank’s electronic equities and prime brokerage business. The French bank is also building up its UK investment banking business, hiring Andrew McNaught from Nomura as head of M&A in July. Last month it recruited Roger Barb from Citigroup to a newly-created role as head of EMEA ECM execution.

While BNP Paribas has yet to breach the Europe’s top 10 M&A fee ranking, it was ranked fourth by M&A fees in France in the first nine months of year, and 10th in Germany.

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