Santander has made some curious hires before Andrea Orcel arrives

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To be clear, Andrea Orcel isn't actually on the ground at Santander yet. The allegedly shouty ex-CEO of UBS's investment bank won't actually become CEO of the Spanish bank until an unspecified date in early 2019, pending regulatory approvals. 

This isn't preventing Santander from indulging in some recruitment for its investment banking division before Orcel - an investment banker by trade - is in the building. Curiously, Santander has even been hiring in Orcel's own area - financial institutions group (FIG) investment banking.

The Spanish bank's new FIG hire is Alexandra MacMahon, whom it recruited in August. MacMahon, who was head of FIG debt capital markets (DCM) for EMEA at Citi, is joining Santander as global head of FIG in November. Meanwhile, Conor Hennerbry, whose move from Deutsche Bank we reported yesterday, is understood to be joining Santander as head of UK debt capital markets (DCM) around the time Orcel starts.

Santander didn't comment on the timing of its new hires. However, insiders say they have raised a few eyebrows given the imminent arrival of Orcel, who is notoriously choosy about who he recruits.  It's not clear whether Orcel himself is familiar with MacMahon, but were he to hire a FIG banker it's likely he has plenty in his own network to choose from. Meanwhile, headhunters who've worked with Orcel claim he has a historic aversion to hiring from Deutsche Bank (although, if true this didn't stop UBS from recruiting Jeff Rose or Solon Kentas in the U.S. earlier this year).

The bottom line is that Santander is hiring in investment banking. The question is whether you want to risk going there before the great man himself arrives and endorses you.

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