CIBC Expands European Coverage

CIBC World Markets last week continued its torrid pace toward becoming one of the top junk underwriters in the European market, capitalizing on merger-related attrition to snag a pair of high yield analysts.

Philip Volpicelli, from BT Alex. Brown's London office, will be a director of European high yield research, and Mark Weinberg, from BT's New York office, will be a junior analyst for CIBC, said James Courtenay, managing director and head of the European high yield effort. They will begin their new jobs at the end of the month.

Both of the analysts resigned from Deutsche Alex. Brown in the wake of the merger between Deutsche Bank and BT Alex. Brown.

The pair will focus on the general industrial area, particularly in continental Europe. Their hires are aimed to broaden CIBC's high yield coverage, which, until now, has been concentrated on cable and telecom - the two main sectors of the European high yield market.

About a week before Volpicelli and Weinberg accepted jobs, CIBC hired Greg Lomas from Warburg Dillon Read as a syndicate executive director to work with Christopher Rist, who was hired in March (HYR 3/15/99).

When Rist was hired, CIBC officials said they wanted to double their European presence to about 20 pros, which is where they now stand. Company officials said that the underwriters that first establish a presence will be the big winners as the number of U.S. leveraged buyout firms and European sponsors proliferate and raise money, creating opportunities to underwrite junk bond offerings.

CIBC has said it aims to be in the top five underwriters in European high yield issues.

Other European recent hires for CIBC include originations pro Nicholas Guyard, who was hired to work with mid-sized banks in Europe to market CIBC's services to its existing client base.

And on the U.S. side, James Ballan recently joined as a wireless telecom analyst reporting to Edward Mally, managing director and head of high yield research. Previously, Ballan was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers in the telecom/media group, and before that he worked in both the global project finance and telecommunications investment banking groups at Citibank.

The three heads of CIBC's high yield operation - all based in New York - are Dean Kehler, Jay Bloom, and Andrew Heyer.