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Banks are getting ready for the recovery.

Citi made an important hire for its post-COVID M&A business

As banks deliberate the likelihood that M&A deals will or won't come back later this year, Citi has made a major hire in New York City.

The U.S. bank recruited Bo Brown from Credit Suisse as co-head of sponsors sell-side M&A. Brown joined Citi this month as a managing director after 16 years at Credit Suisse according to his LinkedIn profile.

His arrival comes after Citi and Bank of America were the only U.S. banks to increase M&A revenues in the first half of this year: Citi's M&A revenues rose 38%, Bank of America's rose 6%. At Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley M&A revenues fell compared to 2019.

Some banks have been talking up the possibility that M&A revenues will recover as the year goes on. In the U.K., bankers have suggested that the end of the year will be characterized by distressed M&A as companies look to merge or slim down due to the pandemic. However, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said last week that he expected M&A to remain, "muted until there is more clarity on the path of the recovery and stability in prices."

As M&A recovers, financial sponsors (private equity funds) are likely to be among the more active clients. - They accounted for the highest proportion of M&A activity since 2007 in the first half of this year according to data from Refinitiv. 

Brown isn't Citi's only recent hire: earlier this month Citi hired Niall Cannon from RBC to run its software investment banking practice. Brown will in good company at Citi: earlier this year the bank relocated Anthony Diamandakis, who run co-heads its global asset managers group (which includes private equity), to New York. Diamandakis spent 14 years at Credit Suisse and overlapped with Brown, before joining Citi in 2014. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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