Jefferies sets up event-driven trading desk

JEFFERIES, the investment banking firm, has appointed Chris Blackburn as head of its new European event driven trading desk.

The five-man London team, will work in tandem with a six-strong New York desk, offering sales, trading and analysis of European stocks involved in M&A, financial distress and other so-called “special situations”.

The desk has been set-up to take advantage of the pick-up in mergers and acquisitions activity, after Kraft Foods $18.4bn (£11.9bn) takeover of British chocolate-maker Cadbury.

“We’re committing resources to this area now because we anticipate an increase in the pace of M&A and with that will come renewed interest in trading deal stocks,” said Blackburn. “Many event-driven funds have been focused on trading credit over the last 12 months. Now you’re starting to see people who were on the sidelines interested again in M&A.”

Blackburn has eleven years financial services experience, and previously directed the event driven trading desk at Lehman Brothers. He joined Jeffries cash equities department in 2008. European mergers and acquisitions fell to $543.7 bn in 2009.