Nomura loses fourth star to Bank of America Merrill Lynch

BANK of America Merrill Lynch has poached Peter Bell, a star investment banker, from Nomura.

Bell (right) will join Merrill in the spring – after a spell of gardening leave – where he will team up with former Nomura Co head of global investment banking Christian Meissner, as well as former banking colleagues Adrian Mee and Antonin Baladi, who both recently bailed out of Nomura.

Bell’s departure will fuel City fears that Nomura, which took on many of Lehman’s UK employees when the bank crashed, is finding it difficult to recruit and maintain a powerful investment banking team.

As well as the exodus to BoA Merrill Lynch, the Japanese bank also recently lost its financial services managing director Matt Cannon, who departed for Morgan Stanley.

When Nomura took on the Lehman teams, they did so with golden handcuff arrangements which have been expiring.

However, in a bid to boost its reputation in the M&A market, last month Nomura hired the seasoned rainmaker Piero Novelli as its new head of global mergers and acquisitions.

Novelli has previously held positions as head of European M&A and head of global M&A at Merrill Lynch and UBS respectively.

Last night a source close to Nomura said the bank had replaced those that had gone with people better suited for the job.

“We’ve got an attrition rate that is low by industry standards,” the source said.

Merrill’s latest recruit Bell has acted on a number of high profile deals recently.

He advised Doughty Hanson on the acquisition of Vue Cinemas and advised KKR on its acquisition of Pets at Home.

He has advised a host of other clients, including WH Smith and Net-a-Porter.

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