Lehman to hire around 300 in Europe

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Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank, is preparing to hire around 300 staff in Europe over the next 12 months, as it looks to recruit as many as 1,000 personnel globally.

Richard Fuld, chairman of Lehman Brothers, said he wants to boost the headcount for the bank by between 500 and 1,000 globally. Fuld was speaking in Frankfurt on Tuesday as the bank unveiled a 28% fall in profits for the first quarter of 2001. This comes amid widespread hiring freezes and redundancies among Wall Street's bulge-bracket investment banking fraternity. It also follows an aggressive hiring spree by Lehman just 18 months ago.

Of the maximum of 1,000 staff to be pulled in globally, around 300 will be hired into Europe. A spokesperson said: &quotWe have just under 3,000 staff in Europe at the moment and we should be boosting that by roughly 10% over the coming year.&quot

&quotWe will probably be hiring across the board, with a slight weighting to investment banking,&quot she added. Lehman played down the idea that it was embarking on an aggressive hiring spree and stressed that the recruitment exercise would be part of the firm's &quotgeneral organic growth&quot.

Lehman will be focusing its European growth strategy on Germany, and in Munich and Frankfurt specifically, where it will be hiring corporate financiers and fixed income specialists in the science and technology sectors, among others.

&quotOf the 300 or so who will be working for German clients, about 100 will be based in Germany. The rest will be based in London and will commute between the London, Frankfurt and Munich offices,&quot the spokesperson said.

Geographically, Lehman will also be recruiting in Italy, France and Israel, as well as the Nordic, Benelux and Iberian regions.

&quotIn terms of business split, the main areas will be merchant banking, real estate and venture capital, where our products involve mergers and acquisitions, the equity and debt capital markets and leveraged finance,&quot the spokesperson said.

She added that in terms of banking products, private client services were likely to follow slightly later in the company's build-up.