Ex-Lehman banker to head M&A at J.P. Morgan

In moving to J.P. Morgan, Shibata joins a long line of former Lehman employees in Japan who have left after the takeover by Nomura.
J.P. Morgan has hired former Lehman Brothers banker Masaru Shibata to head its mergers and acquisitions and advisory business in Japan, according to a press release.

Assuming the title of managing director, Shibata will start his new job on November 17. He was most recently head of M&A and co-head of corporate coverage at Lehman in Tokyo. When the US investment bankÆs Asia-Pacific operations were taken over by Nomura at the end of September following its bankruptcy filing, Shibata chose not to stay with the firm. And he wasnÆt alone.

Two weeks ago about 100 former Lehman employees within the equity sales and research departments in Japan moved to Barclays, which took the opportunity to snap up talent en masse among the people who where hesitating whether to accept NomuraÆs offer for employment. Barclays was hiring in connection with the launch of its own equity sales and research services in Japan.

At J.P. Morgan, Shibata will work closely with Yuichi Jimbo, who is head of investment banking coverage, and Katsuyuki Kuki, who is vice-chairman and head of the financial institutions group (FIG), to strengthen the firmÆs expanding M&A franchise. Kuki joined J.P. Morgan as recently as June this year.

J.P. Morgan ranked third on completed Japan M&A transactions in the first nine months of this year with a 10.7% market share, based on Dealogic data, behind Morgan Stanley and Nomura which have both seen their advisory volumes inflated by deals where the banks themselves have been involved as either the acquirer or the target. J.P. Morgan does not feature in the top 10 for announced deals. The bank says it expects the volume of M&A involving Japanese companies will grow, both within Japan and through outbound transactions, as Japanese companies continue to seek growth opportunities.

In a press release, Gregory Guyett, president and CEO of J.P. Morgan Securities Japan, called the hiring of Shibata ôa significant stepö in the development of its investment banking business in Japan. ôMr Shibata will enhance our strategic dialogue with Japanese and non-Japanese clients. He will also focus on generating cross-border ideas for our clients,ö he added.

Shibata had been with Lehman Brothers in Tokyo since 2004. Before that he spent 15 years at Goldman Sachs in New York and Tokyo as a banker within M&A and FIG.

Outbound cross-border M&A volume involving a Japanese acquirer reached a record of $59.1 billion in the first nine months this year, according to Dealogic. This is up 450% from the same period last year, as Japanese firms are taking advantage of falling stock market valuations to expand overseas. Japanese banks and companies that are cash rich and have strong balance sheets are also finding themselves in a prime position to make overseas acquisitions as international competitors are having trouble coming up with finance.
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