HSBC has hired a senior banker to focus on mid-market M&A deals, as large investment banks increasingly focus on smaller transactions amid a downturn in dealmaking.

The bank has hired Robin Brown as a managing director within its mid-market M&A team, an initiative that straddles its investment banking unit with its vast commercial banking network. He joins from family-owned investment bank Stephens, where he headed its technology team and has also worked at BDO Corporate Finance.

Brown’s appointment “continues the growth of an important part of CFIBC’s [capital financing and investment banking coverage] strategic ambitions to deliver M&A solutions to mid-market clients”, according to a memo from HSBC’s M&A head Kamal Jabre and Jacques Callaghan, who leads the mid-market M&A team.

HSBC has slowly been building out a team of dealmakers focused on the mid-market, which could eventually number around 15-20 bankers, FN reported in 2020. Callaghan joined last year to head up the unit. Tobias Sommer, formerly of Investec, was also hired to join the mid-market team in November last year.

READ Goldman Sachs’ new 170-strong team to target small M&A deals in $500m revenue push

HSBC has looked to create closer links between its global banking division and commercial banking. In 2020, as the bank prepared to unveil a fresh overhaul, reports suggested the two units could merge, but it eventually announced plans to combine their back office functions.

However, the mid-market M&A team shows how the bank is creating closer links on the frontline. It is also reflective of a broader trend among large investment banks to chase smaller M&A deals as funding on the leveraged finance market has dried up and stymied larger transactions.

JPMorgan unveiled a trio of hires for its corporate client banking team earlier in December, which focuses on mid-market deals and links its commercial and investment banking functions. Goldman Sachs has built a team of 170 bankers for its cross-markets team, which focuses on the mid-market, while Bank of America has also hired for a new mid-market push.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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