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Dutch bank gives boost to City job prospects

A DUTCH investment bank gave a much-needed boost to employment prospects in the City of London yesterday by hiring 12 equity staff - including eight from UBS - and saying it would take on up to an extra 75 by the end of the year.

Rabobank said the eight ex-UBS employees included Paul Deslandes, the former head of European equity trading at UBS, and Paul Simpson, an employee in UBS's equity arbitrage division. Mr Deslandes is to be global head of equity trading at Rabobank and Mr Simpson is to be head of equity arbitrage. Both will report to Marcus Grubb, global head of equities at the bank.

The bank said it was trying to build a "research-driven" equities business. The Dutch bank is the latest investment bank to try and capitalise on recent shake-ups in the City, including the merger of UBS and SBC, the sale of the equities divisions of both NatWest and Barclays, and, most recently, the proposed restructure at Chase Manhattan, the US investment bank.

Commerzbank, a leading German bank, and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, a US bank, have both recently said they intended to recruit hundreds of equity staff in the City.

Earlier this week, both NatWest Markets and Panmure Gordon said they had snapped up some top UBS equity specialists. NatWest Markets - whose equity team will soon transfer to Bankers Trust - has hired nine former UBS staff. Panmure Gordon has hired a further 12.

The other UBS staff hired by Rabobank are Michael Webb and Simon Mills - who will both be directors of pan-European trading - together with John Dow, Simon Spence, Mark Ayres and Darryl Willoughby.

Rabobank has also hired Paul Hammond, who was a head of UK equities at Morgan Stanley, Max Wellby and Chris Lee from BZW, the former investment banking arm of Barclays, and Charles Giessen of Salomon Smith Barney.