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Christian Meissner's reappearance heralds hiring in London

If you're a veteran London investment banker and are looking for a haven from the storm, the resurfacing of Christian Meissner at merchant bank BDT & MSD Partners looks distinctly like a prelude to expansion at an investment and advisory firm that's so far only had a tiny presence in Europe. 

Meissner didn't respond to a request to comment for this article, but we understand that BDT & MSD is likely to add other senior bankers in Europe in time. For the moment, headcount in London is minimal: it has an eight-person team in London, including Sarah Giovanna, a former Goldman Sachs executive director and Peter Leach, a former Deloitte partner.

Meissner is a big fish to be swimming in such a small pool. His CV contains a litany of senior roles, including Goldman Sachs partner, co-CEO of EMEA at Lehman, global head of corporate and investment banking at Bank of America, and - most recently - head of the investment bank at Credit Suisse.

Why would Meissner, who has seemingly spent some time hanging out in the US, return to London for such a meagre role?

The answer probably has something to do with Gregg Lemkau, the co-chief executive of BDT & MSD and former co-head of global investment banking at Goldman Sachs, whose early tenure at the firm coincided Meissner's Goldman years. Lemkau, who is known to want to expand BDT & MSD globally, has almost certainly spent the past few months wooing Meissner. Meissner has succumbed.

What's the sell? When BDT and MSD merged in January, it described itself as, 'a merchant bank with an advisory and investment platform built to serve the distinct needs of business owners and strategic, long-term investors.' It both advises on deals and invests in them; the combined entities have invested more than $50bn since 2010. Meissner is expected to focus on building close relationships with key European family offices, which is a space that's been historically underserved by the firm and should bring the potential for strong growth. Other senior bankers may see a similar appeal.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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