Sebastian Grigg, one of Europe’s best-connected media bankers, is understood to be in talks to leave Goldman Sachs for Credit Suisse, where he would become head of UK investment banking.
Mr Grigg, who was last night understood to be close to finalising the terms of the move, has worked at Goldman Sachs since the start of his banking career and has advised prominent US and European media owners in recent years.
The planned move would be a coup for Credit Suisse as it attempts to build its investment banking business in the UK. Though the bank recently reported record profits, it remains weak compared with some of its rivals in the league tables for advising on mergers and acquisitions. M&A mandates are considered particularly important because they are often linked to other lucrative sources of business, such as financing.
In the past year, Mr Grigg has advised on deals including Houghton Mifflin’s reverse takeover by Riverdeep, the smaller educational publisher; the financing of Setanta, the television sports rights owner; VNU’s disposal of its business media assets in Europe and the sale of the Government Solutions arm of Pearson, owner of the Financial Times.
Mr Grigg would become the first senior UK investment banker to leave Goldman this year. The bank has been the focus of considerable speculation after it last year promoted dozens of up-and-coming bankers and traders to its partnership pool. Goldman last year also led failed attempts by private equity consortia to buy UK-listed companies including ITV and BAA, prompting rivals to suggest it was abandoning corporate relationships.
Credit Suisse declined to comment but Piers de Montfort, the current head of UK investment banking, who has overseen the recent revival in its fortunes, is expected to become chairman of the division with responsibility for focusing on large clients.
Mr Grigg was a contemporary of David Cameron, the Conservative party leader, at Eton College and Oxford university, and appeared in a recently unearthed 1987 photograph of Mr Cameron, Boris Johnson and other members of the Bullingdon Club, a well-heeled Oxford dining club. He remains closely connected to Conservative political circles as a resident of Notting Hill, the hub of Mr Cameron’s “set”.
Get alerts on Financials when a new story is published