Dow Jones and American Banker

In a move to bolster its presence in Europe, Bear Stearns International Ltd. has hired two merger and acquisition bankers as well as three vice presidents for telecommunications and media investment banking.

Bear Stearns International, a subsidiary of Bear Stearns Cos., said Friday that Chris Elliss will join the firm as a senior managing director in investment banking, specializing in mergers and acquisitions in telecom and media. Mr. Elliss, formerly a managing director in corporate finance at ING Barings, is to be based in London.

Bear Stearns, which was ranked 15th by Thomson Financial in worldwide deals announced last year, also hired Sigurd Westerlund to be a vice president in its mergers and acquisitions group, the Wall Street investment bank said in a statement. Mr. Westerlund was hired from J.P. Morgan & Co.

The three new vice presidents in European telecom and media investment banking, headed by Michael Phair, will be based in London. They are Anthony Corbett, previously a vice president and head of the technology, media, and telecom execution team at ING Barings; Julio A. Bonmati Ortega of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, where he was an assistant director in global corporate finance; and Giovanni Bartolotta, formerly a vice president in the global media and telecom group at J.P. Morgan in London.

The additions are the latest effort by Bear Stearns to expand its international operations; they were unveiled the week after the firm reiterated its commitment to expand in Europe during a first-quarter-earnings conference call. During the call it said that the slowdown in U.S. equity markets had helped push profits down about 40%, to $166 million in the quarter ended Feb. 28.

Bear Stearns' international expansion has focused on investment banking, European equities, and fixed income.

Separately, Brooks J. Klimley, senior managing director and co-head of the energy and natural resources group, has left Bear Stearns.

Mr. Klimley, who was based in New York, left at the end of February to join the Salomon Smith Barney unit of Citigroup Inc. in early March as a managing director in the industrial and large-capitalization group.

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