Moving to boost its syndicated lending efforts, IBJ Schroder Bank and Trust Co. hired Alan White as managing director in charge of the syndications group.

Mr. White comes to IBJ Schroder from CIBC Wood Gundy Securities Inc., where he was a director in the loan syndications group. Before joining CIBC, where he worked for more than three years, Mr. White was at Societe Generale and Bankers Trust New York Corp.

IBJ Schroder's syndicated lending operation is focused on the hotly contested and highly liquid middle market. Its hiring of Mr. White is "another indication of how crowded this market is getting," said one syndicated lender.

IBJ Schroder is one of several smaller and niche-market players trying to ramp up their presence in the syndications market. Presently, the Industrial Bank of Japan subsidiary is not a particularly aggressive player, the lender said.

Separately, Merrill Lynch & Co. added three new staffers to its syndicated loan group. An expected half-dozen more hires through the middle of the year will bring the group to 20 staffers, market sources said.

Sheila McGillicuddy, who comes to the firm as a director, was a vice president in syndications distribution at Chase Manhattan Corp. for three and a half years. She will have similar sales duties in her new position. Before joining Chase, Ms. McGillicuddy worked in leveraged finance at Fuji Bank and Westdeutsche Landesbank.

Jeff Sockwell joined the group last week as an associate after one year at BankAmerica Corp. A corporate finance generalist, Mr. Sockwell will focus on loan originations. At BankAmerica, he worked with Merrill Lynch's syndications group on last year's high profile $650 million loan backing Kravis Kolhberg Roberts' leveraged buyout of Spalding & Evenflo.

Also coming to Merrill as a director is Brian O'Callahan, previously a director and vice president at CIBC Wood Gundy. He will also work primarily on originating syndicated loans.

Daniel Dunaief contributed to this report.

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