In a major surprise, renowned Wall Street bank analyst Thomas Hanley has left CS First Boston Corp. to work for UBS Securities.
The hire is a significant coup for the Union Bank of Switzerland subsidiary, which only a year ago began a aggressive push into the financial institutions practice.
But Mr. Hanley said the move is unrelated to a recent wave of bonus- related defections from other CS First Boston units.
The analyst said he had been negotiating the move for the past 11 months, since a team of investment bankers left Salomon Brothers for UBS. He had worked with those same bankers at Salomon for 15 years before being lured to CS First Boston four years ago by a contract reportedly worth more than $1 million annually.
He is well respected among banks, and is said to bring in underwriting and advisory assignments.
"This is another affirmation of our basic strategy to focus on financial institutions, and that means a fully integrated approach," said Richard Barrett, director of UBS' financial institutions group. "We are focusing on a full product line, debt, equity - and part of that is having the best research department."
Mr. Barrett was a member of the Salomon financial institutions group that moved virtually en masse to UBS nearly a year ago.
Since arriving, the group has advised on several high profile bank mergers, including Fleet Financial Group's $3.26 billion purchase of Natwest Bancorp, and U.S. Bancorp's $1.45 billion purchase of West One Bancorp.
"It is my impression there is just far greater opportunity at UBS over the next three to five years," Mr. Hanley said. "They are clearly in a building mode, and from an investment banking standpoint, they have one of the most seasoned teams around."
Mr. Hanley, whose title will be managing director and senior bank analyst, plans to continue covering money-centers and superregional banks, as well as producing his well-known bank takeover list.
Other high level defections from CS First Boston, including the resignation Monday of U.S. fixed-income investment chief John Costas, have been attributed disappointment over bonuses.
Mr. Barrett said UBS' current bank analysts, Brent Erensel and Charles Peabody, would remain with the firm.
Daniel Dunaief contributed to this article.