Building its Gleacher Natwest investment banking unit, Natwest Markets hired two staff members this week to work with leveraged-buyout firms.

The new hires bring the staff of the acquisition finance group to 25, said David Knowlton, who heads it and is a managing director at Gleacher Natwest.

Edward "Ted" Weld, 33, was a principal in Credit Suisse First Boston's Clipper Group, the bank's leveraged buyout unit. He focused on investment origination, structuring, due diligence review, closing deals, and the marketing of portfolio companies at the bank unit.

Mr. Weld worked at Credit Suisse First Boston for five years on deals such as the $800 million leveraged financing for Sterling Chemicals and $265 million leveraged refinance for Long John Silvers.

He worked at Chase Manhattan Corp. from 1987 to 1990. Two years before joining Credit Suisse, he was at St. Louis-based Emerson Electric Corp., where he worked on corporate planning and new product development for Credit Suisse North America.

"Ted brings a unique skill set, in that he's got the requisite corporate finance view but he also knows the deal-firm side from a sponsor's point of view," said Mr. Knowlton.

Stefanie Warner-Grise, 28, joins Gleacher Natwest from Chase Securities Inc., where she was a vice president in the global investment banking and structured finance group. There she concentrated on transaction origination and execution.

At Chase she worked on several high-profile deals, including the $14 billion merger of MFS Communications and Worldcom and the $2 billion Sprint Spectrum loan.

Her previous position was in Chemical's global media and telecommunications group; she began her career at Manufacturer's Hanover.

Both Mr. Weld and Ms. Warner-Grise will be vice presidents based in New York. She started Tuesday; he will start Monday.

"What we're doing in the U.S. is a natural extension of our strength in Europe," said Mr. Knowlton. Natwest ranked third last year in Europe in syndicated lending, with volume of $53.4 billion for 82 deals, according to Loan Pricing Corp. "We're continuing to see significant proprietary deal flow from Gleacher as well as significant transactions from the deal firms."

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