BankBoston Wraps Up Deal for Robertson Stephens

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BankBoston Corp. has completed its $800 million acquisition of San Francisco securities firm Robertson Stephens from BankAmerica Corp., bringing equity underwriting capability to the $70.5 billion-asset bank holding company for the first time.

The firm will merge with BankBoston's investment banking subsidiary, BancBoston Securities Inc., which emphasizes high-yield debt products. Afterward, the subsidiary will use the global brand BancBoston Robertson Stephens Inc.

"We want to build an integrated investment bank," said BankBoston vice chairman Paul Hogan. "We want to form specific industry planning groups, with some on the investment banking side and some on the commercial side coming up with a common plan to serve an industry or customer."

Both companies had mergers and acquisitions advisory groups, though BankBoston's was much smaller. Robertson Stephens was ranked 13th among M&A advisers so far this year, advising on 32 deals valued at $46.8 million, according to Securities Data Co.

BankBoston plans to fold its M&A group into Robertson Stephens'. David Hetz, from the Robertson Stephens side, is to head the expanded group. Peter Lombard, who headed BankBoston's M&A group, will be his associate director.

"And I think this is one area we could build out even after the merger," Mr. Hogan said.

Robertson Stephens has 55 equity researchers covering more than 600 companies. Seven senior researchers were hired after BankBoston's purchase agreement was announced in May. BankBoston has four high-yield researchers covering about 150 companies.

The bank has a total of 42 in its high-yield team in Boston. Now the team will report to Michael McCaffrey, president and chief executive of Robertson Stephens, who will lead the new bank subsidiary. …