BofA Placement Team Defects to Chase –

NEW YORK – And then there were none.

The fund-raising business at Banc of America Securities was dealt a devastating blow last month as managing director Dale Meyer and a team of eight professionals defected en masse to join the placement arm of Chase Securities Inc., leaving Banc of America without a single fund-raising professional.

In addition, placement agent James McCarvill left Banc of America Securities in early April to head up in-house fund raising at Lehman Brothers.

A spokesperson for Banc of America confirmed the departures, but had no comment on whether the firm would seek to rebuild its placement agency.

“Our team decided that the platform, commitment and opportunities were superior at Chase,” Meyer said.

The former Banc of America team will continue to work with existing clients at Chase Securities.

Chase Securities is intent on building its fund-raising business into one capable of challenging industry leaders Merrill Lynch & Co. and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, said Bill Finnegan, managing director in charge of global leveraged finance at Chase Securities.

“The marketplace can take at least one more major player,” Finnegan said. “We think we can be a global leader in a relatively short period of time.”

The migration of talent from Banc of America roughly doubles Chase Securities’ marketing team – the placement agency previously had 7 professional fund raisers.

Meyer will join Doug Traver in Chase Securities’ New York office, while Paul Denning will head the San Francisco office. The three professionals will jointly run the expanded fund-raising business and will report to Finnegan.

Meyer brought with him from Banc of America Nick Hofgren, based in London, Marc Augusti, based in Chicago, John Kim and Mike Bolner, based in New York, and four associates.

Finnegan said that Chase Securities’ affiliation with Chase Capital Partners, the vast private equity investing arm, will help the placement agency expand internationally. Chase Capital, which is in the process of expanding its family of third-party private equity funds, may also prove a steady, lucrative client. To date, Chase Securities’ biggest private placement deal was the $800 million Chase Asia Equities Partners Fund, sponsored by Chase Capital. The recent acquisition of Robert Fleming Holdings Ltd. by Chase Securities parent Chase Manhattan Corp., will further expand the firm’s international opportunities, Finnegan said.

Meyer was to oversee an online fund-raising initiative at Banc of America Securities. Chase H&Q has an agreement with online investment bank OffRoad Capital to make fund-raising road shows available over the Internet via streaming video and other technologies. Denning oversees Chase Securities’ online initiative.