Lazard hires European private equity co-head

Fotis Hasiotis will join Lazard in November to co-lead its financial sponsor coverage group in Europe.

Investment bank Lazard has hired Fotis Hasiotis, former co-head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s financial sponsor coverage in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Hasiotis will co-lead the bank’s European financial sponsor coverage alongside Paris-based banker Isabelle Xoual. Lazard declined to comment.

Hasiotis will join Lazard in November, replacing Riccardo Pavoncelli, the former chief executive of Lazard Italy who was appointed co-head of the firm’s European financial sponsors group in October 2009. Pavoncelli stepped down from the position earlier this year in order to found a boutique private client investment manager.

Hasiotis moved from New York to London in August 2008 in order to co-lead Merrill Lynch’s EMEA financial sponsors group alongside Philip Noblet, before Merrill Lynch was merged with Bank of America.

The combined Bank of America Merrill Lynch group has since been making moves to reduce its balance sheet exposure to private equity investments. In April the bank sold a $1.9 billion portfolio of fund interests to AXA Private Equity. The group is also in talks to dispose of $1.2 billion-worth of commitments to Warburg Pincus-managed funds, according to various media reports Friday morning. The bank was unavailable to comment.