Japan's MUFG nabs senior bankers to bolster its US private equity coverage and direct lending business

  • MUFG snares three banking veterans from rival institutions.
  • Michael Klein, Keith Murray join from Regions Bank and RBC, respectively, John Timoney joins from Antares. 
  • The Japanese bank continues its hiring spree with an eye on direct lending and PE coverage.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

MUFG has hired three senior bankers in the US to bolster its coverage of private equity firms and build out its direct lending business.

Michael Klein and Keith Murray have joined the Japanese bank as managing directors of sponsor coverage, MUFG spokesperson Assaf Kedem told Insider. Both will report to Matt Maley, MUFG’s head of private equity sponsor coverage, which falls within the bank’s corporate advisory group.

Klein started on March 1, while Murray started on Monday, Kedem said.

The pair will be joined by John Timoney, who will join as a managing director on March 22, to focus on compiling and selling transactions in the direct lending market, Kedem said. Timoney will eye business in the private equity and corporate client arenas and will report to Jeffrey Knowles, MUFG’s head of specialized finance.

Atlanta-based Klein joins MUFG from Regions Bank where he managed its private equity coverage. Prior to Regions, he completed stints at Wells Fargo, CIT Group, Citi, Wachovia, and JP Morgan.

Murray comes across from Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets, where he led the firm’s middle market leveraged finance offering. Murray previously worked at BNP Paribas and Merrill Lynch Capital.

Timoney joins from Antares Capital, where he was a managing director in its capital markets business and arranged transactions for private equity firms and corporate clients. Prior to joining Antares, Timoney worked for RBS Securities.

Both Murray and Timoney will be based in New York.

A spokesperson for RBC Capital Markets confirmed that Murray has left the bank. A spokesperson for Regions could not confirm that Klein had left the bank before press time. A spokesperson for Antares did not respond before press time.

MUFG has been on a hiring spree in recent months, particularly across its capital markets and corporate lending platforms. The bank’s sponsor business doubled during the 2020 fiscal year as MUFG fostered relationships with private equity companies, according to Kedem.

Last year, the bank provided debt financing for buyouts such as TPG Capital’s investment in DirecTV, Blackstone’s acquisition of Therma Holdings, and KKR’s purchase of 1-800 Contacts.

This latest trio of hires comes just weeks after Insider reported that the Japanese bank had nabbed former Goldman Sachs banker Ryan Munro to lead its leveraged finance syndicate for the Americas.

Murray, meanwhile, is not the first transplant from RBC. Todd Bondy, a former RBC senior high-yield bond trader, left the Canadian bank to run MUFG’s high-yield bond trading unit, Insider reported in January.

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