Leerink Swann recruiting new M&A experts

The life sciences bankers at Boston-based Leerink Swann & Co. say they plan to significantly boost their ranks this year as they shift from handling IPOs and follow-on financings to more mergers and acquisitions. The company says it plans to hire 45 new staffers in 2009. And a report in the Boston Business Journal says that new hires at the boutique bank include M&A specialists like Adam Berger and Dan Lepanto.

The Business Journal notes that Leerink Swann closed 25 deals worth $1.1 billion last year, way off the $4.8 billion in transactions recorded in 2007. But the bank says it is profitable.

"We're not doing better than last year, but we're doing better than everybody else," Jeff Leerink tells the newspaper.

Leerink Swann is expanding at a time that Massachusetts biotech companies are hungrily seeking new funds. The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council says that two thirds of the biotech companies in the state's life sciences cluster say they will be scouting for new funds this year.

- read the report in the Boston Business Journal