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Goldman hires Barclays banker Bion to ride insurance deal boom: memo

FILE PHOTO: A sign is displayed in the reception of Goldman Sachs in Sydney, Australia, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray

LONDON (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs GS.N has poached Barclays' insurance banker Marguerite Bion to win more business from Europe's biggest insurers as industry consolidation heats up amid anaemic profitability and tightening regulation.

Bion, who started her career at Citigroup C.N in 2001 and spent the last decade at Barclays BARC.L, will join Goldman in February as a London-based managing director in its EMEA financial institution group (FIG), reporting to European FIG head Dirk Lievens, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

French-born Bion has advised continental European insurers, including the likes of France's AXA AXAF.PA, Switzerland's Zurich Insurance Group ZURN.S and Germany's Allianz ALVG.DE on a variety of deals and will continue overseeing their M&A plans in her new role at Goldman.

Her appointment comes amid a flurry of transactions in the insurance industry as low interest rates and weak profits are pressuring companies to seek domestic deal synergies while hunting for growth abroad.

Goldman Sachs is currently advising British insurer RSA RSA.L on a 7.2 billion pound takeover approach from a consortium of Canadian insurer Intact Financial and Danish insurer Tryg.

Bion will mainly focus on French and European insurance accounts, building on Goldman’s recent advisory work for the likes of AXA which appointed the Wall Street bank to sell its Central and Eastern European business to Austrian insurer Uniqa in February.

Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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