CSFB Now Must Worry About Moelis Playing the Pied Piper

The high-profile banker's departure from CSFB could lead to more workers walking out.
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The rush for the exits at the new Credit Suisse First Boston continued Tuesday when star investment banker Ken Moelis left the firm to join UBS Warburg.

Moelis built the high-yield bond department at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

, which was acquired by CSFB earlier this month, after spending 14 years with the infamous

Drexel Burnham Lambert

. CSFB's acquisition of DLJ has created unrest among the troops since it was announced in late August, and Moelis is expected to serve as a magnet to recruit bankers to UBS.

Moelis won't immediately join his new firm because of contractual obligations to CSFB, which declined to comment on his departure.

Since October, several high-ranking DLJ professionals have left the merged firm, including Hal Ritch, co-head of its mergers and acquisitions unit, Louis Friedman, a DLJ media and communications banker, and Garrett Moran, the former co-head of DLJ investment banking.

And while Moelis' client list is valuable to UBS, his mere presence may help his new employer build an investment banking unit to complement the 8,000-broker sales force it landed when it acquired

PaineWebber

.

"He has a big following among bankers. It's a very interesting," says Gary Goldstein, who heads

Whitney Group

, a securities industry recruitment firm.

Typically, Wall Street pays employee bonuses in February, making that time of year a key recruiting time for competitors. So with key players already leaving CSFB, the firm's battle to retain bankers, analysts and traders is likely to continue through March.

Moelis will remain in Los Angeles and run the investment banking unit with Robert Hotz, who'll work from New York. "It is our intent to build aggressively upon our current investment banking platform and continue to accelerate our growth," UBS Chief Operating Officer John Costas said in a statement.