In a move which will prove a crushing blow to Lehman Brothers' regional ambitions, Goldman Sachs has poached its rival's highly regarded regional head of bank research, Simon Maughan.

Described on the Icered website as the 'Bank analyst from Parnassus' Maughan's new role at Goldman is a greatly expanded one. He will relocate to London to be co-head of European financial institutions research. From Goldman's Peterborough Court HQ he will focus on firms such as HSBC and the major Spanish and Dutch banks and how their European and emerging market strategies are panning out.

Maughan has been keeping the headhunters busy. He just joined Lehman in March 2000 from Indosuez WI Carr. At WI Carr he combined his bank research role with being the head of Hong Kong research. He is an admired bank analyst, with some brilliant relationships around the region, and some of the most penetrating insights on Malaysia of anyone living in Hong Kong. Investors say that these insights get even more penetrating after a few glasses of wine.

Maughan was hired by Lehman as part of its niche strategy to be big in Asian bank restructuring and take advantage of potentially huge investment banking fees. That strategy has obviously been dealt a severe blow, given that Maughan was supposedly at its centre.