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Top Barclays software banker to join Centerview - sources

FILE PHOTO: A view shows signage on a branch of Barclays Bank in London

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Milana Vinn

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Barclays Plc's global co-head of software investment banking Steven Markovich resigned to join Centerview Partners, people familiar with the matter said on Monday, the latest blow to the British bank's efforts to retain U.S. dealmaking talent.

Markovich had been one of Barclays' most successful technology bankers over 14 years with the bank. Among his deals last year were Vista Equity and Elliott Management's acquisition of business software maker Citrix Systems for $17 billion, and information management vendor OpenText's $6 billion acquisition of software company Micro Focus.

More than two dozen U.S. investment bankers have left Barclays since it named former Credit Suisse Group AG investment banking and capital markets co-head Cathal Deasy and former Morgan Stanley global capital markets co-head Taylor Wright as global co-heads of investment banking in January.

The elevation of these newcomers bypassed tenured Barclays bankers that had been seen as possible successors, including those popular with colleagues such as Marco Valla, who subsequently joined UBS, Reuters reported last week. Barclays Chief Executive C.S. Venkatakrishnan held a town hall last Wednesday in a bid to boost morale and stem the outflow of talent.

Barclays declined to comment on Markovich's exit and said in a statement it expected its changes in the investment banking team's leadership to lead to "natural attrition". "We are confident in our strategy, will continue to invest in talent, and we are committed to supporting and helping clients navigate today’s economic environment," the bank said.

Markovich and Centerview declined to comment.

Ben Freeland, who served as global co-head of software investment banking at Barclays alongside Markovich, will now be sole head, the sources said.

Centerview has been seeking to rebuild its franchise in software banking. Emlen Fischer, a partner on Centerview's software investment banking team, announced last week he would join Factorial Energy, a battery technology developer for electric vehicle applications, as chief financial officer. In May, Kempton Dunn, another partner on the software team, left Centerview to join Perella Weinberg Partners. Many of the dealmakers that left Barclays this year were technology bankers. Among them were Laurence Braham, Richard Hardegree, Ozzie Ramos, Jason Williams, Neil Meyer and Ed Wehle.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Milana Vinn in New York; Editing by David Gregorio and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)