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National Bank Financial Inc. has hired a team of three investment bankers in mining and metals from Scotia Capital Inc., adding new leadership to a unit that has been without a permanent head since the spring.

Elian Terner is joining National Bank as head of metals and mining after spending more than 20 years at Scotiabank, where he was most recently a managing director.

Moving to National Bank with Mr. Terner from the same group at Scotiabank are John O’Sullivan, who will be a managing director, and Mary Zhang as a vice-president. At Scotiabank, Mr. O’Sullivan was a director and Ms. Zhang was an associate director.

National Bank has been looking to replace the leader of its mining and metals team since last April, when former head Jason Ellefson left the bank.

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The hires, announced just before banks pay out year-end bonuses, could come with a hefty price tag. National Bank will likely have to make Mr. Terner, Mr. O’Sullivan and Ms. Zhang whole on any bonus pay they would have received from Scotiabank as well as any deferred compensation from prior years as part of their new pay packages. Competition for investment bankers is intense in a tight labour market, and banks are set to pay ballooning bonuses this year, partly in an attempt to avoid losing talent to rivals.

“Mining is a very important sector in the Canadian economy and we are focused on continuing to grow our presence in that space,” said Claude Breton, a National Bank spokesperson, in an e-mail.

Mr. Terner, Mr. O’Sullivan and Ms. Zhang could not be reached for comment.

The moves add to recent turnover in the senior ranks of Scotiabank’s mining and metals team. In September, the bank hired Matthew Hind from Credit Suisse to be its global head of mining and metals. The next month, managing director Geoff Smith left Scotiabank to take a job as president and chief operating officer of Carbon Streaming Corp., an investment vehicle focused on environmental, social and governance principles.

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