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With a slew of initial public offerings for real estate investment trusts coming down the pipe, Bay Street's investment banks are in desperate need of research analysts in order to pick up coverage on the companies they bring to market.

And because REITs remain some of hottest financing names, the dealers need coverage to get good placement in each underwriting syndicate. The problem is that it's hard to hang onto a REIT analyst these days.

It's creating one big mess for research heads. Once one analyst makes a move there are a whole bunch of knock-on effects. As soon as a position opens up, the banks need to fill it right away, but often they can only do so by hiring from other shops.

A similar situation played out a few years bank when Bay Street's bank analysts started to make moves, as analysts bounced around one after another.

What makes it even tougher this time in the REIT space is that not only are the analysts shuffling among different investment banks, some are leaving the Street to join the ranks at the REITs. That's taking talent out of the already limited pool.

The word on Bay Street is that at this very moment there are ongoing negotiations for more shuffles, and that must make research heads sweat because they know they'll need to pay up to keep their talent.

The following is a snapshot of the recent shuffle for REIT analysts:

- Heather Kirk left National Bank Financial to join BMO Nesbitt Burns

- Karine MacIndoe retired from BMO Nesbitt Burns

- Pauline Alimchandan left BMO Nesbitt Burns to join Dundee REIT

- Shant Poladian left Canaccord Genuity to start FAM REIT, which just went public

- Jenny Ma left Desjardins Securities to join Canaccord Genuity, (which she had left a year earlier to go to Desjardins)

-Michael Markidis left RBC Dominion Securities to join Desjardins Securities

- Matt Kornack joined National Bank Financial's research team from NBF investment banking

- Brad Cutsy left Dundee Securities research to become a Dundee investment banker

(Boyd Erman is a Globe and Mail Reporter & Streetwise Columnist.)

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