US-based investment bank Jefferies has taken a decision to drop coverage of all 29 public shipowners under its research after losing its second analyst in three months.

Jefferies’ announcement shortly after the close of trading in the US on Friday confirms a report a day earlier in TradeWinds’ Streetwise newsletter.

That account had Jefferies suspending research after losing current shipping analyst Christopher Robertson to rival Deutsche Bank in recruiting raid.

Jefferies said only that “the analyst responsible for coverage has left the firm”.

However, Robertson himself confirmed the account in a message on his LinkedIn account earlier on Friday.

“Bittersweet news, but today will be my last day at Jefferies after five years as an associate on the maritime/shipping equity research team. I have certainly enjoyed working with some amazing people,” Robertson wrote, citing in particular Jefferies’ head shipping banker Doug Mavrinac and analyst Randy Giveans.

Giveans stunned the market in April when he resigned after 11 years to take a job heading investor relations and business development at New York-listed Navigator Holdings.

Robertson slipped into the slot left by Giveans, but he was not to be his permanent successor. That job went to former Clarksons Platou head shipping analyst Omar Nokta, a coup for Jefferies but one that evidently left it vulnerable to Deutsche Bank's poaching.

Robertson is to start at Deutsche Bank as a vice president working under head transport analyst Amit Mehrotra, who is a managing director.

“Shipping is a fascinating and dynamic sector, which touch points across many different industries around the world. I wish my colleagues at Jefferies a very fond farewell and hope nothing but success to you and to the firm,” Robertson wrote.

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Mehrotra also covers trucking and rail, and Robertson said he looks forward to branching out as well.

“I’m very much looking forward to learning about these two surface-transport industries which are so vital to the national and global supply chain,” Robertson wrote.

Jefferies’ hiatus from shipping coverage is expected to be short. Nokta is on gardening leave from Clarksons Platou and is expected to start with Jefferies next month.

Both Robertson and Giveans have worked from a Houston base.

Jefferies has not yet announced Nokta's hire, but he is expected to work from New York.