NEW YORK - UBS AG said on Tuesday it had hired 18 investment bankers in the United States to focus on lending in the energy sector.

The team will be based in a new investment banking department office in Dallas, and will complement the existing energy teams in Houston and New York.

UBS named Darrell Holley as managing director and global head of energy lending. Holley was previously with Fortis Bank in Dallas, where he was global head of oil and gas banking.

The energy sector has been very resilient during the current economic downturn, and we expect it will be one of the most active sectors in mergers and acquisitions, and equity and debt financings as the economy recovers, UBS Global Head of Energy banking Stephen Trauber said in a statement. (Reporting by Juan Lagorio; Editing by Ted Kerr)