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January 16, 2013 6:11 pm
Two of London’s most prominent dealmakers are teaming up in a new venture to focus on providing advice to a selected range of large companies.
The new boutique is called “Robertson Robey Associates LLP” and consists of the two dealmakers and a small support team that is yet to be hired.
“The firm will provide clients with corporate finance advice, including assistance in strategic matters and corporate transactions,” the company said.
Mr Robey adds to several star bankers, such as Michael Zaoui in Europe and Michael Klein in the US, who have left to set up independent ventures, taking their highly prized Rolodex of contacts with them. The moves coincide with a dearth of deals and a time of intense political, regulatory and public pressure on the industry.
Mr Robey, 52, is one of the best-known advisers in the City and has worked on $1tn worth of deals in his career, the last 25 years of which he spent at Morgan Stanley.
He was head of the bank’s UK operations and co-chairman of global M&A until this week, one day before he started his venture with Sir Simon at his office in London’s prestigious St James’s Place.
The duo have known each other for many years and have worked either on opposite or joint roles on some of the largest deals in the past decades, including the $70bn merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKlineBeecham 13 years ago.
Sir Simon first set up as an independent adviser in 2005 after an investment banking career spanning four decades at Kleinwort Benson and Goldman Sachs.
The 71-year-old, who is expected to step down as Rolls-Royce chairman in May, will spend less time than Mr Robey at the advisory boutique given his role as deputy chairman of HSBC and several other non-executive director posts.
The two bankers see the first year of the new venture as a “laboratory year” after which they will decide if they grow the boutique further or keep it as small and nimble as it is to begin with, people close to them said.
Mr Robey still has a close relationship with Morgan Stanley’s senior management and is expected to co-operate with the US bank on future mandates if clients ask for it.
He has most recently advised on deals such as BP’s sale of its stake in its Russian joint venture TNK-BP and BAE’s failed merger with aerospace group EADS.
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