Perella Plans 50-Strong Asset Management Business

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Perella Weinberg, the investment banking boutique that recently hired former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission William Donaldson, wants to expand in fund management and may hire 50 people for the division by the end of the year.

The boutique, which has until now focused mainly on M&A advisory work, wants to add six funds to the two it already runs, likely to be mostly based on absolute return strategies, a spokeswoman for the group said.

In October Perella Weinberg launched a real estate fund joint venture with Fisher Brothers, a New York-based property group, and hired Léon Bressler, chief executive of French property group Unibail, to run it.

Later that month it hired hedge fund manager Rod Parsley to run a global water and resource infrastructure fund.

Perella Weinberg has $50 million to $100 million in seed capital already raised from its backers for the funds business, the spokeswoman said.

The partnership hired William Donaldson, former head of the SEC and onetime chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange and boutique Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, as chairman of its advisory council. In the new role Donaldson will advise Perella Weinberg's partners on strategy as well as "organisational and client-related matters," the firm said.

Donaldson stepped down as head of the SEC in 2005 and since then has run his own private investment firm, Donaldson Investments.

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