Moelis Courting Energy Bankers for Houston Shop

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Moelis & Company, the scrappy New York investment bank run by UBS and Drexel alumnus Ken Moelis, is laying down new roots in Houston with a commitment to oil and gas clients. The company is planning several hires for the energy practice, targeted for an April launch.

Staff in Houston may grow to as many as 10 bankers in the near term, and hiring of both junior and senior energy bankers is expected to continue beyond those initial moves as Moelis builds out the oil and gas operation, spokesperson Kate Pilcher told EFC News.

A few weeks ago, Moelis appointed Brady Parish, formerly of Goldman Sachs, as a managing director for the Houston office. Parish had been managing director in the Global Natural Resources Group at Goldman. Before that he was with Merrill Lynch.

The moves are just latest in the recent Moelis hiring spree, with burgeoning new enterprises in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Observed The Wall Street Journal: "The fledgling investment bank is hiring like it was 1999."

Flexibility in its Hiring

When Moelis added Alexandra Oldroyd as a managing director in London, focusing on consumer-industry clients, that also suggested the firm can flexible in its hirings - betting on a career analyst to finesse banking clients with the best of them.

Oldroyd had spent most of her career as a research analyst, most recently covering beverages at Barclays Capital.

If new hires appreciate Moelis' out-of-the box thinking, so, it seems, do recruiters.

"In terms of boutique banking prowess and prestige, Moelis may be one step behind Lazaar and Evercore," says Richard Lipstein of Boyden Executive Search in New York. "He has attracted many people with whom he has worked in the past, and who may share a lack of enthusiasm for the bureaucracy of the big firms. He is charismatic as well, and widely thought of as a 'kingmaker.'"

The Houston office will be Moelis' ninth globally, and follows its recent expansion into Asia and the Middle East. Less than four years old, Moelis now has a staff totaling 470 employees in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dubai, London, Los Angeles and Sydney.

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