Accordion Actively Seeks I-Bankers With Tech, Media and Telecom Experience

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Accordion Partners has begun actively seeking investment bankers with tech, media and telecom experience wanting to do project-based work for software and technology firms, the company's chief operating officer, Andrew Blechman, told eFinancialCareers this week.

target=_blank>Accordion-which has been making a name for itself by offering project-based work to investment bankers who support private equity portfolio companies, I-banks and other companies requiring limited-term consulting services-observes in its latest client newsletter that venture capital investors' third-quarter investments this year totaled $6.95 billion with 876 deals. This is a 12 percent decrease in dollar volume and a 14 percent drop in deal volume from the second quarter.

Countering the decline, however, was a 23 percent jump in funding to software startups between second quarter and third quarter 2011. Software startups received the highest level of VC funding for all industries during the third quarter with $2 billion invested, according to the MoneyTree report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association and quoted by PE Hub. The average software startup received $7.6 million in the latest three-month period, up from $4.9 million a year ago and $6.1 million in the second quarter.

Clearly, "This is a hot space with a lot of growing companies, and we are focusing our recruiting efforts on the space," Blechman said.

Currently, "We work with a number of software startups, but it does not constitute the majority of our work as we serve a variety of industries." Nevertheless, "The tech world is hot, especially in New York City," where Accordion is based, "and we're seeing demand from software and other technology related companies for professionals to assist with corporate-finance related engagements," the COO added.

Thus, "we are focusing our recruiting efforts on the space," looking in particular for "associates and vice presidents with tech, media and telecom experience."

Accordion's consulting model is focused on allowing bankers to make some serious lifestyle changes. As project workers, Accordion professionals work an average 60-hour week instead of the 80 or more hours they'd put in at the big banks, and since they don't get bonuses, Accordion sets out to pay them as much as a bulge bracket banker would get throughout the year if his or her bonus were paid out evenly over 12 months.

Moreover, Accordion's project workers have access to a preferred provider PPO health network which the company sponsors at 100 percent once bankers hit a 120-hour-a-month working threshold.

Interestingly, no less than 14 of the 17 industry sectors included in the MoneyTree report showed investment declines for the third quarter, including cleantech (down 13 percent), biotechnology (down 18 percent) and Internet companies (off 33 percent after a particularly strong second quarter).

Despite the second-to-third quarter decline in VC spending, the report found that overall VC capital allocated was up 31 percent from last year. The $2 billion investment in software startups for the third quarter represented the highest quarterly VC investment level in nearly 10 years, since the fourth quarter of 2001.

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