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Morning Coffee: The art of being a maverick rainmaker. The ex-Goldman banker leading Trump’s campaign

If top investment bankers leave bulge brackets to escape bureaucracy (and earn more money) at boutiques, it’s no surprise that those at the top of these small advisers don’t exactly follow the rules.

George Boutros and Frank Quattrone, co-founders of tech-focused boutique Qatalyst Partners, which (alongside Allen & Co) has had prime spot on some of the biggest technology deals in recent years, are a case in point.

The two men court controversy and maintain secrecy in equal measure, according to Bloomberg. Rivals accuse them of bullying their way to the top of the tech M&A business, of being abrasive and overly aggressive. And yet they also fear them to the point that one large Wall Street bank supposedly prepared a 10-page presentation where it outlined its ability to counteract Qatalyst.

“The playbook is, we don’t have a playbook,” said Boutros. “We have to understand what it is that motivates an acquirer to want an asset. Where is your leverage as a seller?”

Those in the know says Qatalyst does whatever it takes to secure the deal – it “plays bidders off each other, bluffs about prices and buyers’ interest, forces tight deadlines to stunt due diligence”, says Bloomberg.

Qatalyst has this year bagged $220m in fees and has been involved LinkedIn’s $26.2bn sale to Microsoft. It has just 60 employees, but is just behind Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in the M&A league tables.

Most investment banks convince company executives to accept a lower price than they would like to get the deal over the line – they don’t get paid unless deals are completed. Qatalyst is consistently aggressive on price.

“Qatalyst’s willingness to take an aggressive stance on price is so valued in the community,” Bill Gurley, a general partner at venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, who worked with Qatalyst.

Separately, if you want to read a full profile of Donald Trump’s new campaign chief executive and proprietor of right wing news outlet Brietbart News, Stephen K. Bannon, Bloomberg has a 5,000-word expose right here.

Here are the highlights: he has a fondness for cargo shorts; he used to work for Goldman Sachs, but left to set up a boutique with the man who used to manage the Backstreet Boys; he took a stake in five shows in lieu of a full advisers fee for a deal with Ted Turner and Castle Rock Entertainment – one of those was Seinfeld; his personal motto is “Honey badger don’t give a sh-t”.


Goldman Sachs’ venture into retail banking: “Because it was Goldman everyone expected the white glove service. It was not the white glove service.” (Financial Times)

First Oliver Bussman, UBS’s blockchain supporting CIO departs and now its blockchain guru, Alex Batlin has gone to “pursue an opportunity outside UBS” (Financial News)

Goldman Sachs has partnered with nonprofit organisation NSC to find "high school boys of color" who can code (Business Insider)

Deutsche Bank’s head of retail banking thinks bonuses should be scrapped for the executive suite (Bloomberg)

Perella Weinberg is building its financial institutions group (FIG). The latest hire is Morgan Stanley managing director, Mauro Rossi (Bloomberg)

The head of UBS’s Nordic investment banking business has departed (Financial News)

Banks are cancelling staff trips to Venezuela because it's too dangerous (Bloomberg)

Hedge fund performance hurdles are here to stay, so more firms have to start committing to them (Financial Times)

Sean Stewart, a Perella Weinberg investment banker accused of feeding insider tips to his father, has been found guilty on all counts. (WSJ)

Ex-Wall Street pros turned fashion designers launch products with a particular consumer group in mind, and still love spreadsheets and Powerpoint (WSJ)

Fire someone, swim naked, shoot a machine gun and other things GSElevator thinks you should do before you die (Business Insider)

Bold career move of the day - senior hedgehog officer (WSJ)


AUTHORPaul Clarke

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