Beyond boutiques: senior investment bankers moving to even smaller firms

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How small is small enough? While investment bankers working for bulge bracket banks look to move to boutiques, senior bankers at boutiques are downsizing even further.

The latest example of a senior banker setting out on their own is Brian Webber, a partner and managing director at Moelis & Company in Los Angeles focused on business and technology services investment banking. Webber is now running his own private equity company called American Discovery Capital, which focuses on healthcare, business services and financial technology investments.

Webber is a long-serving investment banker who joined Moelis in 2010 from UBS, where he was managing director and global head of technology investment banking. He joined UBS in 2001 from Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the investment bank that was acquired by Credit Suisse back in 2000. Webber has two partners - Frank McMahon, a former Lehman Brothers managing director who was most recently running his own consulting business and Kyle Madan, who was a senior vice president at Moelis until 2014, but has been working in corporate development roles since then.

Jefferies isn't a boutique, but has been poaching staff from larger rivals in recent months. Some employees are moving on to smaller firms.

Peter Bacchus, who was joint European head of investment banking and global head of metals & mining at Jefferies, left in August. He's now listed as CEO under regulatory umbrella company Hutchinson Lilley Investments, suggesting that he's in the process of gaining approval from UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority for his own venture.

In the markets division of Jefferies, Peter Atherton, a managing director and head of energy research, has joined Cornwall Energy as an associate. Cornwall provides market intelligence and consulting services on the British energy market. Atherton worked at Jefferies for around a year, having moved across from Liberum Capital in March 2015. Before this, he was a managing director at Citigroup, where he worked for over 12 years.

Meanwhile, Nigel Birks, who was head of healthcare specialist sales at Jefferies, joined lifescience advisory boutique WG Partners earlier this year and Conor Daly, head of fixed income at Berenberg in London, has recently joined boutique Chalkhill Partners.


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