Former Centerview principal exits for corporate strategy gig soon after being promoted

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A former principal at boutique investment bank Centerview Partners has left the firm to join U.S. foods brand Kraft Heinz as head of global financial and strategic planning. Erik Wetter started in March.

The move is interesting on two fronts. First, Wetter was one of several Centerview associates to have just made the career-altering leap to principal. He was just promoted in December of last year. But perhaps more intriguing is the fact that Kraft Heinz has been one of Centerview’s biggest sources of revenue over the years.

The 2015 merger between the two iconic food brands was much talked about in M&A circles as it didn’t include any major investment banks. Centerview was the exclusive advisor to Kraft while fellow boutique Lazard was the sole advisor to Heinz. Both firms worked with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital when they teamed up to acquire Heinz in 2013. Centerview was also among the banks that advised fellow consumer goods giant Unilever in 2017 over Kraft Heinz’s $143 billion takeover bid, which was eventually pulled.

However, all of that work was done before Wetter joined Centerview in mid-2017 from Credit Suisse, where he spent the first five years of his banking career, including a stint as part of its retail and consumer group. Either way, Centerview now has an alum working in a high-level role at a former client, which is never a bad thing for a boutique whose business is based on relationships.

Along with fellow boutiques Evercore and PJT Partners, Centerview is known as one of the top-paying investment banks on the street.

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