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London M&A boutique 'terminates' partners on eve of Brexit election

What's going on at Perella Weinberg in London? The boutique investment banking firm, which is known for punching above its weight and for paying its partners extremely generously, 'terminated' 12 of its most senior staff in London, according to a filing with Companies House yesterday.

The 12 terminated partners include Marcus Schenk, the former Deutsche Bank senior banker and CFO who joined in November 2018, Stefan Jentzsch, the former chief executive of Dresdner Kleinwort who joined in 2009, and Arnaud Dassy, a former Morgan Stanley banker who joined in 2007.  

Perella didn't respond to a request to comment on the change, but the terminations in name are understood not to be terminations in fact. The 12 people, who accounted for most of the firm's London partner pool, are still working for Perella Weinberg. They're just not partners at Perella Weinberg Partners UK LLP any longer: they are now employees of what will soon be a new UK legal entity, Perella Weinberg UK Limited.

It's not unheard of for London-based partnerships to change their legal structure for tax reasons, particularly since a change to the tax treatment of partnership structures in 2018. 

However, it also seems that Perella has been moving some of its London partners to offices in Europe ahead of Brexit. Schenck, for example, is now understood to be working out of the new Munich office which opened on 1 December ("This was always the plan," says one insider). Dassy is now understood to be based mostly in Paris. It's not clear whether others on the list have also moved. 

While Perella hasn't hacked off its London head in anticipation of an unfavourable election result, something does seem to be afoot. After Brexit, it will no longer be possible to 'passport' into European offices on the back of a London banking license. At least some of its French and German London staff appear to be slotting into place in Europe in preparation for this. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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