JPMorgan Bankers Are Said to Depart for Evercore, Centerview

JPMorgan Power-Trading Business Faces Suspension
Pedestrians pass in front of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York, U.S. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Three JPMorgan Chase & Co. investment bankers are leaving for Evercore Partners Inc. and Centerview Partners LP, the latest dealmakers to depart a global lender for a merger advisory boutique.

Barrett “Brett” Pickett and Lowell Strug, who advised restaurant and other consumer companies at New York-based JPMorgan, are joining Evercore in the coming weeks, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Adam Beshara, 38, who worked with manufacturers such as ITT Corp., starts at Centerview today, firm co-founder Blair Effron said.

Evercore and Centerview, both based in New York and started by veterans of some of Wall Street’s biggest banks, focus on advising large corporate clients on mergers and capital structure rather than trading or lending. They’ve been hiring amid pay cuts and firings at the bigger firms.

“When you sell intellectual capital versus other kinds of capital -- financial capital and the like -- it attracts a certain type of individual,” Effron said in an interview yesterday.

Pickett, at JPMorgan since 1998 and the firm’s former co-head of consumer and retail investment banking, will start with Evercore next month, said the three people, who asked not to be identified because the changes haven’t been announced. He will help run the consumer group at Evercore.

Strug, with JPMorgan since 2000, will join Pickett at Evercore in September, the people said. Strug was a managing director in mergers and acquisitions at JPMorgan, focusing on food and beverage companies and restaurant chains.

Previous Deals

Pickett and Strug together in 2008 advised Wendy’s International Inc. on its $2.4 billion sale to Nelson Peltz’s Triarc Cos. They also advised 3G Capital Inc., the investment firm backed by a group of Brazilian industrialists, on its purchase of Burger King Holdings Inc. for $3.3 billion in 2010.

Beshara, who joins Centerview as a partner, was a managing director in JPMorgan’s industrials investment-banking group. He advised ITT on its 2011 breakup into three separate companies and the same year helped Stanley Black & Decker Inc. prevail in a bidding war for Swedish surveillance-systems maker Niscayah AB. He joined JPMorgan in 1998.

Evercore, founded by former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, said July 26 that second-quarter profit rose 19 percent on higher investment-banking revenue. On a subsequent conference call, Altman said Evercore plans to disclose three new managing directors before next quarter’s results.

Pickett and Strug are two of those hires, said one of the people familiar with the matter. Spokesmen for Evercore and JPMorgan declined to comment.

Evercore’s Mark Vander Ploeg, hired in 2007 to focus on advising retail and consumer companies, retired last year.

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