Morgan Stanley’s most senior dealmaker in London, Simon Robey, plans to step down after 25 years to start his own advisory firm.
Robey, the firm’s co-chairman of global mergers and acquisitions and head of its U.K. operation, will leave in January, the bank said in a memorandum to employees today.
The 52-year-old follows dealmakers including Michael and Yoel Zaoui, former M&A bankers at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., in setting up their own firms amid a dearth of takeovers. Global mergers and acquisitions slumped in the third quarter to a level not seen since the third quarter of 2009.
“Simon is an exceptional banker with an unparalleled depth and breadth of experience as a strategic advisor,” Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.”
Robey is part of the team at Morgan Stanley advising BAE Systems Plc on its merger talks with European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., two people with knowledge of the talks said. He also advised HBOS Plc, Britain’s then-biggest mortgage lender, on its 2008 acquisition by Lloyds Banking Group Plc, and worked on the $70 billion merger of British drugmakers Glaxo Wellcome Plc and SmithKlineBeecham Plc in 2000.
Born in London, Robey studied English at Oxford University, where he was also a choral scholar. After four years at Lazard Ltd., he joined Morgan Stanley in London in 1987. He is also chairman of the board of trustees of the Royal Opera House.
Hugh Fraser, a spokesman at Morgan Stanley, declined to make Robey available for interview.
Morgan Stanley is the second-ranked advisor on global mergers this year after Goldman Sachs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.