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Female Rainmakers Nason, Cook Play Key Role in Verizon Deal

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Two rainmakers who helped seal the largest acquisition in more than a decade were women: Karen Cook, a 14-year veteran of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment bank in Europe, and Jennifer Nason, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s top adviser to technology companies.

Cook, 60, a London-based president for Goldman Sachs’s European business, led the investment bank’s team on the deal. Goldman Sachs and UBS AG advised Vodafone Group Plc on the $130 billion sale of its 45 percent stake in its wireless joint venture with Verizon Communications Inc. JPMorgan is arranging $61 billion in financing for Verizon with Morgan Stanley, Barclays Plc and Bank of America Corp.

“It’s very unusual in mergers that are this large a size to find senior bankers who are women,” said Jill Greenthal, an M&A veteran and senior adviser to Blackstone Group LP who worked with Microsoft Corp. on its aborted $44.6 billion takeover of Yahoo! Inc. in 2008. “Anytime you see a woman succeed in this sphere, it’s a strong sign to women who are wondering if the door’s open or closed to them.”

Less than one-third of executive and senior officials in finance and insurance are women, even as they account for 59 percent of employees in those fields, data collected by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission show.

Nokia, Cadbury

Alongside Goldman Sachs’s Cook, Vodafone’s advisers included UBS’s Simon Warshaw, Jonathan Rowley and Christian Lesueur, while Verizon was advised by Paul Taubman, a Morgan Stanley veteran who is now working independently, and Guggenheim Partners LLC’s Andrew Decker, Alan Schwartz and Jim Ferency.

JPMorgan’s Nason, 53, the firm’s Australian-born chairman of global technology, media and telecom banking in New York, also had a role advising Nokia on Microsoft Corp.’s proposed $7.2 billion purchase of the Finnish company’s handset unit, announced Sept. 2. Other members of JPMorgan’s team on the Verizon deal included Andy O’Brien and Chris Ventresca.

Nason was among the advisers on Facebook Inc.’s $16 billion initial public offering last year. Goldman Sachs’s Cook advised Vodafone on the $10 billion acquisition of Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, announced in June, and Cadbury Ltd. during its $21 billion hostile takeover by Kraft Foods Inc., which closed in 2010.

“It’s important to see that women on Wall Street are doing major deals and getting significant press,” said Jeanne Branthover, head of the global financial services practice at Boyden Global Executive Search. “But people cannot forget how few of these women there are.”

Following is a list of some of the bankers and lawyers who advised the two companies.

Vodafone Group Plc

Investment Bankers
Simon Warshaw
Jonathan Rowley
Christian Lesueur

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.:
Karen Cook

Legal Advisers
Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP:
William Curbow
Eric Swedenburg
Steve Todrys
Patrick Ryan
John Lobrano
Peter Thomas
Greg Grogan

Slaughter & May:
Nigel Boardman
Roland Turnill
Craig Cleaver

Buyer: Verizon Communications Inc.

Investment Bankers
Paul Taubman, independent adviser

Guggenheim Partners LLC:
Andrew Decker
Alan Schwartz
Jim Ferency

JPMorgan Chase & Co.:
Jennifer Nason
Andy O’Brien
Chris Ventresca

Morgan Stanley:
Rob Kindler
Rob Friedsam
Ari Terry
Dan Simkowitz
Anish Shah

Barclays Plc:
Jack Callaway
Claire O’Connor
Joe Valenti

Bank of America Corp.:
Adrian Mee
Fares Noujaim
Chris Cormier

Legal Advisers
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz:
Daniel Neff
Steven Rosenblum
Eric Rosof
Jodi Schwartz
Eiko Stange

Macfarlanes LLP:
Charles Martin
Graham Gibb

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP:
Jeffrey J. Rosen
Steven J. Slutzky
Michael A. Diz
Peter A. Furci

To contact the reporters on this story: Leslie Picker in New York at; Will Robinson in New York at; Aaron Kirchfeld in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at; Jacqueline Simmons at

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