Evercore Likens Banker Recruiting to ‘Wildcatting in Texas’

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Evercore Partners Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ralph Schlosstein, who has been hiring dealmakers from larger rivals, compared his boutique bank’s talent search to the hunt by speculative ventures for oil.

“It’s a little bit like wildcatting in Texas,” Schlosstein said of recruiting, during a conference call with analysts Wednesday. “You drill a bunch of holes and you can have a bunch of dry holes or you can hit a couple of active wells.”

Evercore has been hiring from banks including UBS Group AG to boost its private capital advisory business, and Barclays Plc for wealth-management. The New York-based firm has said that 2015 has been an especially strong year for recruiting, as it added 10 senior managing directors in the advisory business. Dealmakers from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have been among the firm’s recent hires.

Schlosstein said his hunt for talent hasn’t been hampered lately by rival banks’ retention efforts. Still, it’s too early to tell how many more bankers his firm will add into next year, the CEO said.

“At this point, we’re in the drilling stage,” he said.

Evercore climbed 2.7 percent to $58.74 at 3:07 p.m. in New York. The company has advanced about 12 percent this year, beating the 2.8 percent increase of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Second-quarter profit excluding one-time items was 65 cents a share, the company said Wednesday. That’s 2 cents higher than the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

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