• PJT split from private equity firm in October; shares gained
  • Taubman says also easier to be hired by large corporations

Paul J. Taubman, chief executive officer of investment bank PJT Partners Inc., said it has become easier to recruit talent to the advisory business formerly owned by Blackstone Group LP because dealmakers are able to work on more mergers and acquisitions without being shackled to the private-equity firm.

“There are a number of individuals who’ve come to our new firm who would not have come to the predecessor,” Taubman said Thursday at a conference in New York hosted by Citigroup Inc. He cited “the ease of doing business, and the absence of conflicts.”

Taubman, who’s known for working on some of the world’s largest takeovers, founded his M&A firm in 2013. Last year he joined PJT with Blackstone advisory businesses, and the combined company was spun off to form a publicly traded firm. He recruited dealmakers such as Simon Dowker, who was added from Jefferies Group this year in Europe to focus on chemical transactions. In 2015, Taubman hired Credit Suisse Group AG’s Tom Davidson for health care and ex-Morgan Stanley colleague Christopher Harland.

PJT shares began trading on Oct. 1, closing that day at $21. The stock changed hands at $27.29 at 4:02 p.m. Thursday.

It’s also been easier for the firm to win business after being unchained from Blackstone because the private equity firm was a potential investor in so many deals, discouraging would-be clients who were looking for third-party advice, he said. PJT also advises on restructurings and fund placement.

Hired by Yahoo!

“There have been some situations already where we’ve been retained by large corporates,” Taubman said. “Had we been part of Blackstone, I suspect there would have been concerns as to whether or not we were the appropriate firm.”

PJT was hired this year to advise Yahoo! Inc. on strategic options along with larger rivals Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Private equity firms such as Bain Capital Partners, KKR & Co. and TPG may be among bidders for the technology company’s assets, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News in February.

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