• First-quarter net income is $255,000, investment bank says
  • Revenue climbs 40 percent to $115.3 million on advisory fees

PJT Partners Inc., the investment bank run by Paul J. Taubman, said first-quarter profit was pressured by costs tied to the suspected fraud by former employee Andrew Caspersen.

Expenses included “a $3.3 million charge as well as increased professional fees related to the Caspersen matter,” the New York-based firm said Monday in a statement. Net income for the three months ended March 31 was $255,000, or 1 cent a share, the company said.

Taubman is seeking to recover from the stock slide that occurred after U.S. prosecutors charged Caspersen in March with trying to defraud investors of $95 million when he worked at a PJT unit. The company fired Caspersen, and said that month that its insurance would “substantially mitigate” potential liability resulting from the case.

PJT Partners was formed last year when Taubman merged his firm with an advisory business of Blackstone Group LP, and the combined company was spun off from the private-equity giant. The investment bank began trading as an independent company on the New York Stock Exchange in October. Shares dropped 23 percent from Dec. 31 through Friday.

Taubman’s firm has won work with clients this year including Yahoo! Inc. on its strategic actions, and Comcast Corp. on its deal to acquire DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. He has said his company benefited after splitting from the private equity firm, and that restructuring work climbed.

Revenue Increases

First-quarter revenue climbed 40 percent to $115.3 million on an increase in advisory fees. Expenses increased 16 percent to $112.6 million.

Caspersen duped Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation of $24.6 million and one of its investment advisers of $400,000, the charity said in March. Prosecutors said Caspersen unsuccessfully tried to solicit an additional $20 million from the foundation, and $50 million from a private-equity firm. A court document that became public last week showed that plea talks between Caspersen and prosecutors were ongoing.

Caspersen, who worked for the Park Hill business at PJT, was charged with securities fraud and wire fraud. He cheated family and friends out of an additional $14 million, Taubman’s firm said in April when it released findings of an internal investigation. The investment bank said Caspersen’s actions started in late 2014, when Park Hill was still a part of Blackstone.

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