Greenhill Targets Europe Hiring as New CEOs Displace Dealmakers

  • Bok says bankers evaluating whether to stick with Europe firms
  • Moelis's Mahmoodzadegan says he's bullish on recruiting

Greenhill & Co., the boutique merger-and-acquisition advisory firm led by Scott Bok, is seeking talent from Europe as a fresh generation of leaders reshapes some of the Continent’s largest banks.

The new CEOs are generally “not from the advisory business, and in many cases not even from the investment-banking business,” Bok said in a presentation Thursday sponsored by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “There’s a lot of uncertainty in the minds of M&A bankers at a lot of those European banks about, ‘Is this the firm I want to be at?’”

Tidjane Thiam, who took over at Credit Suisse Group AG this year after leading insurer Prudential Plc, has pledged to prioritize wealth management over investment banking. John Cryan, Deutsche Bank AG’s co-CEO since July, has said he will focus on shedding workers and businesses.

U.S. boutiques already have been adding dealmakers from European firms. Paul Taubman’s PJT Partners Inc. brought on Tom Davidson from Credit Suisse this year to focus on health-care deals, and Evercore Partners Inc. hired Jeffrey Rosichan to the equity capital markets group from Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank.

‘Pleasantly Surprised’

Bok is seeking to rebound from a slump in Europe, where his New York-based firm recently dismissed a trio of managing directors as transactions in the region lag behind the U.S. market. Greenhill jumped 2 percent to $25.96 at 11:37 a.m. in New York, paring its decline for the year to 40 percent.

“I think it’s still a good recruiting environment in our business,” he said. “I’ve been, I would say, pleasantly surprised, even in recent weeks.”

Moelis & Co., the firm that went public last year, has been adding dealmakers from European banks such as Credit Suisse and London-based Barclays Plc.

“We continue to be very bullish about the recruiting pipeline as we look out into the future,” Moelis co-President Navid Mahmoodzadegan said at the conference.

— With assistance by Sonali Basak, Katherine Chiglinsky, and Michael J Moore

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