M&A advisor and private equity manager Broadview International Limited has hired five new professionals in the firm’s London office and has promoted two others. The firm has taken on one vice-president, an associate and three analysts and has named Julie Langley as principal and Adriana Marques as vice-president.
At a time when other M&A operations – particularly those within large investment banks are reducing their staff number, the Broadview hires surprised some. 'They're either being very smart or dumb', commented Lars Christian Brask, eponymous founder of fellow boutique Brask & Co. In Brask's estimation now is a good time to be hiring: there's top quality personnel available from within the investment banks who are predicting further lay offs and are therefore keen to find a more secure home. 'There are too many overheads and too few deals for these guys at the moment' comments Brask.
This is a view shared by Bruce Huber, managing director and head of Broadview's London office: 'Peoples' compensation expectations have come down and they're now looking at a company's fundamentals much more' he said.
Broadview itself reduced its staff numbers significantly last year and now employs some 200 people worldwide – with 45 based in London. Says Huber: 'We had to tighten our belts like everyone else last year but deal flow is now picking up – not with the headline grabbing transactions but with smaller deals. The median value of these deals is around $50m.'
Brask also makes the point that the 'big franchises of the future are being built now – in the hard times.' The argument being that clients recognise the firms that stick with them when their own markets are proving tough: a point not lost on any business within the TMT sectors in particular. As Huber remarks on Broadview's explicit TMT specialisation: 'We have no where to run and hide.'
Since January 2002, Huber reports that Broadview has closed 25 transactions and has another eight in the pipeline. The firm is also an investor in the TMT sectors in the US and Europe through its venture capital firm, Kennet Venture Partners, and its late-stage private equity fund, Broadview Capital Partners.