6-year courtships, misplaced briefcases, and 'damned frustrating' vacancies: How Evercore assembled a dealmaking A-team and started challenging Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan
- Since Ralph Schlosstein joined it almost exactly 10 years ago, the independent investment bank Evercore has produced a nearly 600% total return and grown its advisory revenue to $1.74 billion from $180 million.
- No publicly traded competitor - bulge bracket or boutique - beats Evercore's performance over the past decade.
- But can an independent investment bank ever truly contend with the industry titans Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley?
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Late last November, an Evercore dealmaker named Paul Stefanick opened his inbox to find it had been hit by a crush of emails.
Not long before, news crossed the wire that United Technologies, an industrials and aerospace conglomerate with $66 billion in sales, would split itself into three separate companies in one of the largest corporate breakups in history.Stefanick and Roger Altman, the legendary Wall Street rainmaker and Evercore founder, had pulled off the deal together. The effort had sucked up most of Stefanick's year, and it was the first mammoth transaction he'd spearheaded since joining a little over a year earlier from Deutsche Bank, where he was chairman of the German lender's global corporate and investment bank.
The wave of messages flooding into his inbox, he realized, were congratulatory notes from the firm's nearly 100 senior bankers.
"That just doesn't happen anywhere else. It was very touching," Stefanick, who spent two decades rising the mergers-and-acquisitions ranks at Merrill Lynch before his eight-year ride with Deutsche Bank, recently told Business Insider.
For Stefanick and Evercore, the megadeal was validation of what had been a long journey. The charm offensive waged by Altman and CEO Ralph Schlosstein to hire Stefanick - encompassing airport phone calls, numerous lunches and dinners, and one forgotten briefcase - lasted more than six years.
That kind of patience has been emblematic of Schlosstein's tenure as CEO at Evercore. The long-term vision extends beyond the dozens of bankers he's hired, permeating the attitude toward clients.
And it's helped transform Evercore over the past decade from a plucky boutique into a credible challenger to the world's top investment banks.