A tiny firm led by a rockstar banker will make a killing on a $18.3 billion gold miner merger

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gold bullionAPGold Bullion

  • Michael Klein's boutique investment bank will split as much as $35 million in fees with Morgan Stanley for its role advising on a gold merger announced on Monday.
  • Klein's firm, M. Klein & Co, is secretive and only employs a handful of bankers.
  • Klein is a former star banker from Citigroup who frequently advises governments and CEOs on complicated financial matters.

A tiny and secretive boutique investment bank founded by star dealmaker and former Citigroup executive Michael Klein will split tens of millions of dollars in advisory fees in an $18.3 billion gold merger announced on Monday.

M. Klein & Co. will split as much as $35 million in fees with Morgan Stanley for advising Barrick Gold Corporation on its merger with UK-rival Randgold Resources Ltd., according to estimates from consulting firm Freeman & Co.

Randgold's advisors, Barclays and CIBC, might earn as much as $45 million, Freeman said.

This is not the first time Klein's firm has provided advice to the Canadian gold miner. In 2015, M. Klein & Co. advised Barrick on the sale of its 50% interest in a copper mine in Chile.

Launched in 2012, Klein's firm is regarded less of a traditional boutique investment bank, and more as an "embedded adviser" to CEOs, boards of directors, institutional investors and governments.

But that's not to say that Klein doesn't advise big corporations on M&A. The firm also advised Dow Chemical on its $130 billion megamerger with DuPont in 2015.

It also reportedly worked with Saudi wealth fund Aramco on its global strategy.

But despite its status advising on high-profile matters, the New York-based investment bank keeps a very low-profile. Its website is barebones, aside from one contact number, with no marketing material.

It's unclear how many employees now work at M. Klein. A previous report said that the firm investment bank expanded to 20 employees in 2016 and had established its presence in London and Beijing.

Klein spent more than two decades at Citigroup, rising to the role of CEO of global banking and then moving to Europe to take responsibility for a build-out of the bank's investment-banking business in the region before leaving in 2008.

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