September 30, 2016 / 2:52 PM / a year ago

Perella Weinberg partners shared $15 mln 2015 payout in Europe

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Perella Weinberg’s eight partners in Europe shared profits of 11.5 million pounds ($15 million) in 2015 as the boutique advisory firm rode a wave of mergers and acquisitions to more than double its revenue from the region.

Founded largely by veterans fleeing bureaucracy and shrinking paychecks at the large banks, smaller firms like Perella Weinberg are proving popular among companies who value their niche expertise and independent advice as opposed to mega-banks who tend to cross-sell other services like financing.

Such boutique firms now get nearly half of all M&A fees in Europe, winning market share and top dealmakers from global investment banks, Reuters reported in August.

Larger established boutiques like Lazard and Rothschild have been joined by “micro” outfits such as Zaoui & Co, an advisory firm set up by brothers Michael and Yoel, and Robey Warshaw, set up by Simon Robey and Simon Warshaw, former Morgan Stanley and UBS bankers, both based in London.

Perella Weinberg does not rank in the top 25 advisory firms in Europe so far this year, the latest data from Thomson Reuters shows. Robey Warshaw, which has won some of the biggest mandates in the UK in recent years including the BG-Shell tie-up, SAB Miller-Inbev and Softbank-Arm, ranks 15.

Recently released filings show New York-based Perella Weinberg, founded in 2006 as an advisory and asset management firm, had revenue of 50.2 million pounds in Europe for the year ending December 2015, up from 24 million pounds in 2014.

Profits, which are shared by its eight “members” or partners, rose to 11.5 million pounds -- 1.4 million pounds per partner on average -- from 6.7 million pounds in 2014.

Megadeals drove global M&A volumes up 41 percent to $4.6 trillion in 2015, but European volumes were up a meagre 6 percent to $880 billion from a year earlier. And M&A activity in Europe is down 19 percent to $484 billion so far this year compared to last, Thomson Reuters data shows.

Perella Weinberg paid its 86 UK-based staff 24.8 million pounds or an average 288,000 pounds per employee in 2015, compared to an average of 271,000 pounds a year earlier.

In Europe, Perella has been hiring senior bankers to beef up its advisory team. Most recently, it took on David Azema, former chairman of global infrastructure at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, to oversee its business in France.

This follows the retirement of French partner Bernard Gault at the end of 2015, the year in which Christoper Williams joined Perella Weinberg from Credit Suisse to focus on financial institutions.

Perella Weinberg is advising Deutsche Boerse on its proposed $28 billion merger with the London Stock Exchange. It also advised Holcim’s board on its tie-up with Lafarge, BT on its 12.5 billion pound deal to buy EE and Altice on its 7.4 billion euro takeover of the Portuguese operations of Brazil’s Grupo Oi.

Perella Weinberg declined to comment. ($1 = 0.7717 pounds) (Editing by Alexander Smith)

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