Moelis adds tech banker to expand in Israel - memo

(Reuters) - Moelis & Co has hired technology investor Elan Zivotofsky as a managing director to provide financing and transaction advice to Israeli-based companies, the investment bank told staff on Wednesday in an internal memo seen by Reuters.

A spokeswoman for the bank confirmed the contents of the memo.

Zivotofsky formerly led growth-stage venture investments at Ibex Investors, a U.S.-based investment fund focused on Israeli companies. He will be based in Tel Aviv with the aim of helping Moelis expand its business in the Middle Eastern tech hub.

Zivotofsky has spent over 20 years working with Israeli companies as an investment banker and investor. He had led M&A transactions for Checkpoint Software and NICE Systems when he led tech M&A in the region at Lehman Brothers. Later, he invested in companies, including electric bicycle service JUMP Bikes and Wave Financial, according to his LinkedIn page.

Israel, known as a “startup nation,” is home to over 6,000 active startups. In the third quarter, Israeli private high-tech companies raised a record $2.74 billion, a 24% year-over-year increase despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Israel Venture Capital Research Center and ZAG law firm.

Headquartered in New York, Moelis entered the Middle East market in 2011. Last year, it advised Israeli burn treatment company MediWound in its license agreement with Vericel. The boutique bank is also known for serving as financial adviser to Saudi oil giant Aramco on its record $29.4 billion initial public offering in 2019.

Reporting by Krystal Hu in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis