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By Pamela Barbaglia
LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) - Corporate finance firm Perella Weinberg Partners has hired Jorma Ollila, former chairman and chief executive of Finland’s Nokia Oyj, as an advisory partner, saying he would be able to give advice to a broad spread of its clients.
The move comes amid a burst of activity in corporate deals, with year-to-date global merger and acquisition (M&A) volumes surging to $1.75 trillion, the highest level since 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Perella makes its living by advising corporate clients on deals and strategy. Its global practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, financial restructuring, capital structure and government strategy among its core areas.
Ollila, whose career path started in investment banking, already has the post of chairman of the board of directors of oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He will provide senior counsel to Perella’s clients, the firm said on Monday.
Ollila served as president and CEO of Nokia between 1992 and 1999, later becoming chairman and CEO, positions he held from 1999 to 2006. He continued as chairman until 2012.
During his time at Nokia, the company grew to become a global leader in mobile phones, but a subsequent CEO Stephen Elop adopted a different strategy based on using Microsoft Corp’s mobile phone software instead of its own, and the company’s cellphone business was later sold to the U.S. tech leader.
His appointment at Perella Weinberg has a “broad scope” and Ollila’s role will not be restricted to the tech, media and technology industries. “M&A has gained pace and there is momentum all across the board,” said Stefan Jentzsch, head of the European office.
Perella’s clients base includes U.S. medical device maker Medtronic Inc, which retained it as an advisor for its $42.9 billion acquisition of Covidien Plc. Earlier this year it advised European cable companies Numericable Group SA and Ziggo NV in deals valued at 15.5 billion euros and 10 billion respectively.
Ollila in a statement stressed his focus on “advising clients around the world and providing a diverse platform of alternative asset management strategies.”
The executive has held a number of roles at the helm of global corporations based in his native Finland. Since last year he has served as chairman of the board of directors of stainless steel maker Outokumpu Oyj.
He also serves as vice chairman of the board of directors of Otava Books and Magazines, a major books publisher in Finland.
He began his career at Citibank Inc in 1978 working in the corporate banking arm between London and Helsinki. He landed his first job at Nokia in 1985 as vice president of international operations and moved up the ranks until heading the business for 14 years as CEO. (Editing by Freya Berry and David Holmes)