Ex-Goldman banker Gordon Dyal beefs up M&A boutique

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former senior Goldman Sachs investment banker Gordon Dyal has poached several new hires for his investment banking boutique Dyal Co after emerging as the lead adviser to Syngenta in February on its sale to ChemChina.

When ChemChina announced it would buy Swiss seeds and pesticide group Syngenta for $43 billion, amongst a raft of big name bank advisers, one new name stood out: Dyal Co.

At the time a one-man band, Dyal has now hired Tim Quandt, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs, and Paresh Lala, a top-ranked vice president also from Goldman Sachs, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Grant Curry, a former associate at UBS, and Howard Sun, a former associate at JPMorgan, have also joined the firm, the sources said.

Dyal’s wife, Jill Dyal, is listed as chief operating officer and managing partner of the new boutique on LinkedIn.

Dyal declined to comment.

After joining Goldman Sachs as a partner in 1998, Dyal decided to retire in March 2015, after 16 years at the company, latterly as co-chairman of the investment banking division and member of its management committee.

He was previously co-head of European M&A and investment banking in the region, living in London between 2000 and 2010.

He became global head of M&A in 2004, before taking on his role as co-chairman in 2011.

The big-game hunting enthusiast is an elected trustee of the Wildlife Conservation Society and owns a ranch in Montana.

An increasing number of so-called independent advisory shops have popped up in recent years focused solely on advising clients on takeovers and other corporate activity as merger activity has soared, and now capture around 30 percent of the global fee pie, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Deal volume industry-wide globally rose 42.2 percent to a record $4.7 trillion in 2015, according to Thomson Reuters data, spurred by mega mergers like Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA’s $106 billion acquisition of SABMiller Plc and oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s $70 billion purchase of BG Group Plc, although activity has slowed so far this year from those record levels.

Formed largely by Wall Street veterans, these firms typically have smaller teams, which means that deals may have a better chance of staying secret. They also do not have capital intensive trading arms that have been dragging down profitability at the bulge banks or financing arms that can create conflicts of interest.

Longtime Citigroup executive Michael Klein has expanded his New York-based shop M. Klein & Co, which was the lead adviser to Dow Chemical Co on its $130 billion merger with DuPont last year, to more than 20 employees.

Former star Morgan Stanley dealmaker Paul Taubman formed boutique advisory firm PJT Partners, which was merged last year with the advisory arm of the Blackstone Group LP and spun off into a publicly traded company.

Other boutique banks in the United States include Qatalyst Partners, formed by Credit Suisse technology banker Frank Quattrone; LionTree Advisors, started by ex-UBS media banker Aryeh Bourkoff; and Centerview Partners, started by UBS vice chairman Blair Effron and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein executive Rob Pruzan.

Editing by Adrian Croft