Bear Vets Launch M&A Advisory

Stone Key Partners has launched as a New York-based investment bank specializing in M&A and strategic advisory services. Its two principals are: Denis Bovan, former vice chairman of I-banking and chairman of global tech, media and telecom with Bear Stearns; and Michael Urfirer, also a Bear Stearns vice chairman of I-banking and global head of strategic advisory banking.


Seasoned Wall Street veterans, Denis A. Bovin and Michael J. Urfirer, today announced the official launch of Stone Key Partners, a new investment banking firm specializing in sophisticated Mergers & Acquisitions and Strategic Advisory services.

Mr. Bovin was formerly Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Chairman of the Global Technology, Media and Telecom Group at Bear Stearns. Mr. Urfirer was also a Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and the Global Head of Strategic Advisory Banking at Bear Stearns.

The new firm will leverage the founders’ many years of providing senior-level investment banking advice to domestic and international corporate clients in the Technology, Aerospace, Defense, Homeland Security and Information Services sectors. Messrs. Bovin and Urfirer, each of whom has more than 25 years of Wall Street experience, will share the titles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Stone Key Partners intends to obtain registration as a broker-dealer with the SEC and membership with FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Until that process is completed, Messrs. Bovin and Urfirer and their team will continue to operate as Stone Key Securities, a division of Hudson Partners Securities LLC.

Since leaving Bear Stearns in May 2008, the founders formed Stone Key Partners, raised capital from a strategic investor to ensure that the new firm is well capitalized for long-term growth, and continued to focus on their clients’ strategic advisory needs. Stone Key was ranked by Thomson Reuters in its 2008 annual ranking for advising on approximately $5.5 billion in M&A transactions for its clients.(1)

The other founding members of the firm have had long and successful careers at many of Wall Street’s leading firms advising key clients in the Technology, Aerospace and Defense sectors. Stone Key, with offices initially in New York and Connecticut, offers a comprehensive suite of investment banking advisory services. The firm’s primary focus will be on providing Boards of Directors and senior management teams with custom-tailored solutions based on deep domain knowledge and decades of transaction experience. In addition to providing strategic and financial advice to its clients, Stone Key expects to develop a series of proprietary investing capabilities which leverage the firm’s industry expertise to help facilitate its clients’ strategic objectives.

“The idea to launch Stone Key grew out of the market’s need for experienced, creative and insightful advice, anchored on trust and long-term relationships,” said Mr. Bovin. “We are confident that our clients will value the intellectual capital we’ve brought to this new venture. We are very encouraged that Stone Key’s business is robust, our backlog is strong and growing, and we have been approached by extremely high quality professionals who are eager to join us,” he added.

Mr. Urfirer commented, “Now more than ever, companies need an investment bank which provides actionable advice and can thoughtfully design and implement customized strategic and financial solutions to help them successfully navigate in these challenging economic times. We look forward to continuing our role as our clients’ long-term partner every step of the way.”

“The founders of Stone Key Partners have been one of General Dynamics‘ primary outside strategic advisors for more than a decade. We choose our advisors on the expertise and integrity of the individuals, not based on the size of their firm. I am confident that Stone Key Partners will continue to provide value-added advice for its clients,” said Nick Chabraja, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, General Dynamics Corporation.(2)

Over the course of their careers, Messrs. Bovin and Urfirer have been involved in many prominent M&A transactions in the Aerospace, Defense and Homeland Security industries, including the recent $5.2 billion cross-border acquisition of DRS Technologies by Finmeccanica; the blockbuster $15.6 billion Honeywell and AlliedSignal merger, named the “Best Strategic Deal of the Year” by Mergers & Acquisitions magazine; and Raytheon‘s contemporaneous $9.5 billion acquisition of General MotorsHughes Electronics defense business; and $3.0 billion acquisition of Texas Instruments‘ defense business, named the “Deal of the Year” by Institutional Investor magazine.

The founders have also provided valuable M&A and financial advisory services to many leading high-profile companies in the Technology and Information Services sectors, including Symbol Technologies in its $3.9 billion sale to Motorola, Bisys in its $1.5 billion breakup and simultaneous sale to Citigroup and J.C. Flowers, and various acquisitions by HP, IBM and EMC.

“Denis and Michael are well known for developing innovative and actionable solutions to meet strategic challenges. They advised me when I was Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Symbol Technologies and I continue to rely on their insight and judgment today,” said Sal Iannuzzi, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Monster Worldwide, Inc.(2)

About the Founders

Denis A. Bovin

Mr. Bovin is Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Stone Key Partners. Prior to co-founding Stone Key, he was Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, Senior Managing Director and Chairman of the Global Technology, Media and Telecom Group at Bear Stearns and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Prior to Bear Stearns, Mr. Bovin was a Managing Director at Salomon Brothers and was the Head of Investment Banking Corporate Coverage, Capital Markets and Global Technology. He was also Chairman of the Salomon Brothers Venture Capital Fund.

In 1998, Defense Daily named Mr. Bovin one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Defense, Aerospace and National Security. In 1985, Mr. Bovin was selected by Institutional Investor as one of the country’s most outstanding investment bankers under the age of 40. He is listed in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry and has been a member of the board of directors of several publicly traded multinational corporations. In 2006, he was sworn in as a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. He is a consultant to the Defense Science Board, which advises the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and an Executive Committee member of the Defense Business Board, which advises senior defense executives on strategies to adopt best business practices, and has served as a representative to the Defense Policy Board.

Mr. Bovin is a Vice Chairman of the Intrepid, Air, Sea and Space Museum; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and Vice Chairman of Business Executives for National Security, Inc. (“BENS”). He received his MBA from the Harvard Business School and his BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an elected life member of the MIT Corporation and also serves on the MIT Executive Committee.

Mr. Bovin has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and is also a recipient of the USS Intrepid Salute Award, the BENS Eisenhower Award and several awards and honors from MIT, including its highest alumni honor.

Michael J. Urfirer

Mr. Urfirer is Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Stone Key Partners. He advises Stone Key Partners’ major clients in the areas of acquisitions, mergers, exclusive sales, divestitures, minority investments, joint ventures and takeover defense. Prior to co-founding Stone Key, Mr. Urfirer was a Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Global Head of Strategic Advisory Banking at Bear Stearns. He was a Senior Managing Director of the firm and member of the Bear Stearns Board of Directors. Mr. Urfirer specializes in advising Aerospace/Defense and Technology clients on strategic and tactical M&A issues.

Mr. Urfirer has had a long and successful investment banking career. He joined Bear Stearns in 1994 after spending five years at CS First Boston as a Managing Director in the M&A department. Prior to joining CS First Boston, he spent more than five years at Lehman Brothers, where he was Co-Head and Co-Founder of Lehman’s Technology M&A group.

In 1997, Fortune magazine selected him as one of America’s ten “most well-connected and effective M&A bankers.” For more than 25 years, he has provided strategic and financial advice to technology companies in areas ranging from the Aerospace/Defense industry to the Software and Information Services sectors.

Mr. Urfirer received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1983 and an AB in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard College in 1981. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Mount Sinai Medical School and serves as a member of both the Compensation and Information Technology Committees of The Mount Sinai Medical Center.

(1) Based on Thomson Reuters’ 2008 annual listing of financial advisors by value of announced transactions involving U.S. targets.

(2) The views of any clients of Stone Key or the founders contained in this release in the nature of a testimonial may not be representative of the experience of other clients and should not be viewed as a guarantee of future performance or success of Stone Key or the founders.