Qatalyst Group has launched as a San Francisco-based tech-focused merchant bank. The firm's investment banking arm will provide M&A advisory services, while its Qatalyst Capital Partners unit will make principal investments alongside venture capital and private equity firms. No word yet on Qatalyst's capitalization.
Qatalyst was founded by former CSFB tech banker Frank Quattrone, who last summer had obstruction of justice charges dismissed against him. The rest of the founding staff includes: Jonathan Turner, former head of Credit Suisse's Internet group; Adrian Dollard, former general counsel to Credit Suisse's tech group and a lawyer at Shearman & Sterling; and Neil Chalasani, most recently a VP with Evercore's tech, media and telecom group; Brian Slingerland, most recently a VP with Goldman, Sachs' tech, media and telecom group; and Brian Cayne, most recently an associate at Vista Equity Partners.
Frank P. Quattrone announced today that he and some former colleagues are launching a new financial services venture called Qatalyst Group, a technology-focused merchant banking boutique, headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Qatalyst Partners, its investment banking business, will provide high-end merger & acquisition and corporate finance advice to technology companies globally. Qatalyst Capital Partners, its investing business, will make selective principal investments, typically alongside leading venture capital and private equity firms.
Qatalyst Partners will provide high quality, independent advice to the senior management teams and boards of the technology industry's established and emerging leaders on strategic matters crucial to their growth and success. Qatalyst's advisors will combine a broad network of relationships with deep sector knowledge and seasoned M&A expertise to deliver a superior, senior level of service for clients who value experience, judgment, candor and insight. In addition to merger & acquisition advice, Qatalyst Partners will use its team's extensive corporate finance and capital markets experience to advise companies on capital structure and capital raising alternatives, and will selectively raise private capital for clients. While it will not engage in public securities research, sales, trading or brokerage, Qatalyst Partners may participate as advisor or underwriter in clients' public offerings.
“The launch of Qatalyst is an important development for the technology industry,” said Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google. “Frank and his team bring unparalleled industry knowledge, a unique 25-year market perspective and candid, insightful judgment that CEOs greatly value on important strategic initiatives. I look forward to working with him again and am very enthusiastic about Qatalyst's prospects for success.”
Mr. Quattrone has advised technology companies globally since 1981 while building successful technology banking franchises for Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. Qatalyst's initial founders include Jonathan Turner, a technology M&A expert, who was formerly Global Head of Credit Suisse's Internet group and most recently served as Vice President of Corporate Development for online marketing leader QuinStreet; Adrian E. Dollard, formerly General Counsel of Credit Suisse's Technology group and a lawyer at Shearman & Sterling specializing in M&A, corporate finance and venture capital; and Neil Chalasani, most recently a Vice President with Evercore's Technology, Media & Telecom group; and will include Brian Slingerland, most recently a Vice President with Goldman, Sachs' Technology Media & Telecom group; and Brian Cayne, most recently an Associate at Vista Equity Partners. Qatalyst plans to expand its founding team over the next few months.
“Frank's level of experience, wisdom and candor are unique assets that can make a significant difference to the long-term success of his clients,” said Bill Campbell, Chair of the Board of Intuit. “He is equally adept at providing sophisticated advice to the Boards of global giants on 'bet the company' transactions, and in coaching and nurturing the management teams of next generation leaders to help them achieve their dreams. I'm very excited about collaborating with him in his new venture.”
Frank Quattrone, Qatalyst's co-founder and CEO said “We will serve our clients as a catalyst for positive change by helping them navigate the forces affecting their industries, analyze the implications for them and their competitors, and develop and execute strategies to maximize long-term shareholder value. We believe the experience, perspective and judgment at the core of our advice will be of value to our clients, especially during challenging environments such as these.”
Advisory boutiques have gained increasing prominence on blockbuster M&A transactions over the past few years as CEOs and boards have valued objective, senior level advice from independent firms without the potential conflicts inherent in multi-service institutions with commercial lending, securities distribution and large private equity divisions. However, to date there has not been a high-end boutique dedicated to the global technology industry.
“There is an enormous opportunity for an independent, high caliber advisory firm focused on the global technology sector,” said Jim Breyer, a partner of venture capital firm Accel Partners. “Frank is truly world-class, both as a trusted advisor and a builder of excellent technology banking teams, and we look forward to working with him and his terrific team at Qatalyst.”
Gideon Yu, CFO of Facebook, formerly CFO of YouTube and SVP/Treasurer of Yahoo! added “Jonathan Turner has provided superb advice on some of the most important transactions of my career, combining tremendous sector insight with excellent deal savvy. I am excited about the opportunity to work with him and his partners at Qatalyst.”
Over the past three decades, Mr. Quattrone and the teams he has led have advised global technology companies on more than 400 mergers and acquisitions with an aggregate transaction value over $500 billion, and on more than 350 financings that raised over $65 billion. Qatalyst's founders have advised clients including: Accenture, Adobe, Agilent, AOL, Apple, Amazon.com, Applied Materials, Ascend, Baidu, Cisco, Cypress Semiconductor, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Ironport, Jamdat, KLA, Linear Technology, Lucent, National Semiconductor, Netscape, Nortel, Omniture, Oracle, Orbitz, PCCW, Riverbed, Shopping.com, ST Microelectronics, Submarino, Synopsys, SynOptics, 3Com, VeriSign, VERITAS, Webex, Xilinx and Yahoo!
Qatalyst Partners has submitted an application for registration as a broker-dealer with the SEC and has applied for membership in FINRA, the securities industry self-regulatory authority. While these applications are pending, Mr. Quattrone and his team will operate as Qatalyst, a division of JMP Securities, so that they can begin to advise clients immediately.
“We chose to associate with JMP Securities due to its high quality overall reputation as a firm, my personal relationship with and confidence in its President Craig Johnson, and the complementary fit between our firms,” Quattrone said. “While the period of this formal association will be temporary by design, Qatalyst and JMP will seek opportunities to refer each other business and support each other's success over time.”
“We are excited that Frank Quattrone and his partners chose to associate with JMP,” said Craig Johnson, President of JMP Group. “We are pleased to be in a position to assist Qatalyst with its formation, knowing it will be a valued resource for its clients for years to come, and look forward to a long-term relationship between our firms.” JMP Securities LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of JMP Group Inc. (NYSE: JMP), a San Francisco based investment bank that provides investment banking, sales and trading, and equity research services to corporate and institutional clients and alternative asset management products to institutional and high-net-worth investors.
Quattrone summed up by saying “My partners and I are passionate about the opportunity to build a world-class firm whose global network of relationships and high quality, responsive, independent, senior level advice can make a significantly positive long-term difference for our clients.”