As a long-time investment banker, Brennan Libbey specializes in matching deals and private equity firms. He’s working on those connecting skills in the Los Angeles market, where he opened an office for global investment bank Livingstone earlier this year. He also leads the firm’s U.S. business services group.
Libbey joined Livingstone in February to build up the firm’s West Coast presence after about three years as managing director at Houlihan Lokey and nine years as managing director at UBS Investment Bank, among other career moves.
He wants to add one or more senior executives in Los Angeles with sector expertise in consumer companies and industrial as well as media and technology, and then build a junior team around them.
“We’re in growth mode,” Libbey said. “We’ve spent a lot of time meeting people in the LA market, and we’re really focused around building a long-term platform of relationships we can grow over time.”
Along with his own Rolodex of contacts from his experience in the area, Libbey said Livingstone offers prowess in cross-border deals via its network of offices in Beijing, Dusseldorf, London, Madrid and Stockholm, and its headquarters in Chicago. More than three-quarters of its deals get marketed internationally.
The firm offers a simple value proposition to its clients: a higher close rate because of its greater focus on each transaction, with senior people working on deals.
“We’re not a volume shop,” he said. “We harken back to the golden days when investment-bank partners ran the transaction, with a thin organization and people very focused on getting great outcomes for their client. That’s what driving our business.”
Libbey’s skill in finding connections extends to an interesting coincidence in his career arc: Now at Livingstone the investment bank, he grew up in Livingston, Montana. At an early age he became fascinated with business through his family’s ownership of a beer distributorship. He headed out of Montana to attend the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and his career took off from there.
Livingstone deploys sector experts in each global market in business services, consumer, health care, industrial, media and technology. It focuses on middle-market deals with enterprise values of $25 million to $250 million.
Livingstone offers sell-side M&A services, as well as some buy-side. It also operates a debt capital markets group to help finance transactions and a special situations group to handle financial distress faced by clients.
Photo of Brennan Libbey courtesy of Livingstone