Euromoney, August 12, 2020
Australia’s investment banking landscape is changing. A wave of new entrants and boutiques is forming, chiefly in Sydney and more often than not by plundering UBS or CLSA. They are attracted by an established market which can be lucrative if you can get on the right deals. But is it too well-covered for boutiques to thrive?
On May 8, the New Zealand financial services group Jarden formally announced a new venture that was already the talk of the town. It had hired four of the biggest names in Australian investment banking as its bridgehead for a new business, Jarden Australia.
Robbie Vanderzeil, chief executive of the new business, was UBS’s chairman of investment banking and head of equities, and is recognized as one of the best capital markets bankers in the country. Two other UBS heavyweights were announced as fellow foundation leaders for Jarden Australia: Dane FitzGibbon, who was co-head of capital markets, and John Spencer, head of ECM syndicate.
Moving with them is Sarah Rennie, formerly head of ECM at Goldman Sachs in Australia and a member of the Australian Takeovers Panel. Rennie is probably the most senior woman in Australian capital markets and considered another elite ECM banker.
What are they trying to build? “The leading Australasian-focused, independent investment and advisory firm that stays true to values of being client-centric and focusing on building long-term trusted adviser relationships,” says Rennie.
The initial reaction in the industry was shock. Jarden is a strong and storied name in New Zealand; the firm been around for 60 years. But until now its only real incursion into Australia had been a 30-year-long partnership with Credit Suisse.
Two questions immediately arose. Why would these leading lights abandon some of the strongest investment banking operations in the country for a Kiwi-backed startup? And what does Jarden think it is going to do in an already heavily-covered market?
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