Return of the Personal Touch to Investment Banking

Without the lure of huge bonuses for themselves or mega-financing for their clients, many seasoned bankers are moving to smaller firms that value the advisory side of the business, according to Money online.

Smaller banks such as Greenhill, which was involved on the $43 billion Roche-Genetech deal last July, have hired ex-Lehman bankers and launched two new offices. Same for Evercore, which recently hired up to 20 former Lehman, J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch bankers to staff its London office.

It seems smaller, independent banks are gaining ground, particularly in the mid-market. Yet even some of the recent mega-deals, such as Warren Buffet’s purchase of 3% of Swiss Re had independents attached.

One reason for their success, claims an industry veteran, is a return to a more personal approach to banking that had fallen by the wayside during the years when the big bulge-bracket megabanks who arranged the financing called the shots.

In today’s environment, with more strategic deals where one company is buying to grow its business, bankers who care more about the long-term quality of the advice they give may come out on top.

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