Ex-Goldman Sachs bankers share $8.1m as profits surge at boutique

A boutique investment bank started by former Goldman Sachs dealmakers nearly doubled London-based employees last year and hiked pay as profits surged.

Ardea Partners’ UK entity booked gross profits of $16.6m last year, according to accounts filed on 3 June at Companies House, up by 80% on the previous year as the bank ramped up headcount to 11 people — from six in 2019.

Its London-based employees were paid $7m in 2020, or an average payout of $636,300, the accounts show, compared with salaries and bonuses averaging $416,600 during 2019. Its four members — which include former Goldman Sachs executives Glenn Earle and Nigel Robinson — shared $8.1m in profits, with the highest-paid individual taking home $2.2m.

The last big-ticket hire at the boutique in London was Julien Petit, Goldman’s former head of financial institutions investment banking, who joined in October 2019.

New York-headquartered Ardea was launched in 2016 by a number of senior Goldman Sachs dealmakers, expanding its roster of top investment bankers over the past five years.

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Chris Cole, its chairman and once global co-head of investment banking at Goldman and chief executive Don Truesdale, who was previously a senior financial institutions banker at the firm, were among the founding members. It also counts James Del Favero, who led cross-border mergers and acquisitions at Goldman until 2016, and Ivan Ross, a former partner in the US bank’s corporate finance solutions group, among its ranks.

Earle, who leads its London operation, was previously chief operating officer for Goldman’s international business. Robert Falzon, a former managing director within industrials investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Ardea’s founding partner in London, stepped down in January last year to start his own venture.

Ardea is another example of a boutique investment headed by senior bankers from large institutions to have emerged in recent years and has advised on some big-ticket transactions alongside larger players.

Most recently, it advised medical startup Babylon Holdings on its $4.2bn acquisition by blank-cheque company Alkuri Global Acquisition Corp unveiled on 3 June, with Citigroup.

Ardea has also advised on Morgan Stanley’s $13bn acquisition of online brokerage E*Trade last February and Franklin Resources’ $4.5bn purchase of rival Legg Mason.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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