Centerview bankers split to form tech deal shop

A pair of investment bankers are leaving Centerview Partners to start a firm focused on advising technology companies on mergers and acquisitions.

The men, veteran deal makers David Handler and David Neequaye, have secured the backing of two well-connected Wall Street firms, Consello and 25madison, according to people familiar with the matter.

Both will have minority stakes in the new M&A and strategic advisory boutique, which is to focus on technology, media and telecommunications companies and is called Tidal Partners.

Advisory on mergers can be a very profitable business. Centerview, which has become one of the most successful independent companies since its founding 16 years ago, brings in more than $1 billion in revenue in a good year. The firm, which has more than 500 professionals, last year brought in three senior bankers from Bank of America to lead its technology practice.

According to Dealogic, technology dwarfs all other sectors as a generator of deals and fees for bankers, with more than $400 billion of transactions completed in the US alone so far this year.

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Overall, M&A activity is on the downswing, with volatile markets and an uncertain economic outlook leading to a significant slowdown in deal activity this year. But the current downturn is widely expected to be temporary, with companies continuing to seek combinations to gain scale, efficiency and competitive advantage.

Handler made a name for himself advising clients such as Cisco Systems and Qualcomm. He is also the chairman of Penn National Gaming.

Neequaye is a founding member of Centerview’s technology practice, according to its website. He previously worked at UBS, as did Handler. He has worked with clients such as Cisco and Motorola.

Consell, which focuses on advising on mergers, investment and helping companies with business development, among other activities, was started by PR veteran Declan Kelly. Its partners include NFL great Tom Brady, and it also has former Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf and Elon Musk attorney Alex Spiro as senior advisers, according to its website.

Tidal and Consello have an exclusive partnership to work together on select large-cap client assignments.

25madison is a venture company whose chairman, Michael Lynton, holds the same title in social media company Snap. Private equity giant Apollo Global Management is an investor.

Write to Dana Cimilluca at

This article was published by Dow Jones Newswires, a publication of the Dow Jones Group


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