Is SVB Leerink Becoming an EB?

I've noticed how SVB Leerink has been on a tear with healthcare and their newly-formed tech team in the past few months. They recently advised Dicerna on their $3.3b sale to Novo Nordisk on the healthcare side. On the tech side, they announced this morning that they are advising on the $5.4b sale of Quest Software to Clearlake Capital. The tech team has also recently expanded into LevFin and ECM, having just poached more MDs from Jefferies, Barclays, and the Global Head of Internet TMT at Goldman Sachs. This is all despite the fact that the tech team was launched this past September.

This makes me wonder if SVB Leerink is now, or possibly in the future, considered an Elite Boutique in the tech and/or healthcare sectors?

Comments (49)

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Dec 7, 2021 - 12:36am

EB is such a nebulous term. The question really is, is SVB becoming a top-tier investment bank? If they keep paying up for high quality MDs from other banks the answer is yes, the best partners are basically comp mercenaries. BBs seem to be a great place to build a list of clients, then you go to an EB to monetize it. It only really helps juniors if the buyside recognizes SVB is good though which will take time, so probably a place to keep in mind over the next several years.

  • Summer Associate in IB - Gen
Dec 7, 2021 - 12:42am

I don't think two deals qualifies a firm as an EB. They are alright but have historically mostly worked on financing stuff. That being said, they are expanding but are definitely not even close to the top boutiques yet

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 7, 2021 - 1:29am

Bump. Specifically do they pay for gym membership/cellphone bill? Also what's there dinner expense policy?

Dec 7, 2021 - 10:25am
H4ndsOfGold, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just saw another thread say that it was $30 for dinner, pay for phone bill and, $100 a year for gym - (the person who said this wasn't sure of the value of the gym membership though) - Also you can put 10% of your salary in SVB stock at a 15% discount to market price

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen
Dec 7, 2021 - 12:56am

Just looked through all of their m&a transactions this year and they have fewer than 15 total transactions with only 2-3 being over a billion in value. Definitely not comparable to top independent advisory firms 

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  • Business School in IB - Cov
Dec 7, 2021 - 11:25am

The term "EB" does not (or should not) apply to single coverage groups that are really good. I don't know anything about SVB but judging by your post they have 2 coverage groups? HC and TMT? Do they have offices in both NYC and SF? What about a media group in LA? Energy team in HOU? Industrials, Real Estate, Consumer? Are they international?

The term EB becomes useless if you use it to include every bank that is 1 elite coverage group, like Qatalyst for example. I think this forum needs a different name for these? Maybe regional EB. Because there is clearly a difference between those banks and standard EBs like PJT/EVR/LAZ/PWP and so on. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Dec 7, 2021 - 11:40am

Aside from their HQ in Boston, they have a big NY & SF office, they also have an office in Charlotte and just launched a new office in Nashville. 

Dec 7, 2021 - 12:24pm
Bullet-Tooth Tony, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No, Centerview was lead advisor on the Dicerna one.

This is a perfect example of misinformation among younger bankers. If you are co-advising the large deals, that doesn't demonstrate that you are on par with BBs and EB. This frequently gets brought up with Triple Tree as well. 

There's nothing wrong getting tombstones and building a brand through co-advising, but prospects know what role co-advisors play and its an uphill battle to demonstrate relevance when you are going up against top IBs.

Dec 8, 2021 - 3:31am
JustinTobine, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lmao a triopoly in LMM ECM. That's so specific/niche, it's like saying my little tech startup is elite because it absolutely dominates at providing dog walking services between $4.6-4.75/hour in the suburbs of Atlanta during Friday afternoons. Literally only two other tech startups are able to compete with mine in that arena.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 7, 2021 - 4:07pm

Are you looking at just healthcare or the entire spectrum? not surprised that there are 50 other banks that outdo leerink across 10 coverage groups and 3 product groups compared to just leerink's HC team + a month of having some tech guys  lol

Dec 7, 2021 - 7:50pm
Bullet-Tooth Tony, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Are you looking at just healthcare or the entire spectrum? not surprised that there are 50 other banks that outdo leerink across 10 coverage groups and 3 product groups compared to just leerink's HC team + a month of having some tech guys  lol

The OP literally asked if it was becoming an EB. Would deal volume and multiple verticals not be responsive to that?

  • Business School in IB - Gen
Dec 7, 2021 - 6:05pm

To all the people giving MS, would love to hear why and if you have a better source rather than just getting angry (guessing all y'all are Leerink employees or hopefuls?). I'm just stating something factual from the league table with the longest list of banks I could find. Also, I didn't intern at an EB, I work in PE (and was at a BB before that). Source for league table:

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 7, 2021 - 5:17pm

No it isn't becoming an EB - it will be an EB when it shows up on top ten league tables 

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 7, 2021 - 6:59pm

I don't think they are an EB, but they certainly pay like a EB, especially the tech team. Business Insider wrote how in order to lure talent, "SVB is also kicking in more to the bonus pool than traditional banks, with no limit on total compensation… and uncapped bonus pool." I'm not sure if this necessarily applies to the juniors they're hiring, but if so I wouldn't be surprised if come bonus season their analyst's total comp is on the high end when compared to EBs.

  • VP in IB - Cov
Dec 7, 2021 - 10:48pm

Looking at league tables right now is dumb. The HC services and TMT teams came together over last 6-12 months. Will take almost 2-3 years before you start seeing deals. 

they are modeled more after Jefferies (with financing, research and ECM arms) vs Centerview / Perella, etc. They should do well but don't expect them to just headline grabbing M&A and nothing else. Will be a volume driven, diversified platform with deal size and products across the spectrum. They've paid people very well (including junior / mid level) to hire away.  

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Dec 7, 2021 - 11:43pm

I wonder what the exits are gonna look like for those on the tech team.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 8, 2021 - 10:36am

Let's have this discussion when they are in top 10 league tables. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Dec 8, 2021 - 1:23pm

"Top 10 league table" argument is pretty weak for EB, Leerinks bread and butter as of right now is biopharma. There is basically no M&A activity in the space, this has been a known problem for around the last 14 months. Licensing deals or asset acquisitions I don't believe show up on dealogic league tables which is much more common in the space. We will see how their new HC services and Tech team plays out for them. Agree with some of the above posters, seems more like a Jefferies.

Dec 22, 2021 - 3:00pm
rickle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Their corporate bank and private bank are elite. Makes sense that they would add IB services to the mix. However, their expertise (enterprise wide) is in the healthcare / tech lane. I would compare that to a niche consulting firm that's best in class in a vertical (like A&M, FTI, Alix in Restructuring / Turnaround). Not sure they do much outside of that lane. But within it, yikes!

Dec 23, 2021 - 11:43am
MeanStreetJournal, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Dec 23, 2021 - 3:08pm

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