Greenhill in 2019

tangiers's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 38

Hi All,

I'm curious to know what thoughts are on GHL over the next few years?

The firm churned out a decent result for last financial year, with fee paying clients and deals done up from 2016 and 17. I know GHL has been doing some solid recruiting the last few years, and while it would be easy to view view the outlook as positive on face value, it would be good to get some industry opinions on the firm's outlook internationally.

Is this positive trend likely to continue, or will GHL revert back to getting squeezed by other shops like MOE and EVR? Additionally, what is GHL's reputation like these day's? Does it still attract the recognition it used to or has its value declined?

Cheers in advance.

Comments (22)

Mar 12, 2019

Would also be interested.

Mar 13, 2019

same

Mar 13, 2019

I had a call with an analyst and he said a lot of MDs are jumping ship and he only knows of one person in his analyst class who is doing A2A while the rest are leaving

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Mar 15, 2019

So this is interesting... Besides Romitha Mally who went to UBS, who left recently? I would say that the amount of MD's moving to Greenhill has been far bigger than the ones who have left. Building out their restructuring practice and expanding, not closing local offices.

Besides that, I like the comment of analysts leaving.... so what you are saying is that the analysts are exiting? and is that not what most analysts want? do the 2 years in banking and then go to PE? besides that Greenhill to my knowledge does not have A2A so one person staying is more strange than everyone else exiting.

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Mar 15, 2019

Well that's actually good news. It made me a little sad when I had heard about things going downhill. Never like to see an established strong brand like that falter.

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Mar 17, 2019

Some units were poached --> Evercore took their Real Assets Capital Advisory group, which was a fundraising/private placements arm.

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Mar 15, 2019

Sadly, from what I know, Greenhill seems to be on the decline. Shrinking and/or closing offices, etc. That being said...If I were fresh out of school I would definitely take a gig here over a lesser known brand name.

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Mar 16, 2019

Can someone discuss any knowledge they have of deal flow and how the firm ranks against other EBs and MMs. How does GHL compare vs. Jefferies for example. Is the firm currently on any large deals? Thanks.

Mar 17, 2019

GHL lands some large deals (ie their legacy relationship with GSK in the UK) but the large deals deal flow isn't there anymore. They list all of their deals on their website I encourage you to make your own opinion.

Jefferies has a better deal flow, and also lands big deals, but Jefferies unlike BBs also competes for smaller deals, which gives you an exposure to deals across the spectrum from $1+bn to $200m deals

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Mar 17, 2019

Agree with this and all else equal, I'd bet on Jefferies for a better analyst experience. But it's close enough that I'd choose GHL if it was a top group or a better subjective fit.

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Mar 17, 2019

Their consumer/ healthcare team is quite good - they have announced a bunch of sizable large transactions over the last couple years. They also do a lot of work for tesco, including tesco/booker

I think people forget how small Greenhill is in London - they only take like 4 analysts per year, so comparing them to Jefferies which has probably at least double if not triple the headcount is a bit unfair. I have good mate who is a ghl now and he has had a fantastic experience

Mar 17, 2019

Simply from a deal flow perspective, not on EB level anymore

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Mar 16, 2019

Who are there competitors then if not EB?

Mar 17, 2019

It still competes with the EBs but just loses out. From a European perspective, they are known to pitch for everything but not getting much business.
You could call them a Tier 3 EB after firms such as Evercore (1) and PWP (2) but generally, there are a number of firms which are classified as EBs (EVR, LAZ, MOE, PJT, CVP, PWP, RS (Ldn)) and GHL is not among them.

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Mar 17, 2019

Greenhill Restructuring has some of the worst MD's you'll work for on the street in terms of culture-setters. It's an environment that's a poster child of what people hate about banking. Some of the MD's who were brought over were notorious at their past firms as some of the worst MD's to work for.

Furthermore, the overall business isn't exactly doing too hot. After the founder and some of the key people left the business or the firm, they've really struggled to maintain deal flow. There was literally one quarter where they did not close a single deal aka 0 revenue.

Look at their stock price. The current price has been supported by a massive buyback plan (one of the best structured plans I've ever seen though but I guess that's expected from a company of bankers) and it's still a dogshit chart.

Mar 21, 2019

a) founder still at ghl and b) not factually the case that 0 closed deals in a quarter = 0 revenue, IB fee structures/timing can be bespoke/not just success fee based and some places will get paid to give advice that does not lead to closed deals (not to say more deals is not better, just not the case that revenue is only generated in the event of closed deals)

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Mar 17, 2019

All fair points I guess. The founder stepped down as CEO in 2007 and has been chairman but is nowhere near the deal sourcing or day-to-day of the business and is largely a figurehead. You are also correct that 0 closed deals doesn't equal 0 revenue, big error there on my part.

But I still stand by the spirit of my post. The firm is in structural decline which largely coincides with the founder stepping away from day-to-day operations, it does not have constant deal closure, and the culture sucks.

If you have no other options then yeah you should go there but if you are choosing between any bulge bracket and Greenhill, take the bulge bracket. If you are choosing between any elite boutique and Greenhill, take any elite boutique.

And I agree with the other poster above that at this point I think Jefferies is better choice than Greenhill

Mar 16, 2019

Thanks - who are the firm's peers at this point?

Mar 21, 2019

Was at a Summer Associate recruiting event in NYC in the fall. Almost everyone there was new. They are hiring a ton of MDs and some lateral Associates. Everyone seemed happy to be there, but they might have been selling it.