SF Tech Banking Update

Hey guys,

I was hoping to get an update on the tech banking scene in San Francisco. How do these shops fair now? Well aware of the dominance of Q, MS, and GS but was hoping to get more insight on any up and coming players. Also, relevant info on these offices (comp/culture/exits) would be appreciated as well.

Thanks!

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Comments (28)

Jan 1, 2019

You listed a few, but as a whole, MS Menlo Park, Qatalyst, GS TMT, CS SF, Jefferies Tech, Baml Palo Alto, and Evercore Menlo Park handle most of the large cap deals/ECM activity.

There are smaller boutiques that focus on specific sub verticals within tech (FTP in fintech comes to mind).

There hasn't been a dramatic slow down in VC activity, so M&A is still strong. There used to be a user on here (techbanker) that knew the scene cold, so he'd probably be a good resource to ask. Also, if anyone else knows other shops that have strong dealflow in the space feel free to chime in -- this is my understanding of the major players as of now.

Jan 1, 2019

Is BAML Palo Alto really on par with the other shops you mentioned?

Jan 1, 2019

No, a level below IMO, but they were on a few of the larger semi deals in 2018, hence why I included them.

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Jan 4, 2019

Moelis SF strong in semis, works with LA on other tech deals

Greed is Good

Jan 11, 2019

To add, here are some well-known tech shops in SF & SV but in no particular order within each deal size:

  • Larger Deals: Qatalyst, MS Menlo Park, CS, GS, BAML Palo Alto
  • Mid Range: GCA Savvian, Union Square Advisors, Allen & Co, Centerview
  • Smaller to Mid: Code Advisors, Pagemill, Atlas,

I would say for the "stand out" or "up and coming" groups you mentioned I would say Union Square, Centerview, and Code fit this bill. That being said I think a lot of these groups tend to foster more of a "career banking path" but of course a quick linkedin check will show you some do make the move to PE or VC. Would be curious if people have seen the same or different.

In regards to comp... I think groups generally pay the same as the street for Analysts but your boutiques like Qatalyst or Centerview tend to compensate their Associates and up quite well. Just the nature of being a smaller shop with high deal flow.

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Jan 1, 2019

From reading around, I think moelis sf is considered a top shop in terms of exits/up and coming in terms of dealflow.

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Funniest
Jan 1, 2019

Yes and Qatalyst is the top upstream A&D shop in Houston

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Jan 2, 2019

.

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Jan 4, 2019

Interested in this as well

Jan 8, 2019

Really good. Top tier exits and strong in levfin/M&A space, stronger than most mid tier BBs.

Jan 8, 2019

Strong deal flow, alumni I know exited to very good VC related funds. Not sure about PE exits though

"If you ain't first, you're last!" - GOAT

Jan 4, 2019

Any insight on comp and culture?

Most Helpful
Jan 3, 2019

Seems a little silly to have BAML, Jefferies, CS, and even Evercore listed before JPM SF.

Jan 3, 2019

From what I know EVR Menlo has been killing it (maybe not in mega-cap space); Unsure how they compare with JPM though - their coverage team is fkin massive and they even have an in-house M&A team in SF

Jan 1, 2019

Knew I was forgetting one -- thx for adding this. Know any recent deals they've been on? I know the group head -- Noah Wintroub -- was featured in some list of top tech bankers in 2017.

Jan 8, 2019

From talking with alumni in SF IB, I have heard that William Blair is quickly rising in the LMM and MM space. BMO has a pretty decent LMM-MM presence as well.

MS is the clear equity leader, and Goldman is the M&A leader. Obviously they both do the other often but they lead in those respective spaces

"If you ain't first, you're last!" - GOAT

Jan 8, 2019

Goldman, MS (Menlo Office), Qatalyst
--
Evercore (Menlo), JPM
--
Centerview (Palo Alto), BAML (Palo Alto)
--
CS, Citi, Jefferies (although Jefferies places on buyside like the tier above^^)
--
Barclays, UBS, DB, Lazard, etc.

Notes:
-This isn't necessarily indicative of how well these shops place people on the buyside (Jefferies for example)
-Lazard does mostly consulting work for clients they have on retainer
-DB is somewhat strong in the semi space but struggles elsewhere
-Centerview does a lot of consulting work, but they do some big transactions for clients like Seagate
-CS used to be a top shop but they have really struggled as of late with tons of senior bankers leaving to other shops like Jefferies
-BAML uses its balance sheet a lot, however, they do a solid amount of M&A (Salesforce & MuleSoft acquisition for example)
-MS is probably the best for IPO processes and is also strong everywhere else
-Goldman is the most well-rounded bank and best in my opinion for tech

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Jan 8, 2019

Could you expand on consulting work done by CTVP and Laz?

Jan 8, 2019

Non-transaction ongoing advisory for close clients. In and of itself it's not a good or a bad thing. I know some guys at these shops that really enjoy it because they get a different skill set that goes beyond the typical M&A sell-side process. On the other hand, I know someone who was at the Lazard SF shop a few years back and he was disappointed in the lack of M&A transaction experience he got. Recently, Centerview Palo Alto does more transactions than Lazard in SF from what I've gathered.

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Jan 8, 2019

Centerview does a lot of work with clients around their other needs. For example, helping prepare announcements, earnings releases, earnings call responses, etc. which is beyond the typical IB advisory you would think of

Source: campus presentation

"If you ain't first, you're last!" - GOAT

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Jan 8, 2019

Where would banks like WF and RBC fall into this? Also, should Barclays and Lazard be on the same tier as DB and UBS?

Jan 1, 2019

also interested

Jan 8, 2019

For tech banking, I believe that's where they should be in my opinion. Outside of SF, this is obviously very different. As for WF and RBC, I would put them in the last tier I have. I'm at a BB and have not once come across them in any transactions. Maybe they do well in middle market transactions, but I'm just not informed enough on them as I don't know anybody who's been there and haven't come across them in the news.