A boutique investment bank in New York City that specializes in deals involving financial services firms, including wealth managers, moved in August to a new office overlooking Central Park with plans to double the number of bankers.
Silver Lane Advisors, an independent firm founded 11 years ago, is one of the top-ranked firms that specializes in wealth and asset management mergers and acquisitions. The firm’s five managing directors have worked on an aggregate of more than 300 deals, including a number already this year with more in the pipeline, said Elizabeth Nesvold, the firm’s founder and managing partner.
Among other deals, Silver Lane was the exclusive advisor to Emigrant Bank earlier this year in the divestiture of its majority interest in HPM Partners, a New York-based investment and wealth management firm with more than $9 billion in assets under management, to private equity firm Lightyear Capital.
It was also the exclusive advisor to Traust Sollus Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor managing about $410 million, on its sale to Mercer Advisors, another RIA with over $12 billion in assets. Specifics of the deal, which was announced in March, were not disclosed.
Silver Lane currently has 15 bankers working on deals valued from $20 million to over $1 billion. It hopes to add two more bankers this month and eventually grow the total number to 30 or more to capitalize on opportunities to advise on a higher volume of transactions and more complicated ones.
Nesvold said the goal is to add senior bankers who are “dangerous but not lethal,” referring to seasoned employees whose knowledge extends beyond banking, even though clients hire accounting and legal professionals to advise on those nuanced areas of deals.
The new office at Columbus Circle, 22 floors above Central Park, with a kitchen and video games, also has space for 10 or more junior bankers in its open-concept design.
Like the wealth management industry over the last 10 years, Silver Lane has also institutionalized; the move into the new office was another step in that direction. Late last year, the investment bank hired Jim Collins to serve as general counsel and its director of operations. Silver Lane is one of the few boutiques investment banks that specialize in wealth and asset management to employ a general counsel, said Peter Nesvold, who is also the managing director.
That aside, the new office isn’t about hiring more people and grinding through transactions. The number of deals involving RIAs might have slumped in the second quarter to 32 (depending on who is keeping the tally), but the slowdown is not expected to persist. Consolidation will continue as the wealth management industry matures where opportunities have already attracted increasing interest from private equity firms.
For advisors on all those transactions, like Silver Lane, times are good.