A cadre of bulge-bracket refugees launched Greentech Capital Advisors this week, a New York-based investment bank for the so-called green economy.
The founders, led by Jeff McDermott, former joint global head of UBS investment banking, believe that old Wall Street is overlooking the burgeoning companies in alternative energy and clean technology.
Greentech will help raise capital, float debt and midwife joint ventures and M&A activity. It will also help small shops get scooped by big players like GE and Siemens.
"Those were the kind of skills and capabilities that a lot of the companies and private-equity groups were looking for," McDermott said. "While they exist in large banks, they're all in disparate groups."
The upstart already has engagement letters from a solar energy company and an energy distribution shop.
"The proof of concept has been pretty high," McDermott said. "But of course it's going to be a long road."
McDermott reportedly got the idea for the boutique from a conversation with his teenage son.
After leaving UBS in 2007, he spent most of last year meeting with green companies and the firms that back them. McDermott started building his 13-person team at the end of last year and for the past few months has been talking to potential clients in a "stealth launch mode."
Greentech is also stacking up a private-equity fund to get some of its own skin in the game.
Although the firm is not hiring in the near future, it hopes to expand as the market grows.
"San Francisco is really important," McDermott said. "China is very important; as is Europe."
For now, however, the shop will stay small and stay in New York, near its hybrid car service.
The other Greentech partners are: Robert Schultz, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley; Timothy Vincent, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs; Michael Molnar, who was an alternative energy analyst at Goldman; and Craig Wellen, a former utility banker at Citi.
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