Morning Coffee Jul 17 2009

Duff & Phelps Is the Latest Boutique to Build Out Its M&A Army

By kyle stock

Duff & Phelps Corp., a small i-bank, has gone on a hiring tear, grabbing talent from some winded competitors.

The New York-based shop announced the addition of seven new managing directors Thursday: Frederic Dubuisson, Philippe Nataf, Raymond Kane, Michael Guptan, Glen Clarke, Chip Wahle and Robert Nabholz.

It also tapped Michael Cochrane to lead its M&A advisory team.

Although M&A activity has been dismal, Duff & Phelps has garnered a lot of work on distressed companies and it's been doing some analysis for Uncle Sam.

The company now has 1,200 workers.

Small is Beautiful
Boutiques have grabbed a record 14% of global M&A fees this year. It's like a sand-castle contest at high-tide, but there's no question that size doesn't matter as much as it used to in the i-banking world. (FT)

Merging the Old-Fashioned Way
The new Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has started a round of layoffs to streamline its merger and cut costs. Though the firm isn't throwing around figures, it said none of its financial advisors will be pink-slipped. (InvestmentNews)

Belated Bonuses
The U.K. is weighing a plan to withhold half of bank bonuses for up to five years, making Obama & Co. look like capitalist cowboys. (FINS)

Better Than Awful
Only 522,000 workers filed for unemployment last week. That's considered good news these days. (WSJ)

Nuts and Bolts
Pandit may be hanging tough, but the FDIC thinks Citi needs more execs with commercial and retail banking experience. (BusinessWeek)

Keeping up with Goldman
Taxpayer money be damned, a lot of banks are offering big pay packages to stay in the game. BofA, for example, recently dangled a two-year, $6 million package for a JPMorgan bond salesman. (WSJ)

The author of Finding Alpha says Goldman's compensation is fair -- 50% of profit for shareholders, 50% for bonuses. (Falkenblog)

Eye on the Ball
The economy sucks. Job security? What job security? Pay isn't what it used to be either. So how does one stay motivated? This and other advice from the folks at WSJ Careers. (WSJ)

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