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Centerview Bankers Depart to Form Tech-Focused Deal-Advisory Boutique Tidal Partners

A pair of investment bankers is leaving Centerview Partners to start a firm focused on advising technology companies on mergers and acquisitions.

The men, veteran deal makers David Handler and David Neequaye, have secured the backing of two well-connected firms on Wall Street, Consello and 25madison, according to people familiar with the matter. Both will have minority stakes in the new M&A and strategic-advisory boutique, which is to be focused on technology, media and telecommunications companies and called Tidal Partners.

Merger advisory can be a highly profitable business. Centerview, which has become one of the most successful independent firms since its founding 16 years ago, in a good year brings in well over $1 billion in revenue. The firm, which has more than 500 professionals, last year brought in three senior bankers from Bank of America Corp. to run its tech practice.

Technology eclipses all other sectors as a generator of deals—and fees for bankers, with more than $400 billion of transactions struck in the US alone so far this year, according to Dealogic.

M&A activity overall is in the doldrums, with volatile markets and an uncertain economic outlook causing a major slowdown in deal activity this year. But it is widely expected that the current downturn will prove to be temporary, with companies continuing to seek combinations to gain scale, efficiency and competitive advantage.

mr. Handler made a name for himself advising clients including Cisco Systems Inc.

and Qualcomm Inc.

(He is also the chairman of Penn National Gaming Inc.

) Mr. Neequaye is a founding member of the tech practice at Centerview, according to its website. He previously worked at UBS Group AG

, as did Mr. Handler. He has worked with clients including Cisco and Motorola.

David Handler made a name for himself advising clients including Cisco Systems and Qualcomm.


Tidal Partners

Consello, which focuses on merger advisory, investing and helping companies with business development, among other activities, was started by PR veteran Declan Kelly. Its partners include NFL great Tom Brady, and it also counts former Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf and Elon Musk lawyer Alex Spiro as senior advisers, according to its website.

Tidal and Consello have an exclusive partnership to work jointly on select big-cap-client assignments.

25madison is a venture firm whose chairman, Michael Lynton, holds the same title at social-media company Snap Inc.

Private-equity giant Apollo Global Management Inc.

is an investor.

Write to Dana Cimilluca at [email protected]

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