Phoenix sale leaves founders millionaires

Several more millionaires were created in the City yesterday after Phoenix, a corporate finance boutique, was snapped up by Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), a US investment bank, for an estimated pounds 30m-pounds 50m.

Martin Smith, a founding partner, refused to disclose the price tag but rivals suggested it could net the founding partners up to pounds 7m each.

Around 60 per cent of Phoenix is owned by Mr Smith, Philip Sears, David Reid Scott and Clifford Hampton. Another 10 per cent is owned by its 25-strong team of corporate financiers, venture capitalists and fund managers. And 30 per cent is owned by Bank of Scotland, National Provident International and the wealthy Bamberg family in France.

Phoenix has developed a niche for advising financial sector firms. It was involved in some of the largest deals of 1996, including Refuge's pounds 1.5bn merger with United Friendly, although more recently it has tried to expand into media, a push which is being led by Alison Carnwarth, a corporate financier.

"They are the tarts of the financial sector. They'll talk to anybody about anything," said one rival corporate financier. Another rival put it more politely: "They are extremely nimble at searching out the opportunities."

A large part of the transaction - which is claimed to be the first time a US investment bank has bought a UK merchant bank - involves Phoenix taking an unspecified equity stake in DLJ.

DLJ is also locking in Mr Smith, the three other founders, David Gregson, head of venture capital, and Ms Carnwarth, for four years. Other members of staff are being tied in on two-year deals.

This is not the first time that Phoenix has been sold. It was set up in 1981 and sold to Morgan Grenfell in 1987, but when Deutsche Bank bought Morgan in 1990 it regained independence via a management buyout.

Phoenix is being bought after a record year for mergers and acquisitions in the UK. The booming conditions allowed George Magan to get a good price for Hambro Magan, his corporate finance boutique, which he sold to NatWest last year.

John Chalsty, chairman and chief executive of DLJ, disputed that the US bank was buying at the peak of the market.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Brady Business Analyst - Syseca - (EBIS / EDIS) - London

£500 - £1000 per day: Harrington Starr: Harrington Starr are urgently recruiti...

Systems Accountant

£75000 - £100000 per annum: Cameron Kennedy Recruitment: We urgently require f...

Investment Banking Sales Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive package: Orgtel: Investment Banking Sa...

Web Services Developer

£200 - £450 per day: Harrington Starr: Web Services Developer Web Services, WP...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil