Evercore Inc. has hired veteran investment banker Neil Shah as a Senior Managing Director to launch and lead its permanent capital business, which will include a push into special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.
Mr. Shah, who will be part of Evercore’s advisory practice, has worked closely with financial sponsors for over two decades, most recently as a Managing Director at Citigroup. At Citi, Mr. Shah founded and ran its Alternative Capital Markets business globally and also oversaw its Private Capital Markets business. He previously was head of equity capital markets at KKR & Co. Inc.
The appointment of Mr. Shah comes amid a record rate in SPAC fundraising and M&A in the last several months. SPACs have two key functions: First to raise money through an IPO and then to marry the funds raised with an acquisition target. Those functions are often divided between separate groups at other investment banks but Evercore will have the ability to focus on both under the leadership of Mr. Shah.
Evercore also has a more robust research team than other investment banks of its size thanks to the acquisition of ISI Group five years ago. It’s often difficult to find quality research coverage on newly-listed SPAC companies and Evercore may find its team of equity research analysts to be an asset. In 2018, Evercore ISI was recognized as the top independent firm in Institutional Investor’s All-America Equity Research survey for the fifth year in a row.
“Neil has strong, well-established relationships throughout the financial sponsor industry, and he has served as a trusted and strategic advisor to many of the largest sponsors globally,” Ralph Schlosstein, Evercore’s President and CEO, said in a press release Monday. “We are confident he will be a superb addition to our global advisory team.”
Mr. Shah has been a leading banker in the SPAC arena, having completed over 35 SPAC IPOs, over 30 SPAC Mergers and over 15 SPAC PIPE transactions since pioneering the first SPAC by a bulge bracket bank in 2005. Last year, he worked with Churchill Capital Corp to raise $690 million. The SPAC purchased analytics firm Clarivate Analytics PLC, which has soared to $17.10 a share vs. $10.00 a share at IPO.
“Neil is well known for his creativity, objectivity and intellectual rigor that he brings to each client situation. Clients have trusted him with their most complex strategic and financial challenges,” John S. Weinberg, Evercore’s Founder and Senior Chairman, said. “We are thrilled to have a banker of his caliber join Evercore and drive our practice in this new exciting high growth area.”
Mr. Shah began his career in 1995 with the law firm of Blakes in Toronto. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Ottawa.
John Jannarone, Editor-in-Chief