Credit Suisse's Grigg latest star to follow boutique dreams


Grigg, who joined Credit Suisse in June 2007 after a decade at Goldman Sachs, has been vice-chairman of Credit Suisse’s investment banking department for Europe, the Middle East and Africa since May 2013. Before that he spent six years leading the UK investment banking effort.

As such, his departure, which was first reported by Sky, marks the exit of one of Credit Suisse’s most senior bankers. He is leaving to launch an M&A firm called ESG Corporate Finance, he confirmed to FN.

“Major investment banks are exceptionally important to capital markets, but independent advice is also important,” Grigg said.

In deciding to go it alone he takes a route travelled by many seasoned peers including another media dealmaking star, Simon Warshaw.

Simon Robey and Warshaw’s eponymous M&A boutique has enjoyed a front-row advisory seat on some of Europe’s biggest mergers and takeovers in recent years, showing the lucrative path that can be forged by those with a strong pedigree and deep client connections.

Grigg, whose full name is Hon Edward Sebastian Grigg – the initials of his new firm, which was set up at Companies House on September 26 – was a member of Oxford University’s Bullingdon Club with David Cameron and a became a member of Cameron’s inner circle. A friend of Boris Johnson, he was educated at Eton and stood, unsuccessfully, as a parliamentary candidate in Heywood and Middleton in the 1997 general election.

At that point, he was also an associate at Goldman, before becoming a vice president at the bank later in 1997 after the election. He would go on to become a senior banker who was described by The Times’s Martin Waller in 2007 as an “impossibly well-connected” investment banker.

Grigg progressed to become a partner in Goldman’s media investment banking group, where a client list included BSkyB, News Corp, Pearson and Reuters, before switching to Credit Suisse to lead UK investment banking. He held on a solo basis – though briefly shared it with former UK M&A head Stuart Upcraft – before taking on the vice-chairman role.

Grigg arrived at the Swiss bank was just before the financial crisis and he was among the senior names at Credit Suisse called upon to advise the UK Government on stabilising the market in the wake of its £500 billion bailout package for UK banks in 2008.

In 2010, he was suggested by bankers and headhunters as an attractive potential candidate for Takeover Panel director general, when the top job became vacant after Lazard’s Peter Kiernan withdrew his candidacy.

Other senior investment bankers to have carved out lucrative next chapters in their careers at a boutique after leaving a big bank include New York-based Paul Taubman, who set up PJT Partners in 2014, and former Goldman and Morgan Stanley rainmakers Michael and Yoel Zaoui.

A spokeswoman for Credit Suisse declined to comment on Grigg’s move.

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