May 22, 2008 (Mountain View, CA) – Mark Stevens, a partner in the Corporate Group at Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in a BusinessWeek article entitled, "Boutique Banks Find a Niche in Tech: Small Investment Banks Including Allen & Co., Moelis & Co., and Qatalyst Group are Joining Big Houses to Advise on High-Profile Deals."
A new breed of boutique investment bank is making its mark on the tech industry. Unlike the niche securities firms of the nineties that focused on research, stock sales, and IPOs, this crop concentrates more narrowly on matchmaking but is no less adept at getting in on some of tech's most lucrative deals. Increasingly, small banks that specialize in mergers and acquisitions and landing investments for privately-held clients are partnering with high-profile houses in helping to stitch together deals. Boutique banks are a welcome presence to investors and entrepreneurs that say they fill an important niche in personalized investment banking that's been absent from Silicon Valley since the dot-com crash.
One of the fastest-rising specialists, Allen & Co, traditionally known for its media expertise, is making a name for itself connecting Silicon Valley Web companies with East Coast sources of capital. Allen has also begun brokering high-profile tech-industry financings, helping widget software company Slide secure $50 million in Jan from Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price, and helping the social networking Web site Ning raise $60 million in April. "As a Silicon Valley guy, I used to know them as an old-world banker," says Mark Stevens, a partner at tech-focused law firm Fenwick & West, who's dealt with Allen through one of his clients. "Now I know them as an old-world banker who's brought a lot of their contacts over to the new media world."
Established in the heart of Silicon Valley in 1972, Fenwick & West provides comprehensive legal services to technology and life sciences clients of national and international prominence. More than 250 attorneys work with clients that range from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies.