Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quattrone is back

" Frank Quattrone, a leading adviser on initial public offerings during the Internet boom and a target of investigators after it collapsed, is starting his own firm focused on technology companies.
The former Credit Suisse banker, who was cleared of obstruction of justice charges in August, said in an e-mail statement today that his Qatalyst Group will advise on mergers and acquisitions and make investments alongside venture-capital and private-equity funds.
Quattrone will be joined by Jonathan Turner, former global head of Credit Suisse's Internet group; Neil Chalasani, vice president in the technology group at M&A advisory firm Evercore Partners Inc.; and Adrian Dollard, former general counsel to Credit Suisse's technology group who served as witness for Quattrone in his trial.
The firm plans to advise technology companies on financing and capital structure and raise private capital for selective clients, the release said. The firm won't do research, sales, trading or brokerage.
Qatalyst has applied to register as a broker-dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and for membership in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the self-regulatory body known as Finra. Until the applications are approved, the team will operate as a division of JMP Group Inc., a San Francisco- based investment bank.
IPO Adviser
Quattrone, head of Credit Suisse First Boston's technology banking group from 1998 to 2003, has said he helped 175 companies with IPOs, including Amazon.com Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. He earned more than $200 million from August 1998 to the end of 2001.
The government case against him grew out of a probe of whether banks rigged initial public offerings by demanding kickbacks for access to shares in demand. The IPO investigation was one of several federal civil and criminal probes of corporate malfeasance following the 2001 collapse of Enron Corp.
Quattrone was accused in April 2003 of hindering the government's investigation of Zurich-based Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-largest bank, by endorsing a subordinate's e-mail that advised employees to ``clean up'' their files.
Quattrone won his exoneration after two trials. The first ended in a hung jury in 2003. The second resulted in a conviction for obstruction of justice and witness tampering in 2004. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison before an appeals court last year reversed the conviction.
Prosecutors decided not to re-try him and dropped the case last August. The banker didn't pay a fine, serve time in prison or agree to restrictions on his work. He admitted no wrongdoing.
Quattrone started working at Morgan Stanley in 1979 and became its head of technology investment banking in 1990. After 17 years with the firm, he moved to Deutsche Bank AG in 1996. He joined Credit Suisse in July 1998. Two weeks later, more than 130 Deutsche Bank investment bankers, analysts and other staff followed him there. "

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