Stifel agrees deal to acquire Eaton Partners

Stifel Financial has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Eaton Partners, one of the largest independent, partner-owned global fund placement and advisory firms.

Eaton’s extensive relationships with private equity firms, hedge funds, high net worth family offices, and institutional investors is a growth opportunity for Stifel to leverage both its investment banking platform and its high net worth private client business, which will include the previously announced Barclays Wealth Americas business upon closing in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Eaton has over 60 employees across six offices and relationships with over 4,000 of the largest active institutional investors. Since Eaton’s inception in 1983, they have raised over $68bn for 90 highly differentiated funds, of which $25bn was raised in the past five years. Eaton anticipates that advisory revenues will be approximately $60m in 2015. Eaton will retain its brand name and will be run as a Stifel company upon closing, which is expected in early January 2016, subject to customary closing conditions. Stifel expects that the transaction will be immediately accretive to earnings.

Charlie Eaton and his team are placement experts with a large investor base and a track record of success,” said Ronald J. Kruszewski, Chairman and CEO of Stifel. “As partners, we look forward to expanding our core advisory business and leveraging direct placements with our high net worth platform. This partnership fits very well with our overall growth strategy for the company.”

Victor Nesi, Co-President of Stifel, added, “This strategic transaction brings together both companies’ middle-market clients looking to raise public or private capital. This combination also presents an opportunity to grow our core advisory business at a time when private companies are raising multiple rounds of private capital prior to an IPO or merger.”

“In Stifel, we have found a partner that will provide us and our clients the resources to elevate our advisory and placement platform, and enhance our ability to compete and succeed at the highest level of the global placement business. We are very excited about the future opportunities this partnership will provide to our clients,” stated Charlie Eaton, Founding Partner of Eaton Partners.

Stifel’s lead advisor was its own wholly-owned subsidiary, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, and was represented for legal counsel by Dechert LLP. Eaton was advised by Freeman & Co. Securities, and was represented for legal counsel by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

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