Friday, May 26, 2006

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods planning to go public

The WSJ first reported yesterday that financial services focused, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods would be yet another middle market, boutique investment bank to go public. Already several other middle market firms have filed to go public, including, most recently Evercore Partners, Ryan Beck, and SG Cowen. JMP Securities is rumored to want to float shares as well. These middle market boutiques would join the ranks of Jefferies, Piper, Thomas Weisel, Greenhill, and Lazard as the pure-play middle-market/boutique investment banks (Lazard and Greenhill are boutiques but anything but middle-market focused).

You can see Keefe, Bruyette & Woods' (often called "KBW") press release regarding the IPO right here.

Here is the WSJ article.

An IPO for KBW would mark a remarkable turnaround for the NYC firm which was decimated by the 9/11 attacks. Investment banking, more than any other business, is a relationship business, especially for boutiques that don't have the capital to throw around to make up for the lack of relationships with company executives. So when the 9/11 attacks resulted in the deaths of 67 of the Company's employees, it seemed like the boutique firm's days would be numbered. But now KBW is hitting on all cylinders and an IPO is a sign that it has green pastures ahead.

The question of course that few seem to be asking is, what will Sandler do now?


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