One of Deutsche Bank’s most senior technology investment bankers in the U.S. has left the bank and kicked off his own advisory boutique targeting start-ups.
Andrew Kass, who was a managing director in Deutsche’s internet investment banking team based in San Francisco and New York, left the bank in December. He’s just launched a boutique advisory firm called Blackwatch Advisors.
Kass led the internet coverage team at Deutsche Bank in the U.S., focusing on internet, software and fintech start-up firms. In a shake-up of the bank’s internet banking team in October last year, Kass was seemingly overlooked for promotion.
Instead, Deutsche hired in Brian Pitz, a former managing director in research at Jefferies, to become co-head of internet investment banking alongside Riaz Ladhabhoy, a long-time technology banker at Deutsche Bank. Pitz joined Deutsche in January.
There’s been a lot of churn in Deutsche Bank’s TMT investment banking team over the past year. Chris Colpitts, co-head of TMT investment banking at the bank left to join private equity firm CVC Capital Partners in March. Mark Keene, who is based in San Francisco, was promoted to replace him alongside London-based Gavin Deane. Meanwhile, senior technology banker Xanyar Kamangar left in October 2015 to start Iran’s first private equity firm.
Kass has instead taken the increasingly popular route among senior investment bankers of going it alone. He is the co-founder, managing director and CEO of Blackwatch Advisors, which is targeting start-up and growth companies in the technology sector.
Kass worked at Deutsche Bank for nearly 13 years, having joined from Credit Suisse in February 2004 where he was a vice president in San Francisco.
Advisory boutiques have been winning more business off large investment banks, but these are more established firms like Robey Warshaw or Hannam & Partners. More recently, however, investment bankers have decided to go it alone.
Peter Bell, the former head of UK M&A at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, started his own corporate finance boutique Cardean Bell In November, while Peter Bacchus, the joint head of investment banking and global head of metals and mining at Jefferies is launching Bacchus Capital Advisors.
In the U.S., Brian Webber, a partner and managing director at Moelis & Co, launched his own private equity company American Discovery Capital in September and Gregg Hall, the former head of Blackstone Group’s hedge fund seeding business launched his own strategic advisory firm, Switchback Strategies Group, in December.
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