Home Business Britain’s exclusive boutique Simons say farewell as rainmakers announce separation

Britain’s exclusive boutique Simons say farewell as rainmakers announce separation


By Daniel Schäfer

It may have been one Simon too many. Months after three top City rainmakers teamed up to create the most exclusive advisory boutique in London, they have parted ways.

Sir Simon Robertson, Simon Robey and Simon Warshaw – also known as the “three Simons” – have untangled their little firm to form two separate advisory “kiosks”.

“Simon Robey and I have decided that it suits both of our aspirations if we move our business into two separate entities,” Sir Simon, a former Goldman Sachs dealmaker and current HSBC deputy chairman, said yesterday.

The Square Mile’s version of conscious uncoupling has apparently proceeded in the same civilised fashion as the separation of Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay singer Chris Martin. Sir Simon, 73, this week relaunched his old firm Simon Robertson Associates LLP to continue to advise a select range of clients, while Mr Robey and Mr Warshaw joined forces in a new group named Robey Warshaw LLP.

Mr Robey used to be Morgan Stanley’s most senior European dealmaker. Such is the strength of the 53-year-old’s relationships with UK companies, many of his clients are expected to follow him.

Mr Warshaw is also widely regarded for his record as an adviser, having spent 27 years at UBS where he nurtured key corporate relationships.

His relationship with Vodafone paid dividends last month for Robertson Robey Associates when it earned millions in fees for advising Vodafone’s board on its €7.2bn acquisition of Spain’s Ono. Mr Robey and Mr Warshaw go back decades and they have repeatedly tried to poach each other. Both left their banks in the past 18 months as part of an exodus of senior people from big investment banks to boutiques. They now plan to focus on advising some of the UK’s biggest companies.

The trio may have split but will remain near each other. The younger two will keep a floor in Sir Simon’s office in Mayfair’s St James Place while relocating their main office 40m down the road.

Sir Simon said: “I am very pleased that Simon Robey, Simon Warshaw and I will continue to work together as and when clients desire it.”

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