A small investment bank you’ve probably never heard of is killing it in dealmaking

Alantra US office

A small investment bank you’ve probably never heard of is killing it in dealmaking.

Alantra was formed in April 2016 when N+1, a Spanish-based outfit, acquired the Boston-based CW Downer in order to expand into the United States and Asia. In the first quarter of 2017, the firm’s American investment banking division ranked number two for merger and acquisition advisory volume among boutique firms in the US.

It worked on seven deals valued at a combined $US31 billion, putting it ahead of top firms such as Centerview Partners and Moelis & Co. According to Paul Colone, one of the firm’s American-based partners, the firm’s deal revenues in the US for the first quarter of 2017 were up 100%, at $US25 million.

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Colone told Business Insider that the company’s global presence is critical to its success. It has local teams in 19 countries, including big markets like the US, the UK and China, and small markets like Greece, Ireland and Benelux.

“Unlike other middle market investment banks that claim a global presence, we are truly global,” Colone said.”We don’t just have an outpost in London through which we serve all or Europe or an outpost in Hong Kong through which we serve Asia.”

Colone told Business Insider that clients are attracted to the firm for this very reason.

“Middle market clients want you in their geographies, they want you to understand their market deeply, and we do,” he said.

Colone said the firm’s other comparative advantage is in their specificity. He said the investment bank gets granular when it comes to specialisation.

“Our clients appreciate our deep knowledge of their products and markets and sub-sector specialisation will continue to be a key component of our expansion,” he said.

For instance, in industrials the firm has one subsection that focuses on industrial lazers. The strategy appears to be paying off. It attracted TeraDiode, a lazer maker, to Alantra when the firm was looking for a buyer. Panasonic bought the company last quarter for an undisclosed amount, according to Colone.

Colone told us success in the investment banking business takes a lot of hard work. But Colone, a New York-native, joked it’s not as hard as being a Yankee Fan in Boston.

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