Bankers at this small three year-old firm are crushing their giant former boss

Aryeh BourkoffREUTERS/Brendan McDermidAryeh Bourkoff, in a photograph taken when he was still employed at UBS.

Today a pair of ex-bankers who once worked at UBS are enjoying the spoils of beating their former employer for a big deal. In fact, they beat their former employer for two deals.

Liontree Advisors is the boutique bank established less than three years ago by Ehren Stenzler and Aryeh Bourkoff, each UBS veterans.

The boutique has nabbed its share of more than a half-billion dollars’ worth of deal fees thanks to Charter Communications’ ongoing M&A spree.

This is because Liontree advised Charter on two deals: the $US55 billion buy of Time Warner Cable and Charter’s previously-announced deal to buy Bright House, another cable provider. That deal was worth more than $US10 billion.

The transactions could wind up dealing out more than $US500 million in deal fees, assuming standard Wall Street payouts.

Liontree wasn’t the only boutique involved with the Charter-Time Warner Cable deal. But it is the boutique that reaped the most fees.

It’s the latest sign of the biggest banks on Wall St. facing intensifying competition from boutique banks. Centerview Partners advised Time Warner Cable, along with Allen & Co. Guggenheim Securities advised Charter — but only for the Time Warner Cable buy, not for Bright House.

Blair Effron’s Centerview has been on a roll in 2015, taking market share from some of Wall Street’s biggest banks.

Despite seeing boutiques chip into their top line, big banks did get in on the largest cable deal in US history. Goldman Sachs advised Charter on both its buys, just like Liontree. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup were the big banks that advised Time Warner Cable and Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch were advisers to Charter for its Time Warner Cable buy.

Then, there is UBS. The Swiss bank’s only involvement in the deal came thanks to it advising Advance Publications and Bright House. But, at least UBS was the only bank working on the Bright House side of the deal. This means UBS won’t have to share fees with competitors.

Liontree did not respond to a request for comment.

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