Ex-U.K. Chancellor Osborne to Join M&A Advisory Firm Robey Warshaw

Former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is joining U.K. takeover advisory boutique Robey Warshaw LLP, a surprise move for the politician-turned-media and financial executive.

He will join the London-based firm in early April as a full-time partner, according to an emailed statement on Monday. Osborne is set to step down from his current role as editor-in-chief at London’s Evening Standard newspaper as well as a senior adviser to money manager BlackRock Inc. in March.

Ex-U.K. Chancellor Osborne to Join M&A Advisory Firm Robey Warshaw

The hiring of the former politician marks the first addition of a new partner since the boutique was founded by ex-Wall Street bankers Simon Robey, Simon Warshaw and Philip Apostolides. Despite its small size of 15 staff members, Robey Warshaw has advised on some of the biggest deals since its founding in 2013.

Those include BG Group Plc’s sale to Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Comcast Corp.’s bid for U.K. broadcaster Sky Plc and London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s $27 billion Refinitiv deal.

Still, competition among boutique advisers remains fierce and the firm had some noticeable misses recently. Robey Warshaw was absent from AstraZeneca Plc’s $39 billion takeover of Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. last year, despite advising the U.K. drug company on its successful defense against Pfizer Inc. in 2014.

Profit available for discretionary division among Robey, Warshaw and Apostolides was 17.9 million pounds ($24.5 million) for the year through March 2020, according to the firm’s latest accounts filed in January, highlighting the lucrative nature of such specialist advisory work.

“We remain hugely ambitious about our company’s future and believe that George will help expand our reach, and what we can offer our clients without changing the philosophy or ethos of our firm,” Robey Warshaw said in the statement.

Osborne was chancellor from 2010 until Theresa May fired him in 2016 when she became prime minister after the Brexit referendum. He used his editorship of the free Evening Standard to criticize her leadership and Brexit plan, and the appointment prompted consternation among the U.K. political establishment.

He thanked the paper’s proprietor Evgeny Lebedev for giving him “the chance to edit one of the great newspapers at such a dramatic, news-packed time in our country’s history,” in an emailed statement. “I know the Standard has a strong future ahead of it,” Osborne said.

The Financial Times reported the hiring earlier on Monday.

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