PJT Partners Taps Boutique deNovo to Chase Mideast Deals

PJT Partners Inc. signed an accord with a Dubai-based boutique as the U.S. investment bank seeks to win a slice of Middle East deal-making and restructuring work.

The advisory firm, founded by Paul J. Taubman, will work with deNovo Corporate Advisors on cross-border transactions for the region’s biggest companies, sovereign wealth funds and family offices, according to deNovo executive chairperson May Nasrallah.

PJT and deNovo will also advise global firms looking to invest in the Middle East and North Africa region. The companies are currently exploring between six and 12 potential deals, she said.

Middle Eastern deal-making has seen a surge in activity in recent weeks despite the impact of lower oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic on regional economies. Restructuring work is also likely to increase as many firms and state-owned entities face debt repayments they may struggle with.

The agreement will help deNovo compete more effectively with the likes of Rothschild & Co. and Moelis & Co., which both have been active in the Middle East, said Nasrallah, who set up deNovo in 2010.

It will also reunite many former Morgan Stanley bankers. DeNovo’s partners, including Nasrallah, worked at the U.S. bank, while PJT Chief Executive Officer Taubman spent 30 years at the banking giant before founding the advisory firm.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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