LONDON Former Morgan Stanley dealmaker Scott Matlock is to join ex-colleague Paul Taubman's new advisory boutique, sources familiar with the move said.
Matlock's move to team up with Taubman, who has worked on some of the biggest recent U.S. telecoms deals, was finalised this week, said one of the sources, who asked not to be named.
Taubman, who left Morgan Stanley in 2012, has already recruited two senior bankers - Robert Friedsam and James Murray - from his former employer. Matlock is joining to cover European clients, the sources said. The new firm will focus on deal-making in telecoms, media and technology (TMT).
Breaking free from the big "bulge bracket" banks has become a popular move among seasoned investment bankers, keen to focus on key clients or sectors in which they have expertise.
Simon Robey and Simon Robertson, also former Morgan Stanley dealmakers, joined forces last year to form a boutique before subsequently splitting. Robey has since been joined by Simon Warshaw, who formerly worked at UBS.
Taubman was behind some of the biggest TMT deals over the past few years, advising Verizon Communications Inc on its $130 billion takeover of its wireless joint venture with the UK's Vodafone Group Plc and Comcast Corp's agreed $42 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable.
Matlock announced his departure from Morgan Stanley, where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions in Europe and Asia, earlier this year.
The appointment of the 48-year-old American comes as M&A activity is heating up, particularly in the TMT sector.
Telecom operators are seeking to restore profit margins through mergers, while mobile and cable operators are joining forces to address customers' appetite for content. And leading tech companies are fighting over the hottest apps and digital devices.
British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc, one of Matlock's long-term clients, is in talks to acquire Sky Italia and a controlling stake in Sky Deutschland from Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.
Matlock is also a close adviser to U.S. billionaire John Mallone's Liberty Global, which has proposed to take over Dutch cable group Ziggo NV.
Liberty Global has been touted as a possible target for Vodafone, which started building up a cable business over the past few years by taking over Germany's KDG and Spain's ONO.
(Editing by David Holmes and Tom Pfeiffer)