December 5, 2018 / 4:18 PM / a year ago

Evercore hires internet banker from Citi: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boutique investment bank Evercore Inc (EVR.N) has hired San Francisco-based Zaheed Kajani from Citigroup (C.N) as a senior managing director focused on covering the internet and digital media sector, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Kajani resigned from Citi this week and will start at Evercore in mid-January at the firm’s Menlo Park office, the sources said, asking not to be named because the hiring had not yet been announced.

Citi, Evercore and Kajani declined to comment.

Kajani, a managing director, joined Citi in 2009 from UBS and has advised on more than 100 transactions including mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, pre-IPO capital raising and debt deals, according to his LinkedIn profile. Earlier in his career he worked at Lehman Brothers and Cowen International, his profile showed.

At Citi, Kajani was the global head of internet and digital media and worked on the IPOs for Zillow Group (ZG.O), Yelp (YELP.N), GrubHub Inc (GRUB.N), Trade Desk Inc (TTD.O), Upwork Inc (UPWK.O), Roku Inc (ROKU.O) and Despegar Inc (DESP.N). He also advises Wayfair Inc (W.N) on financing.

He also advised menswear brand Bonobos on its $310 million sale to Walmart Inc (WMT.N) last year.

Boutique investment banks such as Evercore, Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N), Centerview Partners and PJT Partners (PJT.N), have been poaching top talent from bulge bracket banks for the last decade as they aim to grab market share on transactions.

In September technology-focused investment bank Qatalyst Partners said it had hired Ethan Zweig, a JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) managing director, to join its San Francisco-based banking team as a partner.

A downturn in dealmaking, however, could test the hiring sprees of many boutique investment banks. Unlike their bulge bracket competitors that have diverse business lines ranging from capital markets to wealth management, boutique investment banks rely heavily on M&A fees, making them more vulnerable to any slowdown in deals.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Susan Thomas

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