The Hamilton Spectator

Head of Rothschild’s Canadian office exits

- BLOOMBERG

The head of Rothschild & Co.’s Canadian office has left the storied investment bank as it grapples with a prolonged slump in deal making that’s hurt the entire industry.

Alex Graham and two colleagues in Canada have left the Paris-based firm in recent months, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Graham, a veteran technology and telecommun­ications banker, joined the firm less than two years ago from Royal Bank of Canada to expand Rothschild’s coverage beyond its traditiona­l focus on mining and restructur­ing.

Rothschild said at the time it wanted to “strengthen our Canadian presence and provide experience­d leadership to our team” amid a broader North American push.

Rothschild — which, like most of its rivals, focuses on mergers and acquisitio­ns — is grappling with a global slowdown in M&A that caused a steep decline in first-half profit last year. The firm’s largest shareholde­r — Concordia, a holding company for the Rothschild family — took the investment bank private last year.

No one has been appointed to formally replace Graham as head of Canada — a role that was created for him — and the Canada team has returned to reporting to Hugo Dryland, who is based in the U.S. and serves as head of metals and mining, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly.

The firm still has a double-digit number of bankers based in Canada, the person added.

Rothschild advised on just 10 transactio­ns in Canada worth a total of $4.88 billion last year, according to league-table data compiled by Bloomberg. The deal value was down more than 40 per cent from 2022, when the firm advised on 25 deals in the country.

The Rothschild firm was founded by Mayer Amschel, who started out buying and selling old coins in a Frankfurt ghetto. In the early 1800s, he sent his sons to establish bases of Rothschild in London, Paris, Naples, Vienna and Frankfurt.

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