Female Rainmakers Nason, Cook Play Key Role in Verizon Deal
By Leslie Picker, Will Robinson & Aaron Kirchfeld - 2013-09-04T12:51:57Z
Two rainmakers who helped seal the largest acquisition in more than a decade were women: Karen Cook, a 14-year veteran of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment bank in Europe, and Jennifer Nason, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)’s top adviser to technology companies.
Cook, 60, a London-based president for Goldman Sachs’s European business, led the investment bank’s team on the deal. Goldman Sachs and UBS AG advised Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) on the $130 billion sale of its 45 percent stake in its wireless joint venture with Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) JPMorgan is arranging $61 billion in financing for Verizon with Morgan Stanley, Barclays Plc (BARC) and Bank of America Corp.
“It’s very unusual in mergers that are this large a size to find senior bankers who are women,” said Jill Greenthal, an M&A veteran and senior adviser to Blackstone Group LP who worked with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) on its aborted $44.6 billion takeover of Yahoo! Inc. in 2008. “Anytime you see a woman succeed in this sphere, it’s a strong sign to women who are wondering if the door’s open or closed to them.”
Less than one-third of executive and senior officials in finance and insurance are women, even as they account for 59 percent of employees in those fields, data collected by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission show.
Alongside Goldman Sachs’s Cook, Vodafone’s advisers included UBS’s Simon Warshaw, Jonathan Rowley and Christian Lesueur, while Verizon was advised by Paul Taubman, a Morgan Stanley veteran who is now working independently, and Guggenheim Partners LLC’s Andrew Decker, Alan Schwartz and Jim Ferency.
JPMorgan’s Nason, 53, the firm’s Australian-born chairman of global technology, media and telecom banking in New York, also had a role advising Nokia on Microsoft Corp.’s proposed $7.2 billion purchase of the Finnish company’s handset unit, announced Sept. 2. Other members of JPMorgan’s team on the Verizon deal included Andy O’Brien and Chris Ventresca.
Nason was among the advisers on Facebook Inc.’s $16 billion initial public offering last year. Goldman Sachs’s Cook advised Vodafone on the $10 billion acquisition of Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, announced in June, and Cadbury Ltd. during its $21 billion hostile takeover by Kraft Foods Inc., which closed in 2010.
“It’s important to see that women on Wall Street are doing major deals and getting significant press,” said Jeanne Branthover, head of the global financial services practice at Boyden Global Executive Search. “But people cannot forget how few of these women there are.”
Following is a list of some of the bankers and lawyers who advised the two companies.
Seller: Vodafone Group Plc Investment Bankers __________________ UBS AG: Simon Warshaw Jonathan Rowley Christian Lesueur Goldman Sachs Group Inc.: Karen Cook Legal Advisers ______________ Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP: William Curbow Eric Swedenburg Steve Todrys Patrick Ryan John Lobrano Peter Thomas Greg Grogan Slaughter & May: Nigel Boardman Roland Turnill Craig Cleaver Buyer: Verizon Communications Inc. Investment Bankers __________________ Paul Taubman, independent adviser Guggenheim Partners LLC: Andrew Decker Alan Schwartz Jim Ferency JPMorgan Chase & Co.: Jennifer Nason Andy O’Brien Chris Ventresca Morgan Stanley: Rob Kindler Rob Friedsam Ari Terry Dan Simkowitz Anish Shah Barclays Plc: Jack Callaway Claire O’Connor Joe Valenti Bank of America Corp.: Adrian Mee Fares Noujaim Chris Cormier Legal Advisers ______________ Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz: Daniel Neff Steven Rosenblum Eric Rosof Jodi Schwartz Eiko Stange Macfarlanes LLP: Charles Martin Graham Gibb Debevoise & Plimpton LLP: Jeffrey J. Rosen Steven J. Slutzky Michael A. Diz Peter A. Furci
To contact the reporters on this story: Leslie Picker in New York at email@example.com; Will Robinson in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org; Aaron Kirchfeld in London at email@example.com