September 28, 2017 / 5:14 PM / a year ago

Aramco bank Evercore posts small profit rise at European arm

LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Evercore Partners International, the European arm of the U.S. boutique advisory firm, posted a 1.3 percent increase in operating profit last year from the year before, according to accounts filed with Britain's Companies House.

Boutique firms, founded by senior dealmakers from large investment banks fleeing bureaucracy and shrinking paychecks, have grown in stature in recent years, with companies valuing their niche expertise and independent advice as opposed to mega-banks that tend to cross-sell other services such as financing.

Such boutique firms now get nearly half of all fees on merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in Europe, winning market share and top dealmakers from global investment banks, Reuters data has shown.

Evercore, founded in 1995, earlier this year secured an equity advisory role with oil giant Saudi Aramco for what is expected to be the world's largest ever initial public offering. It ranks No. 8 among top advisory firms so far this year, Thomson Reuters Eikon data shows.

Operating profit at Evercore Partners International rose to 59.3 million pounds ($79.7 million) from 58.5 million in 2015, while total revenues climbed 12 percent to 133.9 million pounds, the filing showed.

Revenues from UK business fell by 4.1 percent to 73.4 million, but almost doubled to 38 million from 20 million in the rest of Europe.

"A 12 percent growth in turnover... (is) a reflection of the increase in number of senior managing directors within the business, allied to an increase in the number of sectors covered," chief financial officer Bruce Weir said in a report signed in April, according to the filing.

Profit available for division among its 53 members fell 6 percent to 37 million pounds. The highest paid member pocketed 4 million pounds, compared with 2.9 million in 2015, when the firm employed 51 members.

The company was not immediately available to comment.

Zaoui & Co, the London M&A advisory firm set up by investment bankers Michael and Yoel Zaoui, reported a loss in Britain of 1.27 million pounds in 2016, its filings to Companies House showed.

The Moroccan-born French brothers previously worked at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

($1 = 0.7443 pounds)

Reporting by Clara Denina; Editing Mark Potter

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