Ex-Jefferies M&A boss joins China-focused boutique

Andy Bell told FN his role as chairman of DG Capital International would allow him to bring his decades of experience of international M&A to the year-old advisory arm of DealGlobe.

DG Capital has offices in London and China. It aims to advise Chinese acquirers and foreign sellers looking to attract a Chinese buyer.

Bell said: “The thinking is that there is a real opportunity to grow a business which isn’t focused on other areas but is capitalising on the opportunity in outbound Chinese M&A.”

Bell started his investment banking career at Morgan Stanley, where he worked for 14 years from 1990 before moving to HSBC, where he became global head of M&A. He joined Jefferies in 2012 and left in September 2015.

He expects to add more advisory expertise to DG Capital’s London bench, where about a third of the firm’s 60-strong global workforce sits.

At $ 203.7 billion as of November 4, the value of Chinese outbound M&A in 2016 is already $ 100 billion ahead of 2015 as a whole, which had been the highest full-year value recorded by data firm Dealogic.

DealGlobe has yet to make it into the upper echelons of the advisory rankings for these deals.

So far in 2016 it ranks 60th on Dealogic’s league table of advisers on Chinese outbound deals. This is thanks to its work advising China Everbright Group and Beijing Baofeng Technologies on their acquisition of MP & Silva, a British sports media rights company.

Bell said: “We are focused not so much on the very large state-owned enterprises. We’re focused more on the small to medium sized, multibillion-dollar market cap companies, which frequently have a history of being started by an entrepreneur, have now been floated in China and are looking now to expand overseas.”

While Chinese dealmaking overseas has traditionally been in the energy and resources sectors, Bell said he expects activity in other sectors to pick up, including industrials, TMT, consumer and retail.

Bell added: “When you think about the size of the Chinese economy, when you think about the speed at which that economy is growing, there’s an enormous amount of growth potential.”

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