The curious online popularity of M&A adviser Zaoui

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Zaoui: hostile makeover

Times should be powerful for the rainmakers. One of the City’s best-known merger and acquisition advisers seems to be engaged in some search engine cybersquatting to generate enterprise leads.

A Google seek for the boutique financial institution Robey Warshaw delivers as prime outcome an advert for Zaoui & Co, a rival advisory agency run by brothers Michael and Yoel Zaoui. Keyword searches involving LionTree and Qatalyst return the identical advert for Zaoui above the extra probably targets, LionTree Advisors and Qatalyst Partners.

Zaoui’s advert additionally attaches itself to go looking phrases together with “Gordon Dyal” and “Gordon Dyal spouse”, which consult with the previous Goldman Sachs banker’s self-named boutique arrange in 2015. His spouse Jill is chief working and monetary officer.

Since 2009, Google has given advertisers a free rein to bid for practically any key phrase search time period, even once they embody one other firm’s trademarked model. Zaoui didn’t reply to a request to remark.

Berkeley: Sands’ citadel

Housebuilder Berkeley this week recruited to its board Sarah Sands, the previous editor of the London Evening Standard and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. She and chief government Rob Perrins ought to have loads to speak about.

Sands is a gentrification sceptic. Writing in 2015 she complained that “the capital is at risk of dropping its edge” as a result of of rapacious builders, arguing: “It seems that not even individuals who can afford luxurious flats wish to stay in residential ghettos”. In a report from the 2016 mayoral election hustings, Sands wrote: “The topic of overseas buyers in London housing fires up audiences in the identical approach that derisory company tax for multinationals infuriates them. I’ve tried to argue that luxurious housing doesn’t have an effect on the remainder of us however the truth is that it makes London soulless . . . The flats are deposit packing containers.”

None of this chimes with Berkeley. About half the London-focused housebuilder’s gross sales are to buyers, the bulk of that are based mostly abroad. It has gross sales workplaces dotted throughout Asia and the Middle East, supported by an internet of subsidiaries in Jersey, the Isle of Man, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Bahamas. For the six months to October, its common promoting value was £799,000, or about 24 occasions London’s median wage.

Nevertheless, Sands brings some native data to the function. In 2018, she revealed she was transferring to a flat in White City, west London, that was purchased off-plan. The website, “not too long ago carved from a constructing beforehand dedicated to gentle business”, had been populated by owner-occupiers “whose first language is English,” she wrote approvingly.

A west London base means Sands shall be conversant in Berkeley’s £8bn flagship White City regeneration scheme, which covers practically half a sq. mile east of what was previously BBC Television Centre.

Deliveroo: political animal

Among the cliques concerned in Deliveroo’s bomb float, one of the commonest overlaps is with Hanbury Strategy. The well-connected PR agency works “on the intersection of enterprise and politics”, in line with its web site, and is alleged to have been instrumental in securing public backing for the meals supply service from politicians together with Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Hanbury arrange store three months after the 2016 EU referendum to advise on political dangers. Co-founders are Ameet Gill, the pro-Remain former Number 10 director of technique, and Paul Stephenson, the director of communications on Dominic Cummings’ Vote Leave marketing campaign.

Deliveroo introduced in Hanbury in 2017 on the advice of Thea Rogers, its company communications chief and the fiancée of former chancellor George Osborne. It was Hanbury that dealt with the communications when Osborne was named a accomplice at financial institution Robey Warshaw.

Hanbury additionally labored within the background on Comcast’s bid in 2018 for broadcaster Sky, the place Robey Warshaw reportedly put collectively the US cable group’s successful $40bn supply. The PR agency is alleged to be in enlargement mode having final month spun off a City-focused political division, Forefront Advisers, led by former EU civil servant Gergely Polner and ex-Labour occasion strategist James McBride.


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