Categories: General

Australian Financial Review: Max Billingham joins Blackpeak Capital as chair

There is a new independent advisory firm in the market.

As upstarts Highbury Partnership and Reunion Capital Partners steal work off the more established players, former Credit Suisse bankers Max Billingham and Scott Colvin are seeking to replicate their success with Blackpeak Capital.

Colvin, who was most recently head of metals and mining investment banking at Credit Suisse in Asia, started Blackpeak in late 2014 and quickly picked up capital-hungry software developer and ASX-aspirant WiseTech Global as a client.

Billingham joined Colvin at Blackpeak as executive chairman on November 1. The long-time Credit Suisse banker spent nearly 20-years at the Swiss bank advising blue-chips including Woodside Petroleum, Fortescue Metals Group, GrainCorp and BlueScope. He also clearly has his fans in the market.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Max – I would say he’s the best investment banker I have worked with internationally. In the case of Aurora’s takeover last year, the board and management really trusted his advice and management – he was very objective,” Australis chairman Jon Stewart told Street Talk. [Stewart founded and chaired Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd, which was sold to Baytex for $2.6 billion in June 2014. Billingham advised Stewart’s Aurora on the deal.]

Blackpeak is expected to retain a close working relationship with Credit Suisse – which has started with WiseTech. Credit Suisse is one of two banks helping the software company on its strategy, funding options and likely listing plans, including a pre-initial public offering raising.

“Blackpeak is a cornerstone of our M&A strategy – it’s a great team and they have worked with us extensively on our acquisitions,” WiseTech founder and chief executive Richard White said. Blackpeak’s pitch is about sticking with clients for the long-term on all aspects of their strategy. They’re also ambitious. They want to be one of the leading independent advisers in the country, mixing it with Luminis Partners, Greenhill, Rothschild and Lazard.

Blackpeak also recently hired former Merrill Lynch and WilsonHTM equity capital markets banker Jamie Taylor to boost its ECM credentials.