Byron Trott’s BDT Capital Partners is expanding to Europe. BDT, which has done several deals with billionaire Warren Buffett, is planning to open up a London office to bring in more uber-wealthy clients.
According to a knowledgeable sources who spoke to Reuters, Chicago-headquartered BDT, founded sic years ago by Goldman Sachs investment banking vice chairman Byron Trott, manages over $8 billion, and also advises billionaires and their businesses on M&A, corporate governance and succession planning.
The firm will soon submit a request to the UK's Financial Conduct Authority for authorization, one source noted, continuing to say that it could take up to six months to formally begin operations in the UK.
Spokespersons for both BDT and the FCA declined to comment for this story.
More on BDT Capital expansion plans and Byron Trott
The sources noted that the new London office is designed to be a strategic hub for Europe. The UK office is just part of BDT's ongoing growth, which includes a new New York office for easy access to Wall Street and the wealth of the Big Apple.
Of note, BDT has worked with wealthy families in the U.S., including the Mars candy heirs and the Walton family.
The main reason for a new office in Europe is to meet billionaires who want to do more than simply give their cash to family offices or fund managers, and to advise them on possible M&A and other investments, one source explained.
Trott arguably got his first big break through his friendship with billionaire Warren Buffett, who he persuaded to invest $5 billion in Goldman Sachs during the financial crisis. Byron Trott also brought Buffett into Mars Inc's $23 billion acquisition of gum maker Wm. Wrigley Jr. & Co in 2008, where Berkshire Hathaway invested about $6.5 billion.
The total number of billionaires in Europe overtook North America in 2014, with around a third of the world's richest people now living in Europe, according to The Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census.
Of interest, BDT & Company International was launched in Britain on August 10th of this year, based on a filing in Companies House.
BDT has already been involved in several major transactions in Europe. Working with Morgan Stanley, BDT advised Exor SpA, the family firm of Italy's Agnelli family, on its $6.9 billion purchase of reinsurer PartnerRe.
Following the PartnerRe deal late this summer, Trott brought in Morgan Stanley co-head of mergers and acquisitions for the Americas, James Head, who resigned from the investment bank in October.
The Reuters sources note that Head will work directly with Trott in NYC to help build BDT's brand further among Wall Street clients.