Australia’s top ECM bankers jump ship to New Zealand’s finest

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How has Jarden managed to snare such revered figures in the Australian industry?

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The last month has brought the departure of two of the most senior equity capital market (ECM) bankers in Australia.

Robbie Vanderzeil, who has raised billions of dollars of ECM capital for clients at UBS, and Sarah Rennie, head of ECM at Goldman Sachs and probably the most senior woman in Australian investment banking, have both quit to work together.

So where are they going? An American bulge bracket? Private equity? Their own shop?

The answer, believe it or not, is the New Zealand advisory firm Jarden.

If you’ve never heard of Jarden, let us help you out. It was created by Ron Jarden in 1961 and bills itself as New Zealand’s leading investment and advisory group, with a strategic alliance with Credit Suisse.

It’s a success in its home market, no doubt, but how has it managed to snare two of the most revered figures in the Australian industry? And they’re not stopping there: UBS alumni John Spencer and Dane Fitzgibbon are also joining the team.

Much will depend on whether the big hitters can bring former UBS and Goldman clients with them to a place with no real brand name outside New Zealand.

Whether it works or not, you have to say, it’s a truly audacious move.