By Lindsay Riddell
San Francisco Business Times
January 27, 2012, Palo Alto, CA:
Palo Alto-based mid-market investment bank Woodside Capital Partners has added nine employees since the beginning of the year, doubling the size of its software and Internet team and, for the first time, adding a five-person technology research team to its staff.
The firm, which advises companies in transactions generally $100 million and smaller, said record cash amassed by large corporate acquirers and a pool of talent defecting from larger banks has prompted its expansion.
Woodside now has 25 employees, expects to hire at least five more in coming months and is considering opening an office in Japan this year in addition to expanding its London office.
Since the beginning of the year, Woodside acquired M&A advisers Tricia Salinero, Ron Heller, and Kirk Bloede along with transaction analyst Shad Mohammadi, from Newforth Partners, also from Silicon Valley. And Woodside also added analysts Sam Skinner, Edgar Bierdeman, Marshall Senk, Ryan Koontz and Sean Blakley, a team that built a technology research practice at Inflection Point Research starting in 2004.
“The large Wall Street banks have been laying people off in droves, and we’re able to cherry pick some of the best,” said Rudy Burger, managing partner at Woodside Capital Partners. Woodside focuses on three broad sectors: electronics, software and Internet and life sciences, which includes medical devices.
In the latest venture capital data on 2011 released by Dow Jones and Ernst & Young, information technology — which includes software and Internet services — was the largest investment sector in the Bay Area in 2011, raising $3.6 billion.
That represents a 5 percent increase in money raised by IT companies compared with 2010. In 2011, the software sub-sector jumped 20 percent while the medical device sector was up 33 percent, accounting for more than half of the dollars invested in the health care sector. Jeff Grabow, West venture capital leader for Ernst & Young, which tracks venture capital data, said given the data, it makes sense that bankers would expand in those areas.
“These companies are getting venture backed and are going to need a liquidity mechanism and they’re going to need bankers for that,” said Grabow.
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