Three Senior Wall Street Professionals Announce Formation of Centerview Partners

Private Partnership to Focus on Independent Strategic Advice

Jul 12, 2006, 01:00 ET from Centerview Partners

    NEW YORK, July 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Stephen Crawford, formerly
 co-president, Morgan Stanley, Blair Effron, formerly vice chairman, UBS,
 and Robert Pruzan, formerly chief executive officer of Dresdner Kleinwort
 Wasserstein North America, announced today they have formed a new firm
 specializing in independent financial advice and other client-related
     The new firm, named Centerview Partners, will capitalize on the
 experience of its principals and will provide senior-level counsel to both
 domestic and international clients. Centerview Partners, based in New York,
 will serve clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Members of the
 firm have experience in the consumer products, financial services, food and
 beverage, general industrial and retail sectors. Investment banking
 services to be offered will include merger and acquisition advice,
 divestiture strategies, takeover defense, capital allocation and corporate
 finance matters, as well as general strategic, industry and corporate
     Each partner brings to Centerview roughly 20 years of Wall Street
 experience. The three founding principals combined have advised large and
 mid- sized clients, both publicly traded and privately owned, in executing
 over $500 billion in transactions during their careers. They have worked on
 many of the largest and most complicated transactions, including landmark
 transactions such as Procter & Gamble's $57 billion acquisition of
 Gillette, Bank America's $49 billion acquisition of Fleet, and Kraft's $19
 billion acquisition of Nabisco.
     "We look forward to being partners with our clients and providing
 advice based on a focus on the long-term," said Blair Effron. "This is the
 approach to client relationships each of us has taken through our careers
 so we start with a shared philosophy and complementary experience."
     Robert Pruzan said, "As an independent advisor, I have found that
 clients appreciate an external advisor who is thinking about their
 strategic issues and concerns even when there is no specific transaction in
     "We believe there is a large and growing opportunity for a
 privately-owned advisory firm focused externally on corporate clients,"
 said Stephen Crawford.
     About the Principals
     Robert A. Pruzan
     Robert Pruzan, prior to joining Centerview, spent most of his career at
 Wasserstein Perella & Co., and its successor, Dresdner Kleinwort
 Wasserstein. In addition to his experience providing a range of
 multinational clients with merger and acquisition advice, Mr. Pruzan has
 held several management positions including head of Investment Banking and
 CEO DrKW North America, and President of Wasserstein Perella & Co. Mr.
 Pruzan's advice on transactions since 2000 includes assisting Altria's
 Miller Brewing division in its $6 billion merger with South African
 Breweries; advising Ralston Purina in its $12 billion sale to Nestle;
 advising Dresdner Bank in its $20 billion sale to Allianz; and advising
 Kraft on its $19 billion acquisition of Nabisco. Mr. Pruzan, with Blair
 Effron and UBS, jointly advised Kraft on its $1.5 billion sale of
 Lifesavers and Altoids to Wrigley in 2005.
     Mr. Pruzan currently serves on the Executive Committees of the Board of
 Trustees for the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, The Jewish Museum, and
 ArtsConnection. He has a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from
 Harvard Business School.
     Stephen S. Crawford
     Stephen Crawford joins Centerview Partners after spending over 20 years
 in various positions at Morgan Stanley including most recently as
 co-president of the firm. Other positions at Morgan Stanley in which he
 served include Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and
 Chief Strategic Officer, as well as head of the Financial Institutions
 Mergers and Acquisitions Group. Mr. Crawford advised on several of the most
 prominent Financial Institution mergers over the last decade including:
 advising Fleet on its $49 billion sale to Bank America, advising Bank of
 Boston on its $16 billion sale to Fleet, advising Barnett Bank on its $15
 billion sale to NationsBank, and advising Bankers Trust on its $9 billion
 sale to Deutsche Bank.
     Mr. Crawford currently serves on the Board of Governors of the
 University of Virginia and the Board of Directors for the National Center
 for Learning Disabilities and the New York Philharmonic. He holds a BA from
 the University of Virginia.
     Blair W. Effron
     Blair Effron joins Centerview Partners from UBS Investment Bank, where
 he was most recently Vice Chairman of the bank and a member of the
 Investment Bank Board. He sat on several management committees and was also
 Global Head of the UBS Consumer Products and Retail practice. In his
 19-year career with UBS and its predecessors, Mr. Effron has served a range
 of Fortune 500 and multinational companies, particularly in the consumer
 products and retail industries. Selected transactions since 2000 in which
 Mr. Effron has assisted clients include advising Gillette on its $57
 billion sale to Procter & Gamble, advising Unilever on its $24 billion
 acquisition of Bestfoods, advising Nabisco Holdings and Nabisco Group
 Holdings on their sales to Kraft for $19 billion and RJ Reynolds Tobacco
 for $10 billion, advising Diageo on its $10 billion sale of Pillsbury to
 General Mills, and advising Keebler Foods on its $4 billion sale to
     Mr. Effron currently sits on the Executive Committees of the Boards of
 Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Center for Arts Education, and
 is on the Board of the National Archives Foundation. He is a member of the
 Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a BA from Princeton University and
 an MBA from Columbia Business School.
     Steven Lipin of Brunswick Group for Centerview Partners, (212-333-3810)

SOURCE Centerview Partners