Manchester United announced last week that it’s up for sale. Who are the lucky bankers working on the deal? That trophy goes to New-York based boutique bank The Raine Group, the “exclusive financial advisor” of the Glazer family, the primary shareholders of the club.
The Raine Group were also Roman Abramovich’s banker of choice for his sale of Chelsea earlier this year, after the oligarch was obliged to sell the club in the face of UK sanctions. While you won’t see the Raine Group on any league tables, the fees associated with football deals can be considerable. Forbes estimated Manchester United to be worth $4.6bn earlier this year, over 50% more than Chelsea.
The firm has a history of working with sports clubs, notably its advisory services to Miami CF, which was partly bought by David Beckham in 2021, and to Bolivian entrepreneur Marcelo Claure’s investment into Spanish football team Girona FC.
Who are they? The Raine Group has 20 partners and 11 MDs at its nine global offices – including Judy McLellan, a veteran of Credit Suisse, who left the beleaguered bank in the summer. Its staff includes analysts hired directly from Goldman Sachs and associates hired directly from PJT.
The group was founded in 2009 by Joe Ravitch, a partner at Goldman Sachs, Jeff Sine, a veteran of UBS and Morgan Stanley, Brandon Gartner, a lawyer turned banker for hedge fund Serengeti, John Slater, UBS’ head of digital media, and Deborah Mei, a former Morgan Stanley MD.
Sports aren’t the firm’s only specialty – it’s also keenly involved in gaming, with advisory credits including SYBO, the Danish firm that developed Subway Surfers, and Epic Games, the developer that unfortunately brought Fortnite into the world.
There are worse banks to be at, it seems. Anonymous forum posters claim that despite a high workload – often over 100 hours a week – the “culture is great” and watching sports during work hours is normal.
Another notes that it’s “not a “”2 years and out” type firm” – and another confirms, saying that the bank “expects their people to stay for the long haul.”
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