Banking & Capital Markets

Donaldson Returns to The Street

Boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners lands the former SEC chairman for its advisory council.
Stephen TaubFebruary 9, 2007

William H. Donaldson, who stepped down as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2005, has joined boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners as chairman of its advisory council.

Donaldson, who also chairs his own private investment firm, will work closely with Perella Weinberg on strategic, organizational, and client-related matters. The investment bank, founded last June by former Morgan Stanley investment banker Joseph Perella and former Goldman Sachs partner Peter Weinberg, has raised $1.1 billion from a global group of investors.

“We are delighted to have someone with Bill’s extraordinary reputation, stature, and wealth of experience as part of our firm,” said Perella in a statement. Added Donaldson, “I look forward with great enthusiasm to the opportunity to be part of a new financial services firm at a stage similar to the early days at DLJ.”

DLJ, of course, is Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a nimble investment bank that Donaldson co-founded in 1959, and that was especially adroit at underwriting junk bonds. He also co-founded its wholly owned subsidiary, Alliance Capital Management. DLJ went public in 1969 and was acquired by Credit Suisse in 2000.

Donaldson knows his way around Washington, too. After leaving DLJ in 1973, he served as Undersecretary of State under Henry Kissinger for two years, then was counsel to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller in 1975. His next stop was New Haven, where he was the founding dean and a professor at Yale University’s Graduate School of Management.

Donaldson was chairman and chief executive officer of the New York Stock Exchange from 1990 to 1995, and after the sale of DLJ to Credit Suisse, he served as chairman of Aetna until 2001. The following year, he succeeded Harvey Pitt as chairman of the SEC.