Merrill invests in Copal


New York-Merrill Lynch completed a minority investment in KPO provider Copal Partners, joining Citigroup and Deutsche Bank as minority investors in the firm.  Based in the UK, Copal Partners is a leading KPO with approximately 550 employees based primarily in India and Mauritius.  Copal is a leading outsourced research provider to Wall Street firms and the buy-side.

According the WSJ, Copal is valued around $300 million, putting Merrill’s stake around 3.7%.  The investment is a strategic one, in the sense that Merrill, like the other minority investors, relies heavily on outsourcing for its own research and other activities such as investment banking prep work.  In addition, Copal is planning to go public, having spoken publicly about a listing through NASDAQ.

Merrill’s investment should not be construed as following the Goldman’s Hudson Street footsteps.  The investment in Copal stands on its own two feet, and may or may not integrate with an alternative research distribution strategy.

The press release is included below:

Merrill Lynch Closes Investment in Leading Offshore Research Provider, Copal Partners
Thursday June 14, 10:12 am ET

JERSEY, Channel Islands–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Copal Partners, the leading financial services analytics and research provider to investment banks, hedge funds and private equity funds, today announced that Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MERNews) has made an $11 million investment in the company. Merrill Lynch joins two other major investment banks, Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DBNews) and Citigroup (NYSE: CNews) as investors in Copal Partners.

“Merrill Lynch’s financial commitment to us represents a strong vote of confidence in our long-term growth prospects and the validity of our business model,” said Rishi Khosla, CEO and co-founder of Copal Partners. “We are delighted to have them join our other investment banking investors in what we believe is one of the most innovative research and analytics firms to serve the global financial community.”

Founded in 2002 by a group of professionals from GE Capital, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Co, Copal Partners has grown into one of the leading providers of research and analytics serving investment banks, hedge funds and private equity funds globally. Today, Copal has approximately 550 employees, based in the UK, US, India and Mauritius. Copal Partners has consistently delivered superior growth, growing at over 200% year-on-year for the past three years.

“We conducted extensive analysis of the research and analytics marketplace players before selecting Copal,” said David Noh, Head of Pacific Rim Corporate Principal Investments at Merrill Lynch. “What impressed us most was the integrity of Copal’s business model and the high-value analysis that makes it stand apart from its competitors.”


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