Former Qatalyst bankers launch new tech M&A advisory firm AXOM Partners

By Milana Vinn

(Reuters) - Three former Qatalyst Partners bankers have formed a new investment banking boutique called AXOM Partners, which will focus on advising technology companies on mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

Brandon Hightower, Alan Bressers, and Ross Weiner said they will focus on working with small and mid-sized technology companies in sectors such as generative artificial and conversational intelligence.

"We want to advise companies, investors, and builders of the next wave of disruptive technology, and we want to help them early on their journey," Hightower said in an interview.

Qatalyst, the investment bank the trio left behind, also specializes in technology deals and has the No. 5 spot year-to-date in data vendor Dealogic's U.S. dealmaking league table, with a 15.4% market share. Most of Qatalysts's deals are worth more $1 billion, and Hightower, Bressers and Weiner will focus on deals that are smaller.

Based in San Francisco, AXOM will seek to advise on deals in sectors, including enterprise software, consumer technology, e-commerce and financial technology. The firm plans to hire up to 15 full-time employees during its first two years and up to 50 full-time employees during its first five years of operation.

During a nearly 10-year long career at Qatalyst, Hightower advised on several high-profile transactions, including AfterPay's $29 billion sale to Square, Intuit's acquisition of CreditKarma for $8.1 billion, and HomeAway's sale to Expedia Group Inc for $3.9 billion.

Bressers spent 12 years at Qatalyst, where he advised on NXP Semiconductor’s proposed sale to Qualcomm Inc for $46.8 billion, Linear Technology’s sale to Analog Devices for $14.8 billion, Inphi Corp’s proposed sale to Marvell Technology Inc for $10 billion, and Microsemi’s sale to Microchip Technology Inc for $10.2 billion.

All AXOM employees will be rewarded on merit based on an incentive system, and will be allowed to participate in profit distributions, Hightower said.

(Reporting by Milana Vinn in New York; Editing by Aurroa Ellis)