Greenhill is a leading independent investment bank focused on providing financial advice on significant mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, financings and capital raising to corporations, partnerships, institutions and governments. We act for clients located throughout the world from our offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Madrid, Melbourne, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto.
We were established in 1996 by Robert F. Greenhill, the former President of Morgan Stanley and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Smith Barney. In 2004 we were the first of several independent advisory firms to complete an initial public offering and list on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker GHL).
Since our founding, Greenhill has remained focused on the business of advising clients on important transactions, and has sought to grow by extending our geographic reach, by increasing our industry sector expertise and by broadening the types of transactions on which we advise. In terms of geographic expansion, in 1998 we entered the European market by opening a London office, and two years later we extended our European coverage by opening a Frankfurt office. In 2006-2009 we expanded our coverage of the North American market by opening offices in Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Toronto, and we also expanded to Japan by opening a Tokyo office. In 2010 we entered the Australian market by acquiring Caliburn, the leading independent investment bank in Australia, with offices in Melbourne and Sydney. Since then, we have continued to methodically build out our coverage in the Americas, Europe and Asia with new offices opened in Hong Kong in 2011, Stockholm in 2012, Madrid in 2017 and Singapore in 2019. In terms of industry sector coverage, we have recruited senior bankers with long experience and deep expertise in nearly every industry sector, and we continue to both recruit and develop additional talent to deepen that sector coverage. Lastly, in terms of types of advice, we initially focused exclusively on merger & acquisitions advice, in 2001 began offering financing advisory and restructuring services, and in 2010 entered the capital advisory business, where we advise both general partners and institutional investors on capital raising and various other transactions relating to private equity and real estate fund investments. In 2015 we expanded our capital advisory business by acquiring Cogent Partners (which is headquartered in Dallas, but with offices around the world), the leading global advisor to endowments, pensions and other institutional investors on the sale of alternative assets in the secondary market.
Throughout our history, our Firm has been a strong generator of earnings and cash flow—in fact, we have spent more than $1.5 billion in dividends and share repurchases since our IPO. In September 2017, having come to the view that our common stock had become significantly undervalued, we announced a recapitalization plan designed to improve tax efficiency, increase employee ownership and enhance long term shareholder value while still maintaining our status as a public company. As part of the plan we secured credit ratings from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, borrowed $350 million and announced our intention to acquire up to $285 million of our common stock from outside investors. While implementation of this plan remains in progress, we have already repurchased a substantial portion of our stock and materially increased employee ownership.
Going forward, our strategy is clear. We will remain a “pure advisory” firm, entirely focused on serving clients. We will continue to look to expand, both by recruiting from leading firms and by developing our own talent, in terms of geographic reach, sector expertise and type of advice. And we will continue to manage our Firm in a manner designed to create long term value for shareholders as well as for employees.