Today's big day of bank earnings calls starts kind of small with Greenhill's first-ever quarterly results call. The M&A boutique put out results early after some worries about managing director departures.
Turns out that was no problem. CEO Scott Bok explained that there are four reasons MDs leave Greenhill:
1. A carefully planned out transition of responsibilities. Nothing to see here.
2. Sometimes, "we ask people to leave because they weren’t successful with us," which is just the way of the world.
3. They're not successful and figure it out on their own, leaving voluntarily before Scott Bok has to call them into his office and explain that anyone who ever built an empire or changed the world sat where they're sitting right now though not necessarily literally at Greenhill.
4. They get hired away by competitors who'll pay them "more than their productivity with us warrants." Which means that when other banks poach MDs, that's a win, because it's not going to work out for them anyway and we just don't want to be associated with that kind of failure.
Bok says that the recent MD departures have had no impact on the pipeline but will reduce fixed comp expenses. So for those who are left, "it will be a good year to be at Greenhill." Not sure we'll hear the same from GS and BAC today.