DLJ Merchant Banking Partners
|Type||Affiliate of Credit Suisse|
|Successor(s)||Spinouts: Avista Capital Partners, Diamond Castle Holdings|
|Founder(s)||Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Key people||Head of DLJMB
Nicole Arnaboldi, Managing Director, Steven C. Rattner (former)
|Total assets||$12 billion|
|Website||DLJ Merchant Banking Partners|
DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (DLJMB) is a private equity investment firm focused on leveraged buyout transactions. The firm is currently an affiliate of Credit Suisse and traces its roots to Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the investment bank acquired by Credit Suisse First Boston in 2000. DLJ Merchant Banking Partners operates under an affiliated model together with its investment banking business.
Under the DLJ and Credit-Suisse umbrella, the private equity arm also manages a group of investment vehicles including Real Estate Private Equity, International Private Equity, Growth capital, Mezzanine debt, Infrastructure, Energy and Commodities Focused, fund of funds, and Secondary Investments.
DLJMB was founded in 1985 to invest capital in leveraged buyouts alongside private equity firms that were DLJ clients, off of the bank's balance sheet as well as capital contributed by employees. In 1992, the firm raised its first institutional private equity fund (DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, LP) with $1 billion in investor commitments. In 1997, the firm raised its second fund with $3 billion in investor commitments and three years later in 2000 raised its largest fund to date at $5.3 billion.
After the acquisition of DLJ, the group, which was led by Thompson Dean and Larry Schloss faced significant turnover. In 2004, DLJMB co-head Larry Schloss, completed a spinout from DLJMB to form a new private equity firm, Diamond Castle Holdings. The following year, in 2005, a team of professionals, led by Thompson Dean and Steven Webster, completed a spinout of DLJMB to form a new private equity firm, Avista Capital Partners, which raised its own $2 billion fund in 2007.
Six years after its previous fund, in 2006, the firm was able to raise $2.1 billion in investor commitments for DLJ Merchant Banking Partners IV, LP -- more than doubling the $1.0 billion the company was reportedly seeking due to high investor interest. The firm is reportedly seeking to raise an its fifth fund in 2009-2010, which targets $3.5 billion in investor commitments.
DLJMB, is one of the only remaining affiliates, subsidiaries or businesses of Credit Suisse that still retains the DLJ brand name.
Examples of Current and Prior Investments
- Neiman Marcus - Specialty retailer of apparel and accessories
- MGM - Producer of motion pictures, TV programming, and other media, music, and merchandise
- Advanstar - Provider of marketing solutions for business professionals and consumers
- Accellent - Provider of manufacturing and design services to medical device makers
- HealthMarkets - Life and health insurance company
- Nuveen Investments - Investment management and financial services company
- Rockwood Holdings - Manufacturer of specialty chemicals and materials
- Geokinetics - Provider of seismic data services
- Symetra Financial - Life and health insurance company
- NIBC Bank - Asset management and financial services firm
- Education and Adventure Travel Group - UK travel packager for school-children
- Guala Closures Group - Manufacturer of closures for consumer products and industrial companies
- Den-Mat Holdings - Producer of cosmetic and restorative dental products
- Wastequip - Manufacturer of waste management equipment and products
- Deffenbaugh Industries - Environmental and facilities services company
- Specialized Technology Resources - Manufacturer of solar encapsulants, for the photovoltaic solar module industry & provider of quality assurance services for general consumer merchandise.
- RathGibson - Manufacturer of industrial and machinery products
- Total Safety U.S. - Provider of safety service solutions to the industrial markets
Notable current and former employees
- Thomson Reuters reports that DLJMB controls approximately $12 billion of assets under management. 
- This model is employed by other investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs' Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.
- Moore, Heidi N. DLJ: Wall Street’s Incubator Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2008
- Avista fund challenges Credit Suisse Buyouts, June 14, 2007. Cached version
- On Wall Street, Reputation Is Fragile. New York Times, August 5, 2008
- DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (company website)
- Diamond Castle (company website) - 2004 spin-out led by Larry Schloss