Blair W. Effron
|Education||Princeton University (AB, 1984)|
Columbia Business School (MBA, 1986)
|Employer||UBS Investment Bank (prior)|
UBS Warburg (prior)
Warburg Dillon Read (prior)
Dillon, Read & Co. (prior)
|Known for||Co-Founder of Centerview Partners|
Blair W. Effron (born 1962) is an American financier. Effron co-founded Centerview Partners, a boutique investment banking firm based in New York City. Centerview has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Centerview Partners is a leading independent investment banking and advisory firm. The firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, financial restructurings, valuation, and capital structure to companies, institutions and governments.
Effron grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York, son of James W. Effron, president of Effron Oil. Effron graduated with a BA from Princeton University in 1984 and an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1986. He began his career at Dillon, Read & Co. and would remain with the firm and its successors (Warburg Dillon Read, UBS Warburg and UBS Investment Bank) over the next 20 years. Effron received a brief mention as an associate at Dillon Read in the Barbarians at the Gate involved in the buyout of RJR Nabisco by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Effron began his career in investment banking in the early 1980s and built up a reputation as one of the leading bankers in the consumer products industry and for past the ten years since founding Centerview has been one of the industry's top generalist banker across several industries. At UBS, Effron was Group Vice Chairman of UBS AG and a member of the Board of UBS Investment Bank, where he also sat on several management committees. Effron's major coup came in 2005 when he advised Gillette on its $57 billion sale to Procter & Gamble, which was the largest mergers and acquisitions transaction of 2005. Among Effron's other major deals are:
- General Electric's sale of $200B of financial assets.
- Time Warner Cable on its $79 billion merger with Charter Communications.
- 21st Century Fox on $71.3 billion transactions with The Walt Disney Company.
- Kraft Foods Group, Inc. Exclusive financial advisor to Kraft $58 billion merger with Heinz
- InBev's $52 billion acquisition of Anheuser-Busch
- GE on its $32 billion combination of its oil & gas business with Baker Hughes.
- H. J. Heinz Company's $28 billion sale to an investor consortium consisting of 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway
- Lorillard's $27.4 billion sale to Reynolds American
- Unilever's $24 billion acquisition of Bestfoods
- PepsiCo's $21 billion acquisition of The Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas
- GE's $18 billion sale of remaining 49% interest in NBCUniversal to Comcast
- GE's $13.5 billion pending acquisition of Alstom.
- Diageo's $10 billion sale of Pillsbury to General Mills
- The Hillshire Brands Company $8.6 billion sale to Tyson Foods.
- Diageo's $8 billion purchase of Seagram's wine and spirits business
- News Corporation's $6 billion acquisition of Dow Jones
- PepsiCo's $5.4 billion acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods
- NewsCorp's separation of company into 21st Century Fox and NewsCorp.
In July 2006, Effron co-founded Centerview Partners along with Robert Pruzan, formerly CEO of North America at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and President of Wasserstein Perella & Co. Additional Centerview co-founders included Stephen Crawford, former co-president at Morgan Stanley, and Adam Chinn, former partner at Wachtell Lipton. James M. Kilts, former CEO of Gillette, heads the firm's private equity fund.
Mr. Effron serves on the Board of Trustees of the Council on Foreign Relations (Vice Chairman), Lincoln Center (Treasurer), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Visions for Public Schools, Partnership for New York City, and Princeton University. He also sits on the advisory board of The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution.
Active in the Democratic party, Effron hosted Obama to his Upper East Side Manhattan home in May 2014 and Hillary Clinton in June 2015. Effron contributes political commentary to outlets including the Financial Times.
- Boutique Bank That’s Riding Out the Storm. New York Times, February 29, 2008
- For Boutiques, Time to Shop as Bankers Flee Big Firms. Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2009
- "Princeton: Seven named to Princeton Board of Trustees".
- Bryan Burrough, John Helyar. Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco. HarperCollins, 1990
- Three Senior Wall Street Professionals Announce Formation of Centerview Partners.
- "Conagra to buy Pinnacle for $8.1 billion, creating frozen food powerhouse". Reuters. June 27, 2018.
- "How a Democrat-led House of Representatives could boost US growth". Financial Times. January 3, 2019.
- Centerview Benefits from Wall St.'s Pivot to Smaller Banks, by David Gelles. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/06/business/dealbook/centerview-benefits-from-wall-sts-pivot-to-smaller-banks.html?_r=0
- The Deal Makers behind 2015 ‘s Biggest Tie Ups. Dana Mattioli, Dana Cimilucca, Shayndi Raice. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-deal-makers-behind-2015s-biggest-tie-ups-1451492273
- How to Foster Long-Term Innovation Investment, Center for American Progress, Co-authored by Blair Effron
- Centerview Partners’ relationship care brings blockbuster deals, from the Financial Times
- Rubin to Join Centerview, a Young Firm. Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2010
- The Case for an Employer Tax Break. Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2009
- Murdoch Chose Advisers Versed In Family Firms. Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2007