Editor's note: This is part one of a two-part company profile of Evercore, now one of the most prominent players in the US wealth management space since launching a little over three years ago.
Even in the best of times, carving out a niche in the high end of the wealth management business isn’t for the faint of heart. The competition is brutal, clients are skeptical and profits can be elusive.
Jeff Maurer, the former chief executive of US Trust, teamed up with investment bankers Evercore Partners to form Evercore Wealth Management in the worst of times - December 2008, the depths of the Great Recession.
Maurer got off to a fast start – the firm pulled in $1.5 billion in assets within a year in an awful market, relying heavily on its US Trust pedigree. About 90 per cent of the firm’s assets came from US Trust clients via the 16 former US Trust executives who became Evercore Wealth Management partners.
While impressive, industry observers wondered how New York-based Evercore would fare after the low hanging fruit was picked. Could it continue to grow rapidly? Shed its dependence on the US Trust pipeline? Fully leverage its relationship with Evercore Partners? And, perhaps most critically, could the firm continue to employ its highly praised but cost intensive US Trust-style high-touch service model and still turn a profit?