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Dot.com banker Frank Quattrone steps down as Qatalyst CEO

Frank Quattrone
Tony Avelar | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Frank Quattrone

Nearly a decade ago, Frank P. Quattrone, the star investment banker who took Amazon and Cisco Systems public in the 1990s, returned to the deal scene with a boutique investment bank catering to Silicon Valley.

After re-emerging as a major force in the technology industry, Mr. Quattrone is now yielding day-to-day management to one of his top lieutenants.

His firm, the Qatalyst Group, announced on Wednesday that George Boutros would take over as chief executive, overseeing overall management.

The appointment is the first major leadership change at Qatalyst since Mr. Quattrone, 60, began the firm in March 2008, seven months after clearing his name in a bitter legal fight with the federal government.

A veteran of Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, Mr. Quattrone became known as a banker of choice for the dot-com boom. Yet he was waylaid by charges of hindering a government investigation into initial public offerings at Credit Suisse. Those charges were dropped in 2007.

Instead of decamping to an investment firm, Mr. Quattrone chose instead to set up a boutique investment bank. It is a niche that has gained prominence in recent years, as firms like Centerview Partners, PJT Partners and Evercore Partners have secured roles on some of the biggest deals around.

Since 2008, Qatalyst has grown from three employees to 53, and it says it has advised on more than 90 deals, including the sales of OpenTable, Motorola Mobility and Dropcam.

Naming Mr. Boutros, 55, chief executive is a promotion that formally recognizes the role that the banker — who has worked with Mr. Quattrone since 1992 — has been playing at Qatalyst.

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"George is one of the most experienced and accomplished M.&A. advisers on the planet," Mr. Quattrone said in a statement. "He is very highly regarded by both our clients and team members at all levels, and I am confident that his leadership will propel Qatalyst to exciting new heights in the years ahead."

Mr. Quattrone will become executive chairman and focus on strategy. Other bankers at Qatalyst received promotions as well, including Jason DiLullo and Jonathan Turner, who have been named co-presidents.