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Centerview's Blair Effron may be the banker who wins most with Clinton

There's a lot riding on this year's presidential race, but few may benefit more from the election of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton than Blair Effron, a top mergers and acquisitions banker at a small boutique in New York.

Blair Effron, partner and co-founder of Centerview Partners LLC.
Amanda Gorden | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Blair Effron, partner and co-founder of Centerview Partners LLC.

Since 2006, Effron has led Centerview Partners, one of the small firms that has since the financial crisis led the upstarts that are chipping into big banks' revenue. But his past history of supporting Democrats, as well as some of his statements in the boardroom, have sources thinking he could one day decamp Wall Street — and the banking industry, entirely — to work in Washington.

"He's quick to point out his affiliation to Clinton," said one source whose bank has worked on deals with Effron.

Effron declined to speak for this story when contacted.

Over the years, Effron's Centerview has been a juggernaut among banks that have increasingly elbowed Wall Street's leading institutions aside to take mega-M&A deals. 2015 marked various high points for Effron and for Centerview; the bank didn't only crack the top 10 for Dealogic's global advisory M&A rankings, with a market share of 9.9 percent as of Friday — it also ranked higher than his former employer, UBS, in the league table, which must be tough to swallow at a bank with a market cap of more than $50 billion.

It's not clear whether Effron's Clinton connections have helped Centerview win any deals, but what is more apparent, according to others, is his potential value to the candidate, should she be elected this November.

A Washington Democratic operative, who asked to not be quoted, sees various positives that Effron could tout if he were nominated for a senior Cabinet position, or tapped to run a department under a Clinton administration. The first thing the Democrat said was, "He's not from Goldman [Sachs], for starters."

Other factors supporting Effron, should Clinton take the White House, is the fact that he's remained quiet on politically sensitive issues on Wall Street, including so-called inversion deals, whereby U.S. companies reincorporate overseas in order to avoid U.S. taxes, despite his bank having worked on some of them.

Further, he's not to be counted in the wishy-washy Wall Street crowd that likes to play both sides of an election. Effron is about as far from a GOP supporter as one can be. Virtually all of his political donations, dating back more than a decade via the Federal Election Commission's website, have gone to the left. This includes former New Jersey Gov. and ex-Sen. Jon Corzine, presidential candidate John Edwards, as well as President Barack Obama, Clinton (during her first campaign for president) and Timothy Kaine, a man widely believed to be in the running for the vice presidential role on this year's Democratic ticket.

Effron has even donated to one lawmaker loathed on Wall Street: ex-Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, and another who needs no introduction: ex-congressman Anthony Weiner.

In July, it's not clear who will take the White House — although it's become increasingly clear who many on Wall Street will back, after GOP nominee Donald Trump launched a surprise attack against big banks through the party platform statement earlier in the week.

It's also not even clear whether the longtime backer of Democrats Effron would want a role in Washington, although the question has been widely speculated on for some time.

"He's been successful enough that he could continue to lead his bank," the Democratic operative noted, "or just retire and take it easy."