Bloomberg News

David Knowlton Starts M&A Advisory Firm Three Ocean Partners

December 07, 2011

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- David Knowlton, who sold his Watch Hill Partners LLC to FBR Capital Markets in 2009, started an advisory firm that he said will focus on a single client per industry.

Three Ocean Partners, based in New York and involved with mergers and acquisitions as well as recapitalizations and restructurings, plans to open offices in Los Angeles and London and partner with bankers in Brazil and India early next year, the firm said today in a statement. Knowlton and his partners plan to advise clients over the course of multiple years instead of for specific investments.

“The investment banking landscape is in the midst of a dramatic change and the premium today, as much as ever, is on long-standing relationships,” Knowlton said in the statement.

Knowlton started Watch Hill Partners in 2003 and sold it to FBR six years later. The firm advised clients on about $30 billion of deals, according to a profile of Knowlton on Three Ocean’s website. Knowlton, who previously worked at First Union Corp. and Gleacher Natwest Inc., advised Hershey Trust Co. on Hershey Co.’s failed attempt to buy Cadbury Plc for about $19 billion.

Three Ocean has already advised MidOcean Partners on its acquisition of Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc. for $650 million, which was completed in June, the firm said.

--Editors: Steven Crabill, Christian Baumgaertel

To contact the reporter on this story: Devin Banerjee in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at

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