Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to Jones Day McKeeve goes

So, BLP’s private equity rainmaker Raymond McKeeve is off to Jones Day. According to BLP he’s making the move alone. The Lawyer understands McKeeve was in different discussions with at least one other firm before. The big speculation in the market – which has been predicting this move for six months – is what size of team he might end up with.

As it stands McKeeve is not marching into Jones Day singing heigh-ho with Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy and Grumpy trailing behind him. If he is regarded as one of the fairest private equity stars in the land, perhaps it won’t be too long before more City associates appear in Jones Day’s London cottage in a puff of green smoke? It’ll certainly give the headhunters something to do.

It wasn’t too long ago that BLP was getting flash with the cash and pulling in some big-name partners. McKeeve joined the firm after working with Robert Tchenguiz as an investment professional for a year following stints at Kirkland & Ellis and Linklaters. Last year BLP hired Linklaters’ former global head of corporate David Barnes, and in 2011 long-serving Allen & Overy partner Alan Paul joined the firm.

Delve back further and in 2009 media litigator Graham Shear joined from Teacher Stern followed by real estate heavyweight Chris de Pury from Herbert Smith.

Pulling in big names is one thing. With falling revenues and a significant drop in PEP expectedmany will ask whether BLP’s investment strategy has gone awry.

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