Harris Williams namesake now with Chicago firm

Harris Williams is headquartered on the 9th floor of the Troutman Sanders building along the canal.

Harris Williams is headquartered on the 9th floor of the Troutman Sanders building along the canal.

Chris Williams – the “Williams” of Richmond investment banking firm Harris Williams & Co. – left the downtown company late last year and has quietly taken on a new position with a well-known firm out of Chicago.

Williams is now with BDT & Co., a powerful, yet discreet, financial firm that describes itself as a merchant bank, with investment funds and an investment banking arm that focuses on closely held companies.

BDT declined to comment on the addition of Williams. He joined the firm as a partner earlier this year and remains a Richmond resident, splitting his time between here and Chicago.

An email to Williams to discuss his new position was not returned by press time.

Harris Williams said it announced Williams’ departure last year internally and to clients and others within the industry. The company confirmed his last day there was in December.

“We are happy for him, he remains a close friend of the firm, and we wish him nothing but success,” Harris Williams spokeswoman Katie Hurst said in email. “Harris Williams & Co. is doing great, had a terrific year, and continues to be well positioned for future growth.”

BDT was founded in 2009 by Byron D. Trott, who spent decades at Goldman Sachs and is often referred to as Warren Buffet’s go-to investment banker. He’s described in national news reports as “the billionaire’s banker” and one who helps “the rich get richer.”

The company’s investment funds, which are run through BDT Capital Partners, raise billions of dollars at a time to purchase stakes in companies such as Weber Grill, Caribou Coffee and Keurig Green Mountain.

Hurst said Williams also went to BDT to join his former mentor, Erskine Bowles. Bowles is the firm’s non-executive vice chairman and ran Charlotte investment banking firm Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co., where Williams and his Harris Williams co-founder Hiter Harris both worked prior to starting their own firm in 1991.

Harris remains a managing director at Harris Williams.

Harris Williams remains one of the biggest names in the Richmond investment banking scene. It is owned by banking giant PNC Financial Services Group, which bought it in 2005.

In addition to its Richmond headquarters on the ninth floor of the Troutman Sanders building on the canal, Harris Williams’ dozens of employees work from its offices in Boston, London, Frankfurt, Cleveland, San Francisco and Minneapolis. The company also has a presence in Asia.

Harris Williams is headquartered on the 9th floor of the Troutman Sanders building along the canal.

Harris Williams is headquartered on the 9th floor of the Troutman Sanders building along the canal.

Chris Williams – the “Williams” of Richmond investment banking firm Harris Williams & Co. – left the downtown company late last year and has quietly taken on a new position with a well-known firm out of Chicago.

Williams is now with BDT & Co., a powerful, yet discreet, financial firm that describes itself as a merchant bank, with investment funds and an investment banking arm that focuses on closely held companies.

BDT declined to comment on the addition of Williams. He joined the firm as a partner earlier this year and remains a Richmond resident, splitting his time between here and Chicago.

An email to Williams to discuss his new position was not returned by press time.

Harris Williams said it announced Williams’ departure last year internally and to clients and others within the industry. The company confirmed his last day there was in December.

“We are happy for him, he remains a close friend of the firm, and we wish him nothing but success,” Harris Williams spokeswoman Katie Hurst said in email. “Harris Williams & Co. is doing great, had a terrific year, and continues to be well positioned for future growth.”

BDT was founded in 2009 by Byron D. Trott, who spent decades at Goldman Sachs and is often referred to as Warren Buffet’s go-to investment banker. He’s described in national news reports as “the billionaire’s banker” and one who helps “the rich get richer.”

The company’s investment funds, which are run through BDT Capital Partners, raise billions of dollars at a time to purchase stakes in companies such as Weber Grill, Caribou Coffee and Keurig Green Mountain.

Hurst said Williams also went to BDT to join his former mentor, Erskine Bowles. Bowles is the firm’s non-executive vice chairman and ran Charlotte investment banking firm Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co., where Williams and his Harris Williams co-founder Hiter Harris both worked prior to starting their own firm in 1991.

Harris remains a managing director at Harris Williams.

Harris Williams remains one of the biggest names in the Richmond investment banking scene. It is owned by banking giant PNC Financial Services Group, which bought it in 2005.

In addition to its Richmond headquarters on the ninth floor of the Troutman Sanders building on the canal, Harris Williams’ dozens of employees work from its offices in Boston, London, Frankfurt, Cleveland, San Francisco and Minneapolis. The company also has a presence in Asia.

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