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The Zaoui brothers : Kings of M&A

Exercising their talents at Goldman sachs and Morgan Stanley, Yoël and Michael Zaoui are considered as two of the leading professionals in M&A throughout Europe.

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Monday, September 13, 1999, Philippe Jaffré, Head of Elf, the first French company at the time, signed the acquisition of its acquisition by Total. In the shadow of the two major French oil companies stand the zaoui brothers, Yoël and Michael, who advised the two CEOs. One officiates at Goldman Sachs and the other works for Morgan Stanley.

May 2006: Yoël zaoui becomes "the only captain on board" at Goldman. He is appointed manager for Europe of the business banking of the Anglo-saxon bank. End of June 2006, Mittal Steel’s take-over bid for Arcelor, which made the headlines throughout the second quarter ends. Lakshmi Mittal, boss of Mittal Steel of India is not alone to savor his victory.

His advisor, Yoël Zaoui also welcomed Mittal’s victory thanks to the offensive he concocted with his teams. On the other side is his brother, Michael Zaoui. Manager for Europe of the business banking of Morgan Stanley, advised Arcelor, but had losing to Goldman Sachs. This unusual situation to say the least reveals the incredible position reached by the Zaoui brothers in the Merger and Acquisitions business.

Both born in Morocco, the brothers have achieved a clear round in the studies. Influenced by their father who was a senior and wanted the best for his children, they grew up in Italy where he was working for the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization).

Yoel is a graduate of HEC and started his career in Audit, with the firm Arthur Andersen. After the audit, he will do an MBA at Stanfor before joining the M&A department at Goldman Sachs. 11 years later, in 99, after having moved up, he became manager of the M&A business in Europe.

Michael made his way through Sciences-Po, London School of Economics and Harvard Business School. In 1986, he joined Morgan Stanley in New York, while Yoël will join Goldman Sachs in 88, still in New-York. They will then move to England where they share an apartment for a year. Early in their careers, they think not having to compete in hostile takeovers, but their professional position, which makes them indispensable for all major deals, quickly makes this option difficult to maintain.

Together, Yoël and Michael got involved in all major mergers and acquisitions deals last decade in Europe: Mittal Arcelor, Elf total, Castorama Kingfisher, Crédit Agricole Banque Indosuez, HSBC CCF... etc.

Bonuses are up to their weight career in their respective institutions: Between 5 and 50 million Euros, depending on the years and the importance of the deals closed.

Paul Monthe , July 2007

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

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