SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 |
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 |
For the transition period from to .
Commission File Number 001-32975
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or Other Jurisdiction of|
Incorporation or Organization)
|55 East 52nd Street|
(Address of principal executive offices)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (212) 857-3100
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Class A Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share||EVR||New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ý No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company" and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer||☒||Accelerated filer||☐|
|Non-accelerated filer||☐||Smaller reporting company||☐|
|Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of the voting and nonvoting common equity of the registrant held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2020 was approximately $2.4 billion, based on the closing price of the registrant's Class A common stock reported on the New York Stock Exchange on such date of $58.92 per share and on the par value of the registrant's Class B common stock, par value $0.01 per share.
The number of shares of the registrant’s Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding as of February 17, 2021 was 42,023,195. The number of shares of the registrant’s Class B common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding as of February 17, 2021 was 47 (excluding 53 shares of Class B common stock held by a subsidiary of the registrant).
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement of Evercore Inc. to be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A of the general rules and regulations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, for the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders ("Proxy Statement") are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Our website address is www.evercore.com. We make available, free of charge, on the For Investors section of our website (http://investors.evercore.com) our Annual Report on Form 10-K (this "Form 10-K"), Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed or furnished with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"). We also make available through our website other reports filed with or furnished to the SEC under the Exchange Act, including our Proxy Statements and reports filed by officers and directors under Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act, as well as our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. From time to time, we may use our website as a channel of distribution of material company information. Financial and other material information regarding the Company is routinely posted on and accessible at http://investors.evercore.com. In addition, you may automatically receive email alerts and other information about us by enrolling your email by visiting the "Email Alerts" section at http://investors.evercore.com. We do not intend for information contained in our website to be part of this Form 10-K.
The SEC maintains an Internet site (http://www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.
In this report, references to "Evercore," the "Company," "we," "us" and "our" refer to Evercore Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its consolidated subsidiaries. Unless the context otherwise requires, references to (1) "Evercore Inc." refer solely to Evercore Inc. and not to any of its consolidated subsidiaries and (2) "Evercore LP" refer solely to Evercore LP, a Delaware limited partnership, and not to any of its consolidated subsidiaries. References to the "IPO" refer to our initial public offering on August 10, 2006 of 4,542,500 shares of our Class A common stock, including shares issued to the underwriters of the IPO pursuant to their election to exercise in full their overallotment option.
This report contains, or incorporates by reference, forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and Section 21E of the Exchange Act, which reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, our operations and financial performance. In some cases, you can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "outlook," "backlog," "believes," "expects," "potential," "probable," "continues," "may," "will," "should," "seeks," "approximately," "predicts," "intends," "plans," "estimates," "anticipates" or the negative version of these words or other comparable words. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included in this report are forward-looking statements, including with respect to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and are based on various underlying assumptions and expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and may include projections of our future financial performance based on our growth strategies and anticipated trends in our business.
Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual outcomes or results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements and, based on various underlying assumptions and expectations, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions and may include projections of our future financial performance based on our growth strategies and anticipated trends in Evercore's business. We believe these factors include, but are not limited to, those described under "Risk Factors" in this report. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included or incorporated by reference in this report. In addition, new risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise except as required by law. You should, however, consult further disclosures we may make in future filings of our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K and any amendments thereto or in future press releases or other public statements.
We operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for our management to predict all risks and uncertainties, nor can management assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.
Evercore is the leading independent investment banking advisory firm in the world based on the dollar volume of announced worldwide merger and acquisition ("M&A") transactions on which we have advised in 2020. When we use the term "independent investment banking advisory firm," we mean an investment banking firm that directly, or through its affiliates, does not engage in commercial banking or significant proprietary trading activities. We were founded on the belief that there is an opportunity within the investment banking industry for a firm free of the potential conflicts of interest created within large, multi-product capital intensive financial institutions. We believe that maintaining standards of excellence and integrity in our core businesses demands a spirit of cooperation and hands-on participation more commonly found in smaller organizations. Since our inception, we have set out to build—in the employees we choose and in the projects we undertake—an organization dedicated to the highest caliber of professionalism and integrity.
We operate globally through two business segments:
•Investment Banking; and
Our Investment Banking segment includes our global advisory business through which we deliver strategic corporate advisory, capital markets advisory and institutional equities services. In 2020, our Investment Banking segment generated $2.237 billion, or 98% of our revenues, excluding Other Revenue, net, ($1.933 billion, or 97%, in 2019 and $2.015 billion, or 98%, in 2018) and earned 687 fees from Advisory clients.
As we begin the year in 2021, our strategic corporate advisory and capital markets advisory businesses has 107 Senior Managing Directors with expertise and client relationships in a wide variety of industry sectors and broad geographic reach.
Strategic Corporate Advisory
Evercore's strategic corporate advisory business provides differentiated strategic and tactical advice, as well as unparalleled execution to financial sponsors and both public and private companies across a broad range of industry sectors and geographies. We help our clients identify and pursue strategic priorities, devise strategies to enhance shareholder value, and develop new ideas and deeper perspective to achieve their goals.
•Mergers and Acquisitions. In advising companies on an acquisition, merger or sale, we evaluate potential targets, provide valuation analyses, and evaluate and propose financial and strategic alternatives. We provide boards and management teams with independent judgment and deep expertise as they navigate their most important transactions and strategic decisions. We also advise as to the timing, structure, financing and pricing of a proposed transaction, as well as assist in negotiating and closing the deal.
•Strategic Shareholder Advisory. Our extensive experience, insights into activist tactics, expertise in helping companies with shareholder communications and innovative defense strategies are instrumental in helping clients prepare for, avoid, and, if required, defend against activist investors and hostile takeover attempts. In public company situations, Evercore’s strategic shareholder advice is an integral part of our practice and is a decisive edge for clients seeking to obtain shareholder support for their transactions.
•Special Committee Assignments. Evercore has a leading special committee practice which is driven by, and exemplifies, our overall commitment to independence, discretion, objectivity, and the delivery of unconflicted advice. Our team has a long history of providing impartial advice to special committees and assisting them to meet fiduciary duties and obligations in significant situations.
•Transaction Structuring. Evercore provides integrated advice in connection with the structuring of public and private transactions - including mergers, spin-offs, sales, joint ventures, and capital markets offerings - intended to optimize tax, accounting, and other objectives of the deal.
Capital Markets Advisory
Evercore is a leading advisor to clients on many of the largest and most complex corporate balance sheets in the global capital markets. Our flexible and integrated teams develop trust with clients by focusing on objectives and facts, not capital
markets products. Functionally, Evercore can act as an independent advisor, capital placement agent, or underwriter based on each client's circumstances and preferences.
•Equity Capital Markets. Evercore provides equity and equity-linked capital markets advice and execution designed to complement our firm's formidable corporate advisory platform. Our team provides its clients with independent advice, experienced judgment, and key insights on all aspects of capital formation and capital markets transactions. Our ECM team has the flexibility to engage with our corporate clients as an underwriter or an independent advisor.
•Restructuring. Evercore provides independent financial restructuring advice to companies, creditors, shareholders, and other stakeholders, both in-and out-of-court. We specialize in providing critical and unbiased advice to clients on complex balance sheet issues and transformational situations.
•Debt Advisory. Evercore provides independent advice to corporate clients on all debt capital markets products globally and, in conjunction with our Market Risk Management and Hedging team, on associated market related risks and hedging.
•Private Placement Advisory. Evercore structures and executes private market transactions for public and private corporate clients who require direct private equity, credit or hybrid financing solutions.
•Market Risk Management and Hedging. Evercore advises clients on all aspects of market-related risks arising from foreign exchange, interest rates, inflation and commodity prices in connection with cross-border M&A and financing transactions.
•Private Capital Advisory. Evercore advises managers of private assets – private equity, private debt, real estate, infrastructure and others – seeking to recapitalize or liquidate their assets through a privately negotiated transaction (e.g. fund sales, asset refinancing and fund recapitalizations). In addition, Evercore provides advisory services focused on primary and secondary transactions for real estate oriented financial sponsors and private equity interests.
•Private Funds. Evercore provides comprehensive global advisory services on capital raising for select private fund sponsors, including private equity, infrastructure and real estate, advising and executing on all aspects of the fundraising process, including competitive positioning and market assessment, preparation of marketing materials, investor development and documentation.
At Evercore ISI, our experienced research, sales and trading professionals deliver superior client service on a content-led platform, striving to be the best independent equity research resource to support our institutional investor clients. At December 31, 2020, Evercore ISI had 40 senior-most research and distribution professionals.
•Research. Evercore ISI was recognized as the top ranked independent firm by Institutional Investor in 2020. We also ranked #2 on a weighted basis and #3 in overall positions.
•Sales. Our sales team delivers research-centric service to more than 1,300 institutional clients in the U.S. and abroad. The team provides access to our macro and fundamental research products and our dedicated sales specialists provide unique sector insights.
•Trading. Evercore ISI’s trading professionals engage primarily in agency-only transactions, free of the potential conflicts of interest created by proprietary trading. Our team provides seamless execution, placing our clients’ interests first and executing transactions with efficiency, objectivity and discretion.
•Corporate Access. Our corporate access team develops strategic connectivity between company managements and investors to maximize the impact of roadshows, field trips, sector and macros conferences.
Our Investment Banking segment also includes an interest in Luminis Partners ("Luminis"), which is accounted for under the equity method of accounting. Luminis is an independent corporate advisory firm based in Australia.
In 2020, we completed the transition of our advisory presence in Mexico to a strategic alliance relationship with a newly-formed independent strategic advisory firm founded by certain former employees. We also entered into a strategic alliance with an advisory firm in Brazil in 2020, and maintain strategic alliances in India and South Korea.
Our Investment Management segment includes wealth management and trust services through Evercore Wealth Management L.L.C. ("EWM"), as well as private equity through investments in entities that manage private equity funds. In
2020, our Investment Management segment generated revenue of $54.4 million, or 2% of our revenues, excluding Other Revenue, net ($50.6 million, or 3%, in 2019 and $48.2 million, or 2%, in 2018).
•Evercore Wealth and Trust. Evercore's U.S.-based Evercore Wealth Management serves high-net-worth individuals, foundations and endowments. Clients at EWM and our affiliated trust company, Evercore Trust Company, N.A. ("ETC"), work directly with dedicated teams of independent thinkers to manage complex wealth and focus on delivering tangible results. As of December 31, 2020, EWM had $10.2 billion of assets under management ("AUM").
•Investments in Affiliates. We also hold interests in ABS Investment Management Holdings LP and ABS Investment Management GP LLC (collectively, "ABS") and Atalanta Sosnoff Capital, LLC ("Atalanta Sosnoff") that are accounted for under the equity method of accounting. ABS is an institutionally focused hedge fund-of-funds manager and Atalanta Sosnoff manages large-capitalization U.S. equity and balanced products. We also hold interests in entities that manage private equity funds and in the funds they manage.
–Glisco. We maintain a limited partner's interest in the value-oriented, middle-market private equity funds in Mexico, Glisco Partners II, L.P. ("Glisco II"), Glisco Partners III, L.P. ("Glisco III") and Glisco Capital Partners IV, L.P. ("Glisco IV" and, together with Glisco II and Glisco III, the "Glisco Funds"), as well as Glisco Manager Holdings LP and the general partners of the Glisco Funds. We receive our portion of the management fees earned by Glisco Partners Inc. ("Glisco") from Glisco Manager Holdings LP. We are passive investors and do not participate in the management of any Glisco sponsored funds.
–Trilantic. While we do not intend to raise any Evercore-sponsored funds, we maintain a strategic alliance to pursue private equity investment opportunities with Trilantic Capital Partners ("Trilantic"). In connection with the issuance of certain limited partnership interests in Trilantic, we became a limited partner of Trilantic and are entitled to receive 10% of the aggregate amount of carried interest with respect to all of the portfolio investments made by Trilantic Capital Partners Associates IV, L.P. ("Trilantic IV"), up to $15.0 million. As part of the strategic alliance, we committed $5.0 million of the total capital commitments of Trilantic Capital Partners V L.P. ("Trilantic V") and $12.0 million of the total capital commitments of Trilantic Capital Partners VI (North America) L.P. ("Trilantic VI"). We and our affiliates are passive investors and do not participate in the management of any Trilantic sponsored funds. We previously raised and managed Evercore-sponsored funds, but do not currently have specific plans to continue to do so.
•The Investment Management segment also includes the results of Evercore Casa de Bolsa, S.A. de C.V. ("ECB"), which was sold in 2020.
Our Strategies for Growth
We expect to deploy the majority of our capital to continue to grow our Investment Banking businesses. We intend to continue to grow and diversify our businesses, and to further enhance our profile and competitive position, through the following strategies:
•Add and Promote Highly Qualified Investment Banking Professionals. We hired three new Senior Managing Directors in 2020, expanding our capabilities in our Capital Markets Advisory practice by strengthening our coverage of the Technology sector, as well as enhancing our advisory capabilities on complex and large cap corporate realignments and expanding our capital raising and distribution capabilities with convertible debt. Of equal importance, following our long-term strategy of developing internal talent, we also promoted seven internal candidates to Senior Managing Director in our Advisory business in 2020 and intend to continue to promote our most talented professionals in the future. We intend to continue to recruit and promote high-caliber strategic corporate, strategic and capital markets advisory, as well as equity research, professionals to add depth in industry sectors and products and services in areas that we believe we already have strength, and to extend our reach to sectors or new business lines and geographies that we have identified as particularly attractive. On occasion, these additions may result from the acquisition of boutique independent advisory firms with leading professionals in a market or sector.
•Achieve Organic Growth and Improved Profitability in Investment Management. We are focused on managing our current Investment Management business effectively. We also continue to selectively evaluate opportunities to expand Wealth Management.
Human Capital Management
We are a human capital intensive business and our long-term success is dependent on the number, quality and performance of our people. Our key human capital management objectives are to attract, develop, mentor, promote and retain the most talented professionals in our industry. To support these objectives, we invest substantial time and resources toward the
recruitment of people who will adhere to our Core Values and improve our business; reward and support employees through competitive pay and benefits programs; facilitate the professional development of our employees through our talent development programs; and promote a strong culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our organization.
With these guiding principles, our Human Capital Management team leads our efforts on employment-related matters, including recruiting and hiring, onboarding and training, compensation planning, performance management and professional development. Our Board of Directors and its Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee provide oversight on certain human capital matters as well, including our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.
Some examples of our programs, initiatives and efforts to attract, develop, mentor, promote and retain the most talented professionals in our industry include:
•Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: DE&I is a major focus of our senior management and Board of Directors. Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the organization is not only the right thing to do, but it improves our culture and performance, allowing us to better serve our clients and grow our business over the long term. We believe in empowering our people to thrive by maintaining a culture of inclusion that embraces diversity and creates opportunity for all employees. However, we recognize there is still important work to be done in realizing our DE&I objectives. We are committed to working diligently and transparently with our key stakeholders, including our employees, as we continue to execute on our objectives. We are focused on the following DE&I objectives:
◦Promoting greater diversity within Evercore, with strong representation of various groups across all levels
◦Building knowledge and understanding of key DE&I issues across the organization and accountability for driving progress
◦Creating an environment where all diverse professionals feel supported and fully integrated into the firm
We execute on these objectives through a variety of initiatives, including:
◦Recruiting and Representation
•We maintain an internal diversity recruiting team, which has augmented our campus recruiting strategy to increase diversity in our talent pipeline, through outreach at HBCUs/HSIs and diversity-specific recruiting events.
•We have partnerships with external diversity organizations.
•We offer scholarships to select diversity candidates.
•We have added four new independent directors to our Board since 2018 – three of whom are women, and one of whom is also a person of color. Currently, 40% of our independent directors are women.
◦Education and Training
•We provide formal training and mentorship programs for underrepresented employees and conduct trainings for our employees on DE&I issues.
•Our Diversity Networks have hosted events and programs for their members and allies, including several events with prominent leaders outside of and within our own organization.
◦Building an Inclusive Culture
•We maintain a Global Diversity Council, whose membership includes the heads of each of the firm’s employee-led diversity networks, to help build connectivity, create community and advance the firm’s culture of inclusion:
◦Traditionally Underrepresented Minorities Network
•Diversity recruiting efforts are regularly reviewed by senior management.
◦We analyze pay equity information throughout the organization.
◦We continue to regularly share progress on DE&I initiatives and results, including at firm-wide town-halls and with the Board of Directors.
•Talent Development: We are committed to the professional development of our employees.
◦Our training framework involves ongoing development at multiple stages of our employees’ career, including on-the-job training and mentorship.
◦Our senior professionals play a central role in presenting our training and development programs, including our M&A Black Belt program (with over 2,500 attendees across all sessions), and other sector and business appropriate training programs.
◦We also engage in a comprehensive evaluation process designed to provide our employees with the feedback necessary for their professional development.
◦We conduct employee surveys and implement feedback into our policies and procedures.
•Health, Safety and Wellness: The success of our business is fundamentally connected to the well-being of our people. Accordingly, we are committed to the health, safety and wellness of our employees.
◦We provide our employees and their families with access to a variety of innovative, flexible and convenient health and wellness programs, as described below. These programs support our employees’ physical and mental health by providing tools and resources to help improve or maintain their health status and offer choice, where possible, so that our employees can customize their benefits to meet their needs.
◦In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented and continue to implement safety measures in all of our offices and made other significant changes that we determined were in the best interest of our employees, as well as the communities in which we operate, and which comply with government regulations. This includes having nearly all of our people working remotely. In formulating our return-to-office protocol, we continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as policies and guidance from governmental authorities and health agencies.
•Compensation Structure and Benefits: Our compensation structure, including our comprehensive benefit packages, is designed to attract, motivate and retain highly talented employees.
◦We have consistently sought to closely align pay with performance. Through our broad-based equity program, we have used equity compensation to create a close alignment of interests between our shareholders and employees.
◦To advance our diversity, equity and inclusion objectives, we have recently expanded our benefits package to include additional women’s and family support benefits.
◦Our benefits for eligible employees include the following:
•Paid holidays, vacation days, personal days and sick days
•Paid parental leave
•Women’s and family healthcare services
•Flexible work arrangements
•Back-up child and elder care
•Paid marriage and bereavement leave
•Medical, dental, prescription drug and vision insurance
•Life and disability insurance
•Enhanced healthcare navigation and claims advocacy
•Health club membership discounts
•Identity theft protection
•Other corporate benefits
◦We promote wellness education and encourage our employees to take a mindful and active approach to their overall well-being, including through our EverWELL program. We offer various resources and seminars related to different aspects of healthy living, including a focus on employees’ health, welfare, nutrition, stress management and financial wellness.
•Community: We have also encouraged, supported and assisted our employees in having a positive impact on the communities in which we operate and serve.
◦Through our Evercore Volunteers program, we have continued our firm-wide community service initiatives, which connect our employees with our community partners in order to address immediate needs, support education and improve public spaces.
◦We facilitate employee fundraising, and in 2020 we conducted a social justice donation matching program, resulting in the largest charitable donation in Evercore history.
As of December 31, 2020, we employed approximately 1,800 people, working in 31 cities around the world. Our global workforce is comprised of approximately 99% full time and 1% part time employees. Nearly 1,400 of our employees were employed in the United States (of which approximately 1,100 were employed in our Investment Banking segment); the
remainder were employed outside the United States, primarily in our investment banking segment. We believe our efforts in managing our workforce have been effective, evidenced by our strong culture, talent development and employee retention.
The financial services industry is intensely competitive, and we expect it to remain so. Our competitors are other investment banking, financial advisory and investment management firms. We compete both globally and on a regional, product or niche basis. We compete on the basis of a number of factors, including transaction execution skills, investment performance, quality of equity research, our range of products and services, innovation, reputation and price.
Evercore's investment banking competitors can be categorized into two main groups: (1) large universal banks and bulge bracket firms such as Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and UBS and (2) independent advisory firms such as Centerview, Greenhill, Houlihan Lokey, Lazard, Moelis, Perella Weinberg, PJT Partners and Rothschild, among others. We believe, and our clients have informed us, that firms that also engage in acquisition financing, significant proprietary trading in clients' securities and the management of large private equity funds that often compete with clients can cause such firms to develop interests that may be in conflict with the interests of advisory clients. Since Evercore is able to avoid potential conflicts associated with these types of activities, we believe that Evercore is better able to develop trusted and long-term relationships with its clients than those of its competitors, which provide such services. In addition, we have a larger global presence, deeper sector expertise and more diverse capabilities than many of the independent firms. Evercore ISI's business is also subject to competition from investment banks and other large and small financial institutions who offer similar services.
We believe that we face a range of competitors in our Investment Management business, with numerous other firms providing competitive services. Evercore Wealth Management competes with domestic and global private banks, regional broker-dealers, independent broker-dealers, registered investment advisors, commercial banks, trust companies and other financial services firms offering wealth management services to clients, many of which have substantially greater resources and offer a broader range of services.
Competition is also intense for the attraction and retention of qualified employees. Our ability to continue to compete effectively in our businesses will depend upon our ability to attract new employees and retain and motivate our existing employees.
Our business, as well as the financial services industry generally, is subject to extensive regulation in the United States and in the other jurisdictions where we operate. As a matter of public policy, regulatory bodies in the United States and the rest of the world are charged with safeguarding the integrity of the securities and other financial markets and with protecting the interests of customers participating in those markets. In the United States, the SEC is the federal agency responsible for the administration of the federal securities laws. Evercore Group L.L.C. ("EGL"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ours through which we conduct our U.S. investment banking business, is registered as a broker-dealer with the SEC, is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") and is registered as a broker-dealer in various states and the District of Columbia. EGL is subject to regulation and oversight by the SEC. FINRA, a self-regulatory organization that is subject to oversight by the SEC, adopts and enforces rules governing the conduct, and examines the activities, of its member firms, including EGL. The SEC, FINRA, and other regulators in various jurisdictions impose both conduct-based and disclosure-based requirements with respect to our business. State securities regulators also have regulatory or oversight authority over EGL. Our Private Funds Group is also impacted by various state and local regulations that restrict or prohibit the use of placement agents in connection with investments by public pension funds.
Broker-dealers are subject to regulations that cover all aspects of the securities business, including sales methods, trade practices, use and safekeeping of customers' funds and securities, capital structure, record-keeping, the financing of customers' purchases and the conduct and qualifications of directors, officers and employees. In particular, as a registered broker-dealer and member of a self-regulatory organization, we are subject to the SEC's uniform net capital rule, Rule 15c3-1. Rule 15c3-1 specifies the minimum level of net capital a broker-dealer must maintain and also requires that a significant part of a broker-dealer's assets be kept in relatively liquid form. The SEC and various self-regulatory organizations impose rules that require notification when net capital falls below certain predefined criteria, limit the ratio of subordinated debt to equity in the regulatory capital composition of a broker-dealer and constrain the ability of a broker-dealer to expand its business under
certain circumstances. Additionally, the SEC's uniform net capital rule imposes certain requirements that may have the effect of prohibiting a broker-dealer from distributing or withdrawing capital and requiring prior notice to the SEC for certain withdrawals of capital. EGL is also subject to the SEC's Market Access Rule, Rule 15c3-5. The Market Access Rule requires EGL to have controls and procedures in place to limit financial exposure by establishing capital thresholds for its trading clients and implementing controls to prevent erroneous orders. Our broker-dealer subsidiaries are also subject to regulations, including the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, as amended (the "Patriot Act"), which impose obligations regarding the prevention and detection of money-laundering activities, including the establishment of customer due diligence and other compliance policies and procedures. Regulatory authorities are also increasingly focused on cyber security and vendor management. Failure to comply with any legal and regulatory requirements may result in monetary, regulatory and, in certain cases, criminal penalties.
We are also subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits offering, promising, giving, or authorizing others to give anything of value, either directly or indirectly, to a non-U.S. government official in order to influence official action or otherwise gain an unfair business advantage, such as to obtain or retain business.
Our Investment Management business at EWM, as well as our equity method investments, ABS and Atalanta Sosnoff, are registered as investment advisors with the SEC. Registered investment advisors are subject to the requirements and regulations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Such requirements relate to, among other things, fiduciary duties to clients, maintaining an effective compliance program, solicitation agreements, conflicts of interest, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, disclosure requirements, limitations on agency cross and principal transactions between an advisor and advisory clients, state and local political contributions, as well as general anti-fraud prohibitions. EWM is also an investment advisor to a mutual fund, which subjects EWM to additional regulations under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the "1940 Act"). ETC, which is a national trust bank limited to fiduciary activities, is regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC"), is a member bank of the Federal Reserve System and is subject to, among other things, the Patriot Act, the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, as amended, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, as amended, other federal banking laws and the state laws in the jurisdictions in which it operates.
Authorization by the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA"). The FCA is responsible for regulating Evercore Partners International LLP ("Evercore U.K.") and Evercore ISI International Limited ("Evercore ISI U.K."), the London vehicle of Evercore ISI. The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 ("FSMA") is the basis for the United Kingdom's ("U.K.") financial services regulatory regime. FSMA is supported by secondary legislation and other rules made under FSMA, including the FCA Handbook of Rules and Guidance. A key FSMA provision is section 19, which contains a "general prohibition" against any person carrying on a "regulated activity" (or purporting to do so) in the U.K., unless he is an authorized or exempt person. It is a criminal offense to breach this general prohibition and certain agreements made in breach may not be enforceable. The "regulated activities" are set out in the FSMA (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 (as amended). Evercore U.K. is authorized to carry out regulated activities including: advising on investments, arranging (bringing about) deals in investments and making arrangements with a view to transactions in investments. Evercore ISI U.K. is also authorized to carry out these activities. As U.K. authorized persons, Evercore U.K. and Evercore ISI U.K. are subject to the FCA's high-level principles for businesses, conduct of business obligations and organizational requirements. The FCA has extensive powers to supervise and intervene in the affairs of the firms. It can take a range of disciplinary enforcement actions, including public censure, restitution, fines or sanctions and the award of compensation.
FSMA also gives the FCA investigatory and enforcement powers in respect of contraventions of various European Union ("EU") regulations, including the Market Abuse Regulation, which prohibits insider dealing, unlawful disclosure of inside information and market manipulation. The FCA is also able to prosecute a number of criminal offenses including, among other things, criminal insider dealing under the Criminal Justice Act 1993 and criminal market manipulation under the Financial Services Act 2012.
Regulatory Capital. Regulatory capital requirements form an integral part of the FCA's prudential supervision of FCA authorized firms. The regulatory capital rules oblige firms to hold a certain amount of capital at all times (taking into account the particular risks to which the firm may be exposed given its business activities), thereby helping to ensure that firms can meet their liabilities as they fall due and safeguarding their (and their counterparties') financial stability. The FCA also expects firms to take a proactive approach to monitoring and managing risks, consistent with its high-level requirement for firms to have adequate financial resources. However, as a so-called "exempt-CAD firm," Evercore U.K. is subject only to limited minimum capital requirements.
Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing and Anti-Bribery. The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (the "Money Laundering Regulations") came into force on June 26, 2017 and implemented the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive ("MLD 4"). MLD 4 is designed to reinforce the efficacy of EU law in countering money laundering and terrorist financing and to ensure that the EU framework is aligned with the International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation adopted by the Financial Action Task Force in 2012. The Money Laundering Regulations impose numerous obligations on Evercore U.K. and Evercore ISI U.K. (and other "relevant persons"), including, among other things, obligations to take appropriate steps to assess the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing to which the business is subject and to maintain policies, controls and procedures to mitigate and manage the risks identified in the risk assessment. The Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive ("MLD 5") came into force on July 9, 2018. It amends MLD 4, which was transposed into U.K. law by amending the Money Laundering Regulations. In the U.K., it has been implemented through the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019. The objectives of MLD 5 include, among other things, extending the scope of MLD 4 to include a broader range of market participants (including cryptoasset exchanges and custodian wallet providers), amending customer due diligence requirements for client relationships (including the circumstances in which enhanced due diligence is required) and for transactions involving high risk countries and improved access to beneficial ownership for customer due diligence information.
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Terrorism Act 2000 also contain a number of offenses in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing, respectively. Evercore U.K., Evercore ISI U.K. (and potentially other Evercore entities with a 'close connection' to the U.K.) are also subject to the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, which came into force on July 1, 2011. It provides for criminal penalties for bribery of, or receipt of a bribe from, public officials, corporations and individuals, as well as for the failure of an organization to prevent a person with whom it is associated from providing bribes for the organization's benefit.
Regulatory Framework in the European Union. The U.K. left the EU on January 31, 2020 and on December 31, 2020, at 11p.m., the Brexit transitional period came to an end. The U.K and the EU entered into the U.K. - EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement ("TCA") on December 24, 2020. The TCA was accompanied by a non-binding Joint Declaration committing the U.K. and the EU to cooperate on matters of financial regulation, which is intended to be facilitated by a Memorandum of Understanding due to be agreed by March 2021. However, the TCA does not presently make provision for financial services firms in the U.K. to access the EU single market. As a result, from January 1, 2021, U.K. firms, including Evercore U.K. and Evercore ISI U.K., do not have passporting rights to provide cross-border services into the EU and into a number of other members of the European Economic Area ("EEA"), to the extent such services are regulated activities. Evercore has a German subsidiary, Evercore GmbH ("Evercore Germany"), through which regulated activities can be conducted in Germany and in other EU and EEA jurisdictions on a cross-border basis, subject to certain exceptions and in compliance with applicable legal requirements.
Following the U.K.’s exit from the EU, the provisions of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (together "MiFID") have been on-shored and brought into U.K. law through the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This provided that EU law directly applicable in the U.K. would form part of U.K. law at the end of the Brexit transitional period and gave powers to the U.K. government to amend this legislation so that it would operate effectively after Brexit. For most practical purposes Evercore U.K. and Evercore ISI U.K. will be subject to broadly the same requirements under the on-shored U.K. MiFID regime, subject to changes put forward in the U.K.'s legislative program.
In Germany, our subsidiary, Evercore Germany, is licensed by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht "BaFin") to conduct investment advice and investment brokerage activities in Germany. Evercore Germany has passporting rights to provide cross-border services into the EU which are equivalent to those enjoyed by Evercore U.K. until January 1, 2021. Accordingly, Evercore Germany is authorized to provide the aforementioned services across the EU on a cross-border basis. Among other requirements, BaFin requires Evercore Germany, as a regulated entity, to comply with capital, liquidity, governance and business conduct requirements, and has a range of supervisory and disciplinary powers which it is able to use in overseeing the activities of the firm.
In Hong Kong, our subsidiary, Evercore Asia Limited ("Evercore Asia"), is licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") to conduct certain corporate finance activities and securities dealing and advising activities that are related to corporate finance. The compliance requirements of the SFC include, among other things, paid-up share capital, liquid
capital and conduct of business requirements. The directors and certain officers, employees and other persons affiliated with Evercore Asia are also subject to SFC licensing and/or compliance requirements.
In Singapore, Evercore Asia (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. maintains a Capital Market Services license issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") for dealing in capital markets products that are securities and collective investment schemes and advising on corporate finance. The compliance requirements of MAS include conduct of business requirements and rules relating to client assets, among other things.
Dubai International Financial Centre
Financial services activities in, or from, the Dubai International Financial Centre, a free-zone located in the United Arab Emirates, Emirate of Dubai, are regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA") and are subject to licensing requirements. Evercore Advisory (Middle East) Limited maintains licenses issued by the DFSA for (i) advising on financial products, (ii) arranging credit and advising on credit and (iii) arranging deals in investments. The compliance requirements of the DFSA include, among other things, capital, liquidity, governance, conduct of business requirements and anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and sanctions requirements.
Certain of our businesses are subject to compliance with laws and regulations of U.S. federal and state governments, non-U.S. governments, their respective agencies and/or various self-regulatory organizations or exchanges relating to, among other things, the privacy of client information, and any failure to comply with these regulations could expose us to liability and/or reputational damage. Additional legislation, changes in rules promulgated by financial authorities and self-regulatory organizations or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules, either in the United States or elsewhere, may directly affect our mode of operation and profitability.
The U.S. and non-U.S. government agencies and self-regulatory organizations, as well as state securities commissions in the United States, are empowered to conduct periodic examinations and initiate administrative proceedings that can result in censure, fine, the issuance of cease-and-desist orders or the suspension or expulsion of a regulated entity or its directors, officers or employees.
Risks Related to Our Business
Difficult market conditions may adversely affect our business in many ways, including reducing the volume of the transactions involving our Investment Banking business and reducing the value of the assets we manage in our Investment Management businesses, which, in each case, may materially reduce our revenue or income.
As a financial services firm, our businesses are materially affected by conditions in the financial markets and economic conditions in the U.S. and throughout the world. Financial markets and economic conditions can be negatively impacted by many factors beyond our control, such as the inability to access credit markets, rising interest rates or inflation, terrorism, pandemic, political uncertainty, uncertainty in the U.S. federal fiscal or monetary policy and the fiscal and monetary policy of foreign governments and the timing and nature of regulatory reform. Unfavorable market or economic conditions, as well as volatility in the financial markets can materially reduce the demand for our services and present new challenges. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on market and economic conditions throughout 2020 which, at different times throughout the year, had both positive and negative impacts on the results of operations for each of our business units. The course of the COVID-19 pandemic into 2021, including the timing and acceptance of vaccinations, or other similar unrelated pandemics, epidemics or global events leading to difficult market or economic conditions, may cause the number of global and domestic M&A transactions to significantly decrease, and we cannot be certain that any associated increases in activity in our restructuring, debt advisory, capital markets advisory businesses and Equities business will be sufficient to offset weakness in M&A activity. The associated decline in revenue could have a significant adverse impact on our results of operations and cash flows, and our ability to fund operations, make capital investments, maintain compliance with our debt covenants and fund shareholder dividends and other capital commitments or stock repurchases could be adversely affected.
Revenue generated by our Investment Banking business is related to the volume and value of the transactions in which we are involved. The majority of our bankers are focused on covering clients in the context of providing M&A services and those activities generate a substantial portion of our revenues. During periods of unfavorable market and economic conditions, our
operating results may be adversely affected by a decrease in the volume and value of M&A transactions and increasing price competition among financial services companies seeking advisory engagements. Our clients engaging in M&A transactions often rely on access to the credit and/or capital markets to finance their transactions. The uncertainty of available credit and the volatility of the capital markets and the fact that we do not provide financing or otherwise commit capital to clients can adversely affect the size, volume, timing and ability of such clients to successfully complete M&A transactions and adversely affect our Investment Banking business. In addition, our profitability would be adversely affected due to our fixed costs and the possibility that we would be unable to reduce our variable costs without reducing revenue or within a timeframe sufficient to offset any decreases in revenue relating to changes in market and economic conditions.
We also seek to generate greater business from our restructuring and capital advisory services and our Evercore ISI business. However, we cannot be certain that we will be able to offset lower revenues in their entirety from a decline in our M&A activities with revenues generated from restructuring and capital advisory services or from our Evercore ISI business. Our restructuring services, which provide financial advice and investment banking services to companies in financial transition, as well as to creditors, shareholders and potential acquirers, our capital advisory services, which provide corporations and financial sponsors with advice relating to a broad array of financing issues, and our Evercore ISI business, which provides equity research and agency securities trading for institutional investors, are intentionally smaller than our M&A advisory business and we expect that they will remain that way for the foreseeable future.
Unfavorable market conditions may also lead to a reduction in revenues from our underwriting and placement agent activities, and to the extent that adverse economic market conditions affect M&A and capital raising activities generally, the demand for the research and other services provided by our Evercore ISI business could correspondingly decline.
During a market or general economic downturn, our Wealth Management business would also be expected to generate lower revenue as, among other things, the management fees we receive are typically based on the market value of the securities that comprise the assets we manage, and our clients or prospective clients may withdraw funds from, or hesitate to allocate assets to, these businesses in favor of investments they perceive as offering greater opportunity or lower risk.
We depend on our senior professionals, including our executive officers, and the loss of their services could have a material adverse effect on us.
Our senior professionals' expertise, skill, reputation and relationships with clients and potential clients are critical elements in maintaining and expanding our businesses. For example, our Investment Banking business, including Advisory and Evercore ISI, is dependent on our senior Investment Banking professionals and on a small number of senior research analysts, traders and executives. In addition, EWM is dependent on a small number of senior portfolio managers and executives. Our professionals possess substantial experience and expertise and strong client relationships. However, they are not obligated to remain employed with us and the market for qualified professionals is highly competitive. If any of these personnel were to retire, join an existing competitor, form a competing company or otherwise leave us, it could jeopardize our relationships with clients and result in the loss of client engagements and revenues, which may be material.
In addition, if any of our executive officers or other senior professionals were to join an existing competitor or form a competing company, some of our clients could choose to use the services of that competitor instead of our services or some of our other professionals could choose to follow the departing senior professional to a competitor. Although we have entered into non-competition agreements with certain senior professionals, there is no guarantee that these agreements provide sufficient incentives or protections to prevent our professionals from resigning to join our competitors or that the non-competition agreements would be upheld if we were to seek to enforce our rights. The departure of a number of executive officers or senior professionals could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If we are unable to successfully identify, hire and retain productive individuals, we may not be able to implement our growth strategy successfully.
Our growth strategy is based, in part, on our ability to attract and retain highly skilled and profitable senior professionals across all of our businesses. Due to competition from other firms, we may face difficulties in recruiting and retaining professionals of a caliber consistent with our business strategy. In particular, many of our competitors may be able to offer more attractive compensation packages or broader career opportunities. Additionally, it may take more than one year for us to determine whether new advisory professionals will be profitable or effective, during which time we may incur significant expenses and expend significant time and resources on training, integration and business development aimed at developing this new talent. Further, we may not be able to retain our professionals, which could result in increased recruiting expenses or our recruiting professionals at higher compensation levels.
Certain aspects of our cost structure are largely fixed, and we may incur costs associated with new or expanded lines of business prior to these lines of business generating significant revenue. If our revenue declines or fails to increase commensurately with the expenses associated with new or expanded lines of business, our profitability may be materially adversely affected.
We may incur costs associated with new or expanded lines of business, including guaranteed or fixed compensation costs, prior to these lines of business generating significant revenue. In addition, certain aspects of our cost structure, such as costs for occupancy and equipment rentals, communication and information technology services, and depreciation and amortization are largely fixed, and we may not be able to timely adjust these costs to match fluctuations in revenue. If our revenue declines, or fails to increase commensurately with the expenses associated with new or expanded lines of business, our profitability may be materially adversely affected.
Our growth has placed, and will continue to place, significant demands on our administrative, operational and financial resources.
We have experienced significant growth in the past several years. Supporting this growth has placed significant demands on our operational, legal, regulatory and financial systems and resources for integration, training and business development efforts. We are often required to commit additional resources to maintain appropriate operational, legal, regulatory and financial systems to adequately support expansion, even when we only partner, enter into strategic alliances or take minority stakes in other businesses. We expect our growth to continue, which could place additional demands on our resources and increase our expenses. For example, in recent years we have made significant investments in various enterprise technologies, such as client relationship management and enterprise resource planning technology. We cannot provide assurance that our financial controls, the level of knowledge of our personnel, our operational abilities, our legal and compliance controls and our other corporate support systems will be adequate to manage our expanding operations effectively. Any failure to do so could adversely affect our ability to pursue our growth strategy, generate revenue and control expenses.
Our revenue and profits are highly volatile, which may make it difficult for us to achieve steady earnings growth on a quarterly basis and may cause the price of our Class A common stock to decline.
Our revenue and profits are highly volatile, and we can experience significant fluctuations in quarterly results. We generally derive Investment Banking revenue from engagements that generate significant fees at key transaction milestones, such as closing, and the timing of these milestones is outside of our control. As a result, our financial results will likely fluctuate from quarter to quarter based on the timing of when those fees are earned. It may be difficult for us to achieve steady earnings growth on a quarterly basis, which could, in turn, lead to large adverse movements in the price of our Class A common stock or increased volatility in our stock price generally.
We earn a majority of our revenue from advisory engagements, and, in many cases, we are not paid until the successful consummation of the transactions. As a result, our Investment Banking revenue is highly dependent on market conditions and the decisions and actions of our clients, interested third parties and governmental authorities. For example, a client could delay or terminate an acquisition transaction because of a failure to agree upon final terms with the counterparty, failure to obtain necessary regulatory consents or board or stockholder approvals, failure to secure necessary financing, adverse market conditions or because the target's business is experiencing unexpected operating or financial problems. Anticipated bidders for assets of a client during a restructuring transaction may not materialize or our client may not be able to restructure its operations or indebtedness due to a failure to reach agreement with its principal creditors. In these circumstances, we often do not receive any advisory fees other than the reimbursement of certain out-of-pocket expenses, despite the fact that we have devoted considerable resources to these transactions. The loss of even one such mandate may have a significant effect on our near-term financial results.
In Wealth Management, our revenue includes management fees from assets we manage. These revenues are dependent upon the amount of AUM, which can decline as a result of market depreciation, withdrawals or otherwise, as well as the performance of the assets. The timing of flows, contributions and withdrawals are often out of our control, can occur on short notice, and may be inconsistent from quarter to quarter. See "—The amount and mix of our AUM are subject to significant fluctuations." Even in the absence of a market downturn, below-market investment performance by our funds and portfolio managers could reduce AUM and asset management revenues.
Our failure to deal appropriately with actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest could damage our reputation and materially adversely affect our business.
As we have expanded the scope of our businesses and client base, we increasingly confront actual, potential and perceived conflicts of interest relating to our Investment Banking and Investment Management businesses. It is possible that actual, potential or perceived conflicts could give rise to client dissatisfaction, litigation or regulatory enforcement actions. Appropriately identifying and managing actual or perceived conflicts of interest is complex and difficult, and our reputation could be damaged if we fail, or appear to fail, to deal appropriately with one or more potential or actual conflicts of interest. Regulatory scrutiny of, or litigation in connection with, conflicts of interest would have a material adverse effect on our reputation which would materially adversely affect our business in a number of ways, including an inability to recruit additional professionals and a reluctance of potential clients and counterparties to do business with us. Additionally, client-imposed conflicts requirements could place additional limitations on us, for example, by limiting our ability to accept Investment Banking advisory engagements.
Policies, controls and procedures that we may be required to implement to address additional regulatory requirements, including as a result of additional foreign jurisdictions in which we operate, Evercore ISI's business and our underwriting activities, or to mitigate actual or potential conflicts of interest, may result in increased costs, including for additional personnel and infrastructure and information technology improvements, as well as limit our activities and reduce the positive synergies that we seek to cultivate across our businesses. For example, due to our equity research activities through Evercore ISI, we face potential conflicts of interest, including situations where our publication of research may conflict with the interests of an advisory client, or allegations that research objectivity is being inappropriately impacted by advisory client considerations.
Employee misconduct, which is difficult to detect and deter, could harm us by impairing our ability to attract and retain clients while subjecting us to significant legal liability and reputational harm.
There is a risk that our employees could engage in fraud or misconduct that adversely affects our business. Our Investment Banking business often requires that we deal with confidential matters of great significance to our clients. If our employees were to improperly use or disclose confidential information provided by our clients, we could be subject to regulatory sanctions and suffer serious harm to our reputation, financial position, current client relationships and ability to attract future clients and employees. We are also subject to a number of obligations and standards arising from our Investment Management business and our authority over the assets managed by our Investment Management business. The violation of these obligations and standards by any of our employees would adversely affect our clients and us. It is not always possible to deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in all cases. If our employees engage in misconduct, our business may be adversely affected.
In addition, the U.S. regulators and enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC, continue to devote greater resources to the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, anti-money laundering laws and anti-corruption laws, and the United Kingdom has significantly expanded the reach of its anti-bribery laws. While we have developed and implemented policies and procedures designed to ensure strict compliance with anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, anti-corruption and other laws, such policies and procedures may not be effective in all instances to prevent violations. Any determination that any of our employees have violated these laws (or similar laws of other jurisdictions in which we do business) could subject us to, among other things, civil and criminal penalties, material fines, profit disgorgement, injunction on future conduct, securities litigation and reputational damage, any one of which could adversely affect our business, financial position or results of operations.
The financial services industry faces substantial litigation and regulatory risks, and we may face damage to our professional reputation and legal liability.
If there are allegations of improper conduct by private litigants or regulators, whether the ultimate outcome is favorable or unfavorable to us, as well as negative publicity and press speculation about us, whether or not valid, may harm our reputation. Moreover, our role as advisor to our clients on important mergers and acquisitions or restructuring transactions often involves complex analysis and the exercise of professional judgment, including, if appropriate, rendering fairness opinions in connection with mergers and other transactions.
Particularly in highly volatile markets, the volume of claims and amount of damages claimed in litigation and regulatory proceedings against M&A financial advisors can be significant. Our business is also subject to regulation in the countries in which it operates. As this regulatory environment continues to change (in some cases potentially significantly) it is difficult to assess future litigation and regulatory risks. Regulatory changes make it harder for our clients to estimate future potential losses that may be incurred. Our M&A advisory activities may subject us to the risk of significant legal liability to our clients and third parties, including our clients' stockholders, under securities or other laws for materially false or misleading statements made in connection with securities and other transactions and potential liability for the fairness opinions and other advice
provided to participants in corporate transactions. In addition, a portion of our advisory fees are obtained from restructuring clients, and often these clients do not have sufficient resources to indemnify us for costs and expenses associated with third-party subpoenas and direct claims, to the extent such claims are not barred as part of the reorganization process. Our engagements typically include broad indemnities from our clients and provisions designed to limit our exposure to legal claims relating to our services, but these provisions may not protect us or may not be adhered to in all cases. These indemnities also are dependent on our client's capacity to pay the amounts claimed. As a result, we may incur significant legal expenses in defending against litigation. In our Investment Management business, we make investment decisions on behalf of our clients that could result in substantial losses. This also may subject us to the risk of legal liability or actions alleging negligent misconduct, breach of fiduciary duty or breach of contract. These risks often may be difficult to assess or quantify and their existence and magnitude often remain unknown for substantial periods of time. Substantial legal liability or legal expenses incurred in defending against litigation could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, operating results or liquidity or cause significant reputational harm to us, which could seriously harm our business.
We may face damage to our professional reputation if our services are not regarded as satisfactory or for other reasons.
As a financial services firm, we depend to a large extent on our relationships with our clients and our reputation for integrity and high-caliber professional services to attract and retain clients. Our reputation could be impacted by events that may be difficult or impossible to control, and costly or impossible to remediate. For example, alleged or actual failures by us or our employees to comply with applicable laws, rules or regulations, errors in our public reports, perceptions of our environmental, social and governance practices or business selection, or the public announcement and potential publicity surrounding any of these events, even if inaccurate, satisfactorily addressed, or if no violation or wrongdoing actually occurred, could adversely impact our reputation, our relationships with clients, and our ability to negotiate joint ventures and strategic alliances, any of which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Extensive and evolving regulation of our businesses exposes us to the potential for significant penalties and fines due to compliance failures, increases our costs and limits our ability to engage in certain activities.
As a participant in the financial services industry, we are subject to extensive and evolving regulation by governmental and self-regulatory organizations in jurisdictions around the world, as described further under "Business - Regulation" above. Our ability to conduct business and our operating results, including compliance costs, may be adversely affected as a result of any new requirements imposed by the SEC, FINRA, or other U.S. or foreign governmental regulatory authorities or self-regulatory organizations that regulate the financial services industry. We may also be adversely affected by changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws or regulations by these governmental authorities and self-regulatory organizations. Uncertainty about the timing and scope of any changes to existing laws and rules or the implementation of new laws or rules by any regulatory authorities that regulate financial services firms or supervise financial markets, as well as the compliance costs associated with a new regulatory regime, may negatively impact our businesses in the short term, even if the long-term impact of any such changes are positive for our businesses. In addition, policies adopted by clients or prospective clients, which may exceed regulatory requirements, may result in additional compliance costs that materially affect our business. Because certain of our larger competitors are subject to regulations that do not affect us to the same extent, or at all, regulatory reforms may benefit them more than us, including by expanding their permitted activities, reducing their compliance costs or reducing restraints on compensation, any of which could enhance their ability to compete against us for advisory opportunities, for employees or otherwise, in a manner that negatively impacts our business.
Our failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations could result in adverse publicity and reputational harm, as well as fines, suspensions of personnel or other sanctions, including revocation of the registration of us or any of our subsidiaries as an investment advisor or broker-dealer. For example, we are subject to extensive bribery and anti-corruption regulation, which can present heightened risks for us due to certain jurisdictions in which we operate and our significant client relationships with governmental entities and certain businesses that receive support from government agencies. Our businesses are subject to periodic examination by various regulatory authorities, and we cannot predict the outcome of any such examinations or estimate the amount of monetary fines or penalties that could be assessed. In addition, adverse regulatory scrutiny of any of our strategic partners could have a material adverse effect on our business and reputation.
Furthermore, following the U.K.’s exit from the EU (as described below), the U.K. on-shored MiFID regime, which broadly continued the requirements under the previous EU directive and regulation, continues to have significant and wide-ranging impacts on U.K. and EU securities and derivatives markets as a result of enhanced investor protection and organizational requirements, including, among other things, (i) rules regarding the ability of portfolio management firms to receive and pay for investment research relating to all asset classes, (ii) enhanced regulation of algorithmic trading, (iii) the
movement of trading in certain shares and derivatives onto regulated execution venues, (iv) the extension of pre- and post-trade transparency requirements to wider categories of financial instruments, (v) restriction on the use of so-called dark pool trading, (vi) the creation of a new type of trading venue called the Organized Trading Facility for non-equity financial instruments, (vii) commodity derivative position limits and reporting requirements, and (viii) the move away from vertical silos in execution, clearing and settlement.
The U.K.'s exit from the European Union could adversely impact our business and operations.
The U.K. left the EU on January 31, 2020 and on December 31, 2020, at 11p.m., the Brexit transitional period came to an end. The U.K. and the EU entered into the TCA on December 24, 2020, which was accompanied by a non-binding Joint Declaration committing the U.K. and the EU to cooperate on matters of financial regulation, which is intended to be facilitated by a Memorandum of Understanding due to be agreed by March 2021. However, the TCA does not presently make provision for financial services firms in the U.K. to access the EU single market. See Item 1. "Business" for more information. If the U.K. and the EU are unable to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding, or if the Memorandum of Understanding does not reinstate passporting rights to Evercore U.K. and Evercore ISI U.K., our U.K. entities would continue to be unable to conduct regulated activities on a cross-border and off-shore basis into all EU countries without obtaining regulatory approval outside of the U.K.. We have taken certain actions to prepare for this outcome, including obtaining a license from BaFin for Evercore Germany, through which regulated activities can be conducted in Germany and in other EU and EEA jurisdictions on a cross-border basis, subject to certain exceptions and in compliance with applicable legal requirements. In addition, activities performed by Evercore U.K. and Evercore ISI U.K. which are not regulated activities may still be conducted within the EU and the EEA directly. However, the inability of Evercore U.K. and Evercore ISI U.K. themselves to conduct certain regulated activities on a cross-border and off-shore basis into all EU countries could adversely affect the manner in which they operate.
More broadly, the impact of Brexit on the economic outlook of the Eurozone and the U.K., and associated global implications, remain uncertain notwithstanding agreement of the TCA. This is particularly the case in relation to the financial services sector, where the extent of EU single market access granted to U.K. financial services companies remains subject to further discussion and will rely heavily on EU determinations of equivalence in relation to the U.K.’s regulatory regime (which cannot be assured, particularly where U.K. regulatory standards diverge from those of the EU).
Our business is subject to various cybersecurity risks.
We face various operational risks related to our businesses on a day-to-day basis. We rely heavily on financial, accounting, communication and other data processing systems to securely process, transmit, and store sensitive and confidential client information, and communicate among our locations around the world and with our staff, clients, partners, and vendors. We also depend on third-party software and programs, as well as cloud-based storage platforms as part of our operations. These systems, including the systems of third parties on whom we rely, may fail to operate properly or become disabled as a result of tampering or a breach of our network security systems or otherwise, including for reasons beyond our, or their, control. In addition, we are also exposed to fourth-party cybersecurity risk from vendors, suppliers or attackers of our third-party vendors. The increased use of mobile technologies and remote working arrangements heighten these and other operational risks.
In addition, as we operate in a financial services industry, we are susceptible to attempts to gain unauthorized access of client, customer or other confidential information. We are also at risk for denial-of-service, distributed denial-of-service and/or other cyber-attacks involving the theft, dissemination and destruction of corporate information or other assets, which could result from an employee's, contractor's or other third party vendor's failure to follow data security procedures or as a result of actions by third parties, including actions by governments. Phishing attacks and email spoofing attacks are becoming more prevalent and are often used to obtain information to impersonate employees or clients in order to, among other things, direct fraudulent bank transfers or obtain valuable information. Fraudulent transfers resulting from phishing attacks or email spoofing of our employees could result in a material loss of assets, reputational harm or legal liability, and in turn materially adversely affect our business. Although cyber-attacks have not, to date, had a material impact on our operations, breaches of our, or third-party, network security systems on which we rely could involve attacks that are intended to obtain unauthorized access to and disclose our proprietary information or our client's proprietary information, destroy data or disable, degrade or sabotage our systems, often through the introduction of computer viruses, cyber-attacks and other means, and could originate from a wide variety of sources, including state actors or other unknown third parties outside the firm.
There can be no assurance that we, or the third parties on whom we rely, will be able to anticipate, detect or implement effective preventative measures against frequently changing cyber threats. We expect to incur significant costs in maintaining and enhancing appropriate protections to keep pace with increasingly sophisticated methods of attack. In addition to the implementation of data security measures, we require our employees to maintain the confidentiality of the proprietary
information we hold. If an employee's failure to follow proper data security procedures results in the improper release of confidential information, or our systems are otherwise compromised, do not operate properly or are disabled, we could suffer a disruption of our business, financial losses, liability to clients, regulatory sanctions and damage to our reputation.
We are exposed to risks and costs associated with protecting the integrity and security of our clients’, employees’ and others’ personal data and other sensitive information.
As part of our business, we manage, utilize and store sensitive or confidential client or employee data, including personal data. As a result, we are subject to various risks and costs associated with the collection, handling, storage and transmission of sensitive information, including those related to compliance with U.S. and foreign data collection and privacy laws and other contractual obligations, as well as those associated with the compromise of our systems collecting such information. These laws and regulations are increasing in complexity and number. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), which applies across the EU and the U.K., imposes stringent requirements regarding the handling of personal data and several other jurisdictions, including in the United States, have adopted or are considering similar legislation. Failure to meet the GDPR requirements could, in serious cases, result in penalties of up to four percent of worldwide revenue.
If any person, including any of our employees, negligently disregards or intentionally breaches our established controls with respect to client or employee data, or otherwise mismanages or misappropriates that data, we could be subject to significant monetary damages, regulatory enforcement actions, fines and/or criminal prosecution. In addition, unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or confidential client or employee data, whether through cyber-attacks, systems failure, employee negligence, fraud or misappropriation, could damage our reputation and cause us to lose clients and related revenue in the future. Potential liability in the event of a security breach of client data could be significant and depending on the circumstances giving rise to the breach, this liability may not be subject to a contractual limit of liability or an exclusion of consequential or indirect damages.
Any failure to comply with these regulations could expose us to liability and/or reputational damage. In addition, our businesses are increasingly subject to laws and regulations relating to surveillance, encryption and data on-shoring in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Compliance with these laws and regulations may require us to change our policies, procedures and technology for information security, which could, among other things, make us more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and misappropriation, corruption or loss of information or technology.
Our business is subject to various operational risks.
We operate in businesses that are highly dependent on proper processing of financial transactions. In Evercore ISI, and our Wealth Management business in particular, we must consistently and reliably obtain securities pricing information, properly execute and process client transactions and provide reports and other customer service to our clients. The expansion of our equities business has increased the size and scope of our trading activities and, accordingly, increased the opportunities for trade errors and other operational errors in connection with the processing of transactions. The occurrence of trade or other operational errors or the failure to keep accurate books and records can render us liable to disciplinary action by governmental and self-regulatory authorities, as well as to claims by our clients. We also rely on third-party service providers for certain aspects of our business. Any interruption or deterioration in the performance of these third parties or failures of their information systems and technology could impair our operations, affect our reputation and adversely affect our businesses.
In addition, if we were to experience a disaster or other business continuity problem, such as an epidemic, a pandemic, other man-made or natural disaster or disruption involving electronic communications or other services used by us or third parties with whom we conduct business, our continued success will depend, in part, on the availability of our personnel and office facilities and the proper functioning of our computer, software, telecommunications, transaction processing and other related systems and operations, as well as those of third parties on whom we rely. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in substantial disruption to our business operations. Although we have been able to continue business operations, we cannot guarantee in the future that similar events will not result in a material disruption to our business that may cause material financial loss, regulatory action, reputation harm or legal liability, and if significant portions of our workforce, including key personnel, are unable to work effectively because of illness, government actions, or other restrictions in connection with a pandemic, the impact of a pandemic on our business could be exacerbated. In particular, we depend on our headquarters in New York City, where a large number of our personnel are located, for the continued operation of our business. Although we have developed business continuity plans, a disaster or a disruption in the infrastructure that supports our businesses, a disruption involving electronic communications or other services used by us or third parties with whom we conduct business, or a disruption that directly affects our headquarters, could have a material adverse impact on our ability to continue to operate our business without interruption. The incidence and severity of disasters or other business continuity problems are unpredictable,
and our inability to timely and successfully recover could materially disrupt our businesses and cause material financial loss, regulatory actions, reputational harm or legal liability.
We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness.
Our ability to make scheduled payments on, or to refinance, our debt obligations depends on our financial condition and operating performance. We cannot provide assurance that we will maintain a level of cash flows from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal of, and interest on, our indebtedness, including the $170.0 million principal amount of the 2016 senior notes issued, (the "2016 Private Placement Notes") and the $175.0 million and £25.0 million principal amount of the 2019 senior notes issued, (the "2019 Private Placement Notes"), subject to semi-annual interest payments, as well as principal payments beginning in 2021 and 2029, respectively. The final payments of all amounts outstanding, plus accrued interest, are due 2028, for the 2016 Private Placement Notes, and 2033, for the 2019 Private Placement Notes. See Note 14 to our consolidated financial statements for further information. If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, including the principal and semi-annual interest payments noted above, we may be forced to reduce or delay investments and capital expenditures, or to sell assets, seek additional capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness, including the Private Placement Notes and other contractual commitments.
Our clients may be unable to pay us for our services.
We face the risk that certain clients may not have sufficient financial resources to pay, or otherwise refuse to pay, our agreed-upon advisory fees, including in the bankruptcy or insolvency context. If a client's financial difficulties become severe, the client may be unwilling or unable to pay our invoices in the ordinary course of business, which could adversely affect collections of both our accounts receivable and unbilled services. On occasion, some of our clients have entered bankruptcy, which has prevented us from collecting amounts owed to us. The bankruptcy of a number of our clients that, in the aggregate, owe us substantial accounts receivable could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if a number of clients declare bankruptcy after paying us certain invoices, courts may determine that we are not properly entitled to those payments and may require repayment of some or all of the amounts we received, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Certain clients may also be unwilling to pay our advisory fees in whole or in part, in which case we may have to incur significant costs to bring legal action to enforce our engagement agreements to obtain our advisory fees.
Goodwill, other intangible assets, equity method investments and other investments represent a portion of our assets, and an impairment of these assets could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Goodwill, other intangible assets, equity method investments and other investments represent a portion of our assets. We assess these assets at least annually for impairment, however, we may need to perform impairment tests more frequently if events occur, or circumstances indicate, that the carrying amount of these assets may not be recoverable. These events or circumstances could include a significant change in the business climate, attrition of key personnel, a prolonged decline in our stock price and market capitalization, legal factors, operating performance indicators, competition, sale or disposition of a significant portion of one of our businesses and other factors. The valuation of our reporting units, long-lived intangible assets, equity method investments or other investments requires judgment in estimating future cash flows, discount rates and other factors. In making these judgments, we evaluate the financial health of our reporting units, long-lived intangible assets, equity method investments or other investments, including such factors as market performance, changes in our client base and projected growth rates. Because these factors are ever changing, due to market and general business conditions, we cannot predict whether, and to what extent, our goodwill, long-lived intangible assets, equity method investments and other investments may be impaired in future periods.
Failure to maintain effective internal controls in accordance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act could materially adversely affect our business.
We have documented and tested our internal control procedures in order to satisfy the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires annual management assessments of the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting and a report by our independent auditors regarding our internal control over financial reporting. If we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal controls as such standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time, our independent registered public accounting firm may not be able or willing to issue an unqualified report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Matters impacting our internal controls may cause us to be unable to report our financial information on a timely basis and thereby subject us to adverse regulatory consequences, including sanctions by the SEC, or violations of applicable stock exchange listing rules. There could also be a negative reaction in the financial markets
due to a loss of investor confidence in us and the reliability of our financial statements. Confidence in the reliability of our financial statements is also likely to suffer if we identify a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting. This could materially adversely affect us and lead to a decline in the market price of our shares.
A change in relevant income tax laws, regulations or treaties or an adverse interpretation of these items by tax authorities could result in an audit adjustment or revaluation of our net deferred tax assets that may cause our effective tax rate and tax liability to be higher than what is currently presented in the consolidated financial statements.
As part of the process of preparing our consolidated financial statements, we are required to estimate income taxes in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate. Significant management judgment is required in determining our provision for income taxes, our deferred tax assets and liabilities and any valuation allowance recorded against our net deferred tax assets. This process requires us to estimate our actual current tax liability and to assess temporary differences resulting from differing book versus tax treatment of items, such as deferred revenue, compensation and benefits expense, unrealized gains and losses on long-term investments and depreciation. Our effective tax rate and tax liability is based on the application of current income tax laws, regulations and treaties. These laws, regulations and treaties are complex, and the manner in which they apply to our facts and circumstances is sometimes open to interpretation. Management believes its application of current laws, regulations and treaties to be correct and sustainable upon examination by the tax authorities. However, the tax authorities could challenge our interpretation, resulting in additional tax liability or adjustment to our income tax provision that could increase our effective tax rate. In addition, tax laws, regulations or treaties newly enacted or enacted in the future, or interpretations of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or other tax laws, may cause us to revalue our net deferred tax assets and have a material change to our effective tax rate.
Our inability to successfully identify, consummate and integrate alliances, including through joint ventures or investments, as part of our growth initiatives could have adverse consequences to our business.
We may expand our various businesses through additional acquisitions, entering into joint ventures and strategic alliances, and internally developing new opportunities that are complementary to our existing businesses and where we think we can add substantial value or generate substantial returns. The success of this strategy will depend on, among other things, the availability of suitable opportunities and capital resources to effect our strategy; the level of competition from other companies that may have greater financial resources than we do or may not require the same level of disclosure of these activities; our ability to value acquisition and investment candidates accurately and negotiate acceptable terms for those acquisitions and investments; and our ability to identify and enter into mutually beneficial relationships with joint venture partners.
Additionally, integrating acquired businesses, providing a platform for new businesses and partnering with other firms involve a number of risks and present financial, managerial and operational challenges, including the following factors, among others: loss of key employees or customers; possible inconsistencies in or conflicts between standards, controls, procedures and policies and the need to implement company-wide financial, accounting, information technology and other systems; failure to maintain the quality of services that have historically been provided; failure to coordinate geographically diverse organizations; disagreements between us and our partners; compliance with regulatory requirements in regions in which new businesses and ventures are located; and the diversion of management's attention from our day-to-day business as a result of the need to manage any disruptions and difficulties and the need to add management resources to do so. Our inability to develop, integrate and manage acquired companies, joint ventures or other strategic relationships and growth initiatives in an efficient and cost-effective manner, or at all, could have material adverse short- and long-term effects on our operating results, financial condition and liquidity.
We may not realize the cost savings, revenue enhancements or other benefits that we expected from our acquisitions and other growth initiatives.
Our analyses of the benefits and costs of expanding our businesses necessarily involve assumptions as to future events, including general business and industry conditions, the longevity of specific customer engagements and relationships, operating costs and competitive factors, many of which are beyond our control and may not materialize. While we believe our analyses and their underlying assumptions to be reasonable, they are estimates that are necessarily speculative in nature. In addition, new regulatory requirements and conflicts may reduce the synergies that we expect to result from our growth initiatives. Even if we achieve the expected benefits, we may not be able to achieve them within the anticipated time frame. Also, the cost savings and other synergies from these acquisitions may be offset by costs incurred in integrating the companies, increases in other expenses or problems in the business unrelated to these acquisitions. In the case of joint ventures, we are subject to additional risks and uncertainties in that we may be dependent upon, and subject to liability, losses or reputational damage relating to
personnel, systems and activities that are not under our direct and sole control, and conflicts and disagreements between us and our joint venture partners may negatively impact our business.
Risks Related to Our Investment Banking Business
A substantial portion of our revenue is derived from advisory assignments for Investment Banking clients, which are not long-term contracted sources of revenue and are subject to intense competition, and declines in these engagements could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and operating results.
We historically have earned a substantial portion of our revenue from fees paid to us by our Investment Banking clients for advisory services. These fees are typically payable upon the successful completion of a particular transaction or restructuring. Our Advisory and Underwriting services accounted for 89%, 88% and 88% of our revenues, excluding Other Revenue, net, in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. We expect that we will continue to rely on Investment Banking fees from advisory services for a substantial portion of our revenue for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, a decline in our Investment Banking advisory engagements, or the market for advisory services, would adversely affect our business.
In addition, our Advisory professionals operate in a highly-competitive environment where typically there are no long-term contracted sources of revenue. Each revenue-generating engagement typically is separately solicited, awarded and negotiated. In addition, many businesses do not routinely engage in transactions requiring our services. As a consequence, our fee-paying engagements with many clients are not likely to be predictable and high levels of revenue in one quarter are not necessarily predictive of continued high levels of revenue in future periods. We also lose clients each year as a result of the sale or merger of a client, a change in a client's senior management, competition from other financial advisors and financial institutions and other causes. As a result, our advisory fees could decline materially due to such changes in the volume, nature and scope of our engagements.
We face strong competition from other financial advisory firms, many of which have the ability to offer clients a wider range of products and services than we can offer, which could cause us to fail to win advisory mandates and subject us to pricing pressures that could materially adversely affect our revenue and profitability.
The financial advisory industry is intensely competitive, highly fragmented and subject to rapid change, and we expect it to remain so. We compete on both a global and regional basis, and on the basis of a number of factors, including the quality of our employees, industry knowledge, transaction execution skills, our products and services, innovation, reputation, strength of relationships and price. We have experienced intense competition over obtaining advisory mandates in recent years, and we may experience pricing pressures in our Investment Banking business in the future, as some of our competitors seek to obtain increased market share by reducing fees. When making proposals for fixed-fee engagements, we estimate the costs and timing for completing the engagements. These estimates reflect our best judgment regarding the efficiencies of our methodologies and financial professionals as we plan to deploy them on engagements. Any unexpected costs or unanticipated delays in connection with the performance of such engagements could make these contracts less profitable, or unprofitable, which would have an adverse effect on our profit margins.
Several of our competitors include large financial institutions, many of which have far greater financial and other resources and greater name recognition than us and, unlike us, have the ability to offer a wider range of products, which may enhance their competitive position. They also regularly support services we do not provide, such as commercial lending and other financial services and products, which puts us at a competitive disadvantage and could result in pricing pressures or lost opportunities, which could materially adversely affect our revenue and profitability. In addition, we may be at a competitive disadvantage with regard to certain of our competitors who have larger customer bases, have more professionals to serve their clients' needs and are able to provide financing or otherwise commit capital to clients that are often a crucial component of the Investment Banking transactions on which we advise.
In addition to our larger competitors, we face competition from a number of independent investment banks that offer only independent advisory services, which stress their lack of other businesses as a competitive advantage. As these independent firms or new entrants into the market seek to gain market share, there could be additional pricing and competitive pressures, which may impact our ability to implement our growth strategy and ultimately materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Evercore ISI's business relies on non-affiliated third-party service providers.
Evercore ISI has entered into service agreements with third-party service providers for client order management, trade execution and settlement and clearance of client securities transactions and research distribution. This business faces the risk of operational failure of any of the vendors we use to facilitate our securities transactions. Our senior management and officers oversee and manage these relationships. Poor oversight and control or inferior performance or service on the part of the service provider could result in loss of customers and violations of applicable rules and regulations. Any such failure could adversely affect our ability to effect transactions and to manage our exposure to risk.
Underwriting and trading activities expose us to risks.
We may incur losses and be subject to reputational harm to the extent that, for any reason, we are unable to sell securities we purchased as an underwriter at the anticipated price levels. As an underwriter, we also are subject to liability for material misstatements or omissions in prospectuses and other offering documents relating to offerings we underwrite. In such cases, any indemnification provisions in the applicable underwriting agreement may not be enforceable or available to us, for example, if the client is not financially able to satisfy its indemnification obligations in whole, or part, or the scope of the indemnity is not sufficient to protect us against financial or reputational losses arising from such liability.
In addition, through indemnification provisions in our agreement with our clearing organization, customer activities may expose us to off-balance sheet credit risk. We may have to purchase or sell securities at prevailing market prices in the event a customer fails to settle a trade on its original terms. We seek to manage the risks associated with customer trading activities through customer screening, internal review and trading procedures, but such procedures and processes may not be effective in all cases.
If the number of debt defaults or bankruptcies declines or other factors affect the demand for our restructuring services, our restructuring revenue could be adversely affected.
We provide financial advice and investment banking services to companies in financial transition, as well as to creditors, shareholders and potential acquirers. Our services may include reviewing and analyzing the business, financial condition and prospects of the company or providing advice on strategic transactions, capital raising or restructurings. We also may provide advisory services to companies that have sought, or are planning to seek, protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or other similar processes in non-U.S. jurisdictions. A number of factors affect demand for these advisory services, including general economic conditions, the availability and cost of debt and equity financing, governmental policy and changes to laws, rules and regulations, including those that protect creditors. In addition, providing restructuring advisory services entails the risk that the transaction will be unsuccessful, or take considerable time, and be subject to a bankruptcy court's authority to disallow or discount our fees. If the number of debt defaults or bankruptcies declines, or other factors affect the demand for our restructuring advisory services, our restructuring business would be adversely affected.
Risks Relating to Our Investment Management Business
The amount and mix of our AUM are subject to significant fluctuations.
The revenues and profitability of our Wealth Management business are derived from providing investment management and related services. The level of our revenues depends largely on the level and mix of AUM. Fluctuations in the amount and mix of our AUM may be attributable, in part, to market conditions outside of our control that have had, and in the future could have, a negative impact on our revenues and income. Any decrease in the value or amount of our AUM because of market volatility or other factors negatively impacts our revenues and income. We are subject to an increased risk of asset volatility from changes in the global financial and equity markets. Global economic conditions, exacerbated by war or terrorism, health emergencies or financial crises, changes in the equity market place, trade disputes, restrictions on travel, currency exchange rates, commodity prices, interest rates, inflation rates, the yield curve, and other factors that are difficult to predict affect the mix, market values and levels of our AUM. Moreover, changing market conditions may cause a shift in our asset mix between international and U.S. assets, potentially resulting in a decline in our revenue and income depending upon the nature of our AUM and the level of management fees we earn based on them. Additionally, changing market conditions may cause a shift in our asset mix towards fixed-income products and a related decline in our revenue and income, as in the U.S. we generally derive higher fee revenues and income from equity assets than from fixed-income products we manage.
If the funds we manage or invest in perform poorly, we will suffer a decline in our investment management revenue and earnings, and our Investment Management business may be adversely affected.
Revenue from our Wealth Management business is derived from fees earned for the management of client assets, generally based on the market value of AUM. Poor investment performance by these businesses, on an absolute basis or as compared to third-party benchmarks or competitors, could stimulate higher redemptions, thereby lowering AUM and reducing the fees we earn, even in periods when securities prices are generally rising. In addition, if the investments we make on behalf of our funds and clients perform poorly, it may be more difficult for us to attract new investors, launch new products or offer new services in our Wealth Management business. Furthermore, if the volatility in the U.S. and global markets cause a decline in the price of securities that constitutes a significant portion of our AUM, our clients could withdraw funds from, or be hesitant to invest in, our Investment Management business due to the uncertainty or volatility in the market or in favor of investments they perceive as offering greater opportunity or lower risk, which would also result in lower investment management revenue.
Our Investment Management business' reliance on non-affiliated third-party service providers subjects the Company to operational risks.
We have entered into services agreements with third-party service providers for custodial services and trust and investment administration processing and reporting services. Our officers oversee and manage these relationships; however, poor oversight and control on our part or inferior performance or service on the part of the service providers could result in loss of customers, violation of applicable rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, privacy and anti-money laundering laws and otherwise adversely affect our business and operations.
Our agreements with the OCC require us to maintain and segregate certain assets, and our failure to comply with these agreements (including if we are required to access these assets for other purposes) could adversely affect us.
Evercore Inc. and Evercore LP are party to a Capital and Liquidity Support Agreement, a Capital and Liquidity Maintenance Agreement and other related agreements with the OCC related to ETC (collectively, the "OCC Agreements"). The OCC Agreements require Evercore Inc. and Evercore LP to provide ETC necessary capital and liquidity support in order to ensure that ETC continues to operate safely and soundly and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. In particular, the OCC Agreements require that Evercore Inc. and Evercore LP (1) maintain at least $5 million in Tier 1 capital in ETC or such other amount as the OCC may require and (2) maintain liquid assets in ETC in an amount at least equal to the greater of $3.5 million or 180 days coverage of ETC's operating expenses.
If we fail to comply with any of the OCC Agreements, we could become subject to civil money penalties, regulatory enforcement actions, payment of damages and, if the OCC deems it likely that we are unable to fulfill our obligations or breach the OCC Agreements, a forced disposition of ETC. The occurrence of any of these events or the disclosure that these events are probable or under consideration may cause reputational harm and erosion of client trust, due to a perception that we are unable to comply with applicable regulatory requirements, unable to successfully launch new initiatives and businesses, or that our reputation for integrity and high-caliber professional services is no longer valid, any of which could adversely affect our business and operations.
Risks Related to Our International Operations
A meaningful portion of our revenues are derived from our international operations, which are subject to certain risks.
In 2020, we earned 23% of our Total Revenues, excluding Other Revenue, and 23% of our Investment Banking Revenues from clients located outside of the United States. Generally, we intend to grow our non-U.S. business, and this growth is critical to our overall success. Many of our larger clients for our Investment Banking business are non-U.S. entities seeking to enter into transactions involving U.S. businesses. Our international operations carry special financial and business risks, which could include, but are not limited to, greater difficulties managing and staffing foreign operations; language and cultural differences; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates that could adversely affect our results; unexpected and costly changes in trading policies, regulatory requirements, tariffs and other barriers; restrictions on travel; greater difficulties in collecting accounts receivable; longer transaction cycles; higher operating costs; local labor conditions and regulations; adverse consequences or restrictions on the repatriation of earnings; potentially adverse tax consequences, such as trapped foreign losses; less stable political and economic environments; civil disturbances or other catastrophic events that reduce business activity; disasters or other business continuity problems, such as pandemics, other man-made or natural disaster or disruption involving electronic communications or other services; and international trade issues.
As part of our day-to-day operations outside of the United States, we are required to create compensation programs, employment policies, compliance policies and procedures and other administrative programs that comply with the laws of multiple countries. We also must communicate and monitor standards and directives across our global operations. Our failure to
successfully manage and grow our geographically diverse operations could impair our ability to react quickly to changing business and market conditions and to enforce compliance with non-U.S. standards and procedures.
If our international business increases relative to our total business, these factors could have a more pronounced effect on our operating results. See also "—Difficult market conditions may adversely affect our business in many ways, including reducing the volume of the transactions involving our Investment Banking business and reducing the value of the assets we manage in our Investment Management businesses, which, in each case, may materially reduce our revenue or income."
Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates could adversely affect our results.
Because our financial statements are denominated in U.S. dollars and we receive a portion of our revenues in other currencies, we are exposed to fluctuations in foreign currencies. In addition, we pay certain of our expenses in such currencies. Generally, we do not enter into any transactions to hedge our exposure to foreign exchange fluctuations in our foreign subsidiaries through the use of derivative instruments or otherwise. An appreciation or depreciation of any of these currencies relative to the U.S. dollar would result in an adverse or beneficial impact, respectively, to our financial results. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates may also affect the levels of our AUM and, as a result, our investment advisory fees. On occasion, we enter into foreign currency exchange forward contracts as an economic hedge against exchange rate risk for foreign currency denominated accounts receivable in EGL. There were no foreign currency exchange forward contracts outstanding as of December 31, 2020.
The cost of compliance with international broker-dealer, employment, labor, benefits and tax regulations may adversely affect our business and hamper our ability to expand internationally.
Since we operate our business both in the U.S. and internationally, we are subject to many distinct broker-dealer, employment, labor, benefits and tax laws in each jurisdiction in which we operate, including regulations affecting our employment practices and our relations with our employees and service providers. If we are required to comply with new regulations or new interpretations of existing regulations, or if we are unable to comply with these regulations or interpretations, our business could be adversely affected or the cost of compliance may make it difficult to expand into new international markets. Additionally, our competitiveness in international markets may be adversely affected by regulations requiring, among other things, the awarding of contracts to local contractors, the employment of local citizens and/or the purchase of services from local businesses.
Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure
We are required to pay some of our Senior Managing Directors for most of the benefits relating to any additional tax depreciation or amortization deductions we may claim as a result of the tax basis step-up we receive in connection with exchanges of Evercore LP partnership units ("LP Units") for shares and related transactions.
As of December 31, 2020, there were vested LP Units held by some of our Senior Managing Directors and former employees that may in the future be exchanged for shares of our Class A common stock. The exchanges may result in increases in the tax basis of the assets of Evercore LP that otherwise would not have been available. These increases in tax basis may reduce the amount of tax that we would otherwise be required to pay in the future, although the IRS may challenge all or part of that tax basis increase, and a court could sustain such a challenge.
We have entered into a tax receivable agreement with some of our Senior Managing Directors that provides for the payment by us to these Senior Managing Directors of 85% of the amount of cash savings, if any, in U.S. federal, state and local income tax or franchise tax that we actually realize as a result of these increases in tax basis. While the actual increase in tax basis, as well as the amount and timing of any payments under this agreement, will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the timing of exchanges, the price of shares of our Class A common stock at the time of the exchange, the extent to which such exchanges are taxable, and the amount and timing of our income, we expect that, as a result of the size of the increases in the tax basis of the tangible and intangible assets of Evercore LP attributable to our interest in Evercore LP, during the expected term of the tax receivable agreement, the payments that we may make to our Senior Managing Directors could be substantial. Recent changes in tax legislation may modify the amounts paid under the agreement. For example, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes a permanent reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, which reduced future amounts to be paid under the agreement with respect to tax years beginning in 2018. In addition, there are numerous other provisions which may also have an impact on the amount of tax to be paid. To the extent that there are future changes or modifications to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act or other legislation that increases our federal corporate tax rate, our payment obligations under the tax receivable agreement could increase.
Although we are not aware of any issue that would cause the IRS to challenge a tax basis increase, Senior Managing Directors who receive payments will not reimburse us for any payments that may previously have been made under the tax receivable agreement. As a result, in certain circumstances we could make payments to some of the Senior Managing Directors under the tax receivable agreement in excess of our cash tax savings. Our ability to achieve benefits from any tax basis increase, and the payments to be made under this agreement, will depend upon a number of factors, as discussed above, including the timing and amount of our future income.
Our only material asset is our interest in Evercore LP, and we are accordingly dependent upon distributions from Evercore LP to pay dividends, taxes and other expenses.
The Company is a holding company and has no material assets other than its ownership of partnership units in Evercore LP. The Company has no independent means of generating revenue. We intend to cause Evercore LP to make distributions to its partners in an amount sufficient to cover all applicable taxes payable, other expenses and dividends, if any, declared by us.
Payments of dividends, if any, will be at the sole discretion of the Company's board of directors after taking into account various factors, including economic and business conditions; our financial condition and operating results; our available cash and current and anticipated cash needs; our capital requirements; applicable contractual, legal, tax and regulatory restrictions; implications of the payment of dividends by us to our stockholders or by our subsidiaries (including Evercore LP) to us; and such other factors as our board of directors may deem relevant.
In addition, Evercore LP is generally prohibited under Delaware law from making a distribution to a partner to the extent that, at the time of the distribution, after giving effect to the distribution, liabilities of Evercore LP (with certain exceptions) exceed the fair value of its assets. Furthermore, certain subsidiaries of Evercore LP may be subject to similar legal limitations on their ability to make distributions to Evercore LP. Moreover, our regulated subsidiaries may be subject to regulatory capital requirements that limit the distributions that may be made by those subsidiaries.
Deterioration in the financial condition, earnings or cash flow of Evercore LP and its subsidiaries for any reason could limit or impair their ability to pay such distributions. Additionally, to the extent that the Company requires funds and Evercore LP is restricted from making such distributions under applicable law or regulation or under the terms of financing arrangements, or is otherwise unable to provide such funds, our liquidity and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
As of December 31, 2020, regulated subsidiaries of Evercore LP had $1.2 billion of cash and cash equivalents and investment securities. Amounts held in regulated entities may be subject to advance notification requirements to, or regulatory approval from, their relevant regulatory body prior to distribution, which could delay or restrict access to such capital.
If Evercore Inc. were deemed an "investment company" under the 1940 Act as a result of its ownership of Evercore LP, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business.
If Evercore Inc. were to cease participation in the management of Evercore LP, its interest in Evercore LP could be deemed an "investment security" for purposes of the 1940 Act. Generally, a person is deemed to be an "investment company" if it owns investment securities having a value exceeding 40% of the value of its total assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items), absent an applicable exemption. Evercore Inc. will have no material assets other than its equity interest in Evercore LP. A determination that this interest was an investment security could result in Evercore Inc. being an investment company under the 1940 Act and becoming subject to the registration and other requirements of the 1940 Act.
The 1940 Act and the rules thereunder contain detailed parameters for the organization and operations of investment companies. Among other things, the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder limit or prohibit transactions with affiliates, impose limitations on the issuance of debt and equity securities, prohibit the issuance of stock options, and impose certain governance requirements. We intend to conduct our operations so that Evercore Inc. will not be deemed to be an investment company under the 1940 Act. However, if anything were to happen which would cause Evercore Inc. to be deemed to be an investment company under the 1940 Act, requirements imposed by the 1940 Act, including limitations on our capital structure, ability to transact business with affiliates and ability to compensate key employees, could make it impractical for us to continue our business as currently conducted, impair the agreements and arrangements between and among Evercore Inc., Evercore LP or our Senior Managing Directors, or any combination thereof and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Class A Common Stock
Our Senior Managing Directors control a significant portion of the voting power in Evercore Inc., which may give rise to conflicts of interests.
Our Senior Managing Directors own shares of our Class A common stock and our Class B common stock. Our certificate of incorporation provides that the holders of the shares of our Class B common stock are entitled to a number of votes that is determined pursuant to a formula that relates to the number of LP Units held by such holders. Each holder of Class B common stock is entitled, without regard to the number of shares of Class B common stock held by such holder, to one vote for each partnership unit in Evercore LP held by such holder. Our Senior Managing Directors, and certain trusts benefiting their families, collectively have a significant portion of the voting power in Evercore Inc. As a result, our Senior Managing Directors have the ability to exercise influence over the election of the members of our board of directors and, therefore, influence over our management and affairs, including determinations with respect to acquisitions, dispositions, borrowings, issuances of common stock or other securities, and the declaration and payment of dividends. In addition, they are able to exercise influence over the outcome of all matters requiring stockholder approval. This concentration of ownership could deprive our other Class A stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common stock as part of a sale of our company and might ultimately affect the market price of our Class A common stock.
Our share price may decline or we may have a significant increase in the number of shares of common stock outstanding due to the large number of shares eligible for future sale and for exchange.
The market price of our Class A common stock could decline as a result of sales of a large number of shares of Class A common stock in the market or the perception that such sales could occur. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, might make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate.
Further, we have historically repurchased a significant number of shares of our Class A common stock in the open market. If we were to cease or were unable to repurchase shares of Class A common stock, or choose to allocate available capital to the repayment of borrowings or other expenditures, the number of shares outstanding would increase over time, diluting the ownership of existing stockholders.
As of December 31, 2020, we had a total of 40,750,225 shares of our Class A common stock outstanding. In addition, our current and former Senior Managing Directors own an aggregate of 1,926,613 Class A limited partnership units of Evercore LP ("Class A LP Units"), which were all fully vested as of December 31, 2020. Further, as of December 31, 2020, there were 3,051,501 vested Class E limited partnership units of Evercore LP ("Class E LP Units"). In addition, 400,000 unvested Class I-P units of Evercore LP ("Class I-P Units") which convert into Class I limited partnership units of Evercore LP ("Class I LP Units") based on the achievement of certain market and service conditions, and 283,992 unvested Class K-P units of Evercore LP ("Class K-P Units"), which convert into a number of Class K limited partnership units of Evercore LP ("Class K LP Units") based on the achievement of certain defined benchmark results, were outstanding as of December 31, 2020. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation allows the exchange of Class A, Class E, Class I and Class K LP Units (other than those held by us) for shares of our Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis, subject to customary conversion rate adjustments for stock splits, stock dividends and reclassifications. The shares of Class A common stock issuable upon exchange of the partnership units that are held by our Senior Managing Directors and certain other employees of the Company are eligible for resale from time to time, subject to certain contractual and Securities Act restrictions.
As of February 17, 2021, we had a total of 47,628,358 shares of Class A common stock outstanding and units which were convertible, or potentially convertible, into Class A common stock. This is comprised of 42,023,195 shares of our Class A common stock outstanding, 1,902,278 Class A LP Units, 3,018,893 Class E LP Units, 400,000 Class I-P Units and 283,992 Class K-P Units (which convert into a number of Class K LP Units based on the achievement of certain defined benchmark results). See Note 19 to our consolidated financial statements for further information.
Further, as part of annual bonuses and incentive compensation, we award restricted stock units ("RSUs") to employees, as well as to new hires. As of December 31, 2020, 5,375,728 RSUs issued pursuant to the Amended and Restated 2016 Evercore Inc. Stock Incentive Plan (the "2016 Plan") and the Amended and Restated 2006 Evercore Inc. Stock Incentive Plan were outstanding. Of these RSUs, 199,147 were fully vested and 5,176,581 were unvested. Each RSU represents the holder's right to receive one share of our Class A common stock following the applicable vesting date. Should we issue RSUs in excess of the amount remaining as authorized for issuance under the Evercore Inc. 2016 Stock Incentive Plan, these awards would be accounted for as liability awards, with changes in the fair value of these awards reflected as compensation expense until authorization is obtained.
Some of our Senior Managing Directors are parties to registration rights agreements with us. Under these agreements, these persons have the ability to cause us to register the shares of our Class A common stock they could acquire.
The market price of our Class A common stock may be volatile, which could cause the value of our Class A common stock to decline.
Securities markets worldwide experience significant price and volume fluctuations. This market volatility, as well as general economic, market or political conditions, could reduce the market price of our Class A common stock in spite of our operating performance. In addition, our operating results could be below the expectations of public market analysts and investors, and in response, the market price of our Class A common stock could decrease significantly.
Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law could delay or prevent a change in control.
Our certificate of incorporation and by-laws may discourage, delay or prevent a merger or acquisition that a stockholder may consider favorable by permitting our board of directors to issue one or more series of preferred stock, requiring advance notice for stockholder proposals and nominations and placing limitations on convening stockholder meetings. In addition, we are subject to provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law that restrict certain business combinations with interested stockholders. These provisions may also discourage acquisition proposals or delay or prevent a change in control, which could harm our stock price.
|Item 1B.||Unresolved Staff Comments|
Our principal offices are located in leased office space at 55 East 52nd Street, New York, New York and at 1 and 15 Stanhope Gate in London, U.K. We do not own any real property.
In the normal course of business, from time to time, the Company and its affiliates are involved in judicial or regulatory proceedings, arbitration or mediation concerning matters arising in connection with the conduct of its businesses, including contractual and employment matters. In addition, Mexican, United Kingdom, German, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canadian, Dubai and United States government agencies and self-regulatory organizations, as well as state securities commissions in the United States, conduct periodic examinations and initiate administrative proceedings regarding the Company's business, including, among other matters, accounting and operational matters, that can result in censure, fine, the issuance of cease-and-desist orders or the suspension or expulsion of a broker-dealer, investment advisor, or its directors, officers or employees. In view of the inherent difficulty of determining whether any loss in connection with such matters is probable and whether the amount of such loss can be reasonably estimated, particularly in cases where claimants seek substantial or indeterminate damages or where investigations and proceedings are in the early stages, the Company cannot estimate the amount of such loss or range of loss, if any, related to such matters, how or if such matters will be resolved, when they will ultimately be resolved, or what the eventual settlement, fine, penalty or other relief, if any, might be. Subject to the foregoing, the Company believes, based on current knowledge and after consultation with counsel, that it is not currently party to any material pending proceedings, individually or in the aggregate, the resolution of which would have a material effect on the Company. Provisions for losses are established in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 450, "Contingencies" when warranted. Once established, such provisions are adjusted when there is more information available or when an event occurs requiring a change.
|Item 4.||Mine Safety Disclosures|
Evercore Class A Common Stock
|Item 5.||Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities|
Our Class A common stock is listed on the NYSE and is traded under the symbol "EVR." At the close of business on February 17, 2021, there were 24 Class A common stockholders of record. This is not the actual number of beneficial owners of the Company's common stock, as shares are held in "street name" by brokers and others on behalf of individual owners.
There is no trading market for the Evercore Inc. Class B common stock. As of February 17, 2021, there were 47 holders of record of the Class B common stock.
The Company paid quarterly cash dividends of $0.61 per share of Class A common stock for the quarter ended December 31, 2020, $0.58 per share for the quarters ended September 30, 2020, June 30, 2020, March 31, 2020, December 31, 2019, September 30, 2019 and June 30, 2019 and $0.50 per share for the quarter ended March 31, 2019.
We pay dividend equivalents, in the form of unvested RSU awards or deferred cash dividends, concurrently with the payment of dividends to the holders of Class A common shares, on all unvested RSU grants awarded in conjunction with annual bonuses and new hire awards. The dividend equivalents have the same vesting and delivery terms as the underlying RSU award.
The declaration and payment of any future dividends will be at the sole discretion of our board of directors. Our board of directors will take into account: general economic and business conditions; our financial condition and operating results; our available cash and current and anticipated cash needs; capital requirements; contractual, legal, tax and regulatory restrictions and implications on the payment of dividends by us to our stockholders or by our subsidiaries (including Evercore LP) to us; and such other factors as our board of directors may deem relevant.
We are a holding company and have no material assets other than our ownership of partnership units in Evercore LP. We intend to cause Evercore LP to make distributions to us in an amount sufficient to cover dividends, if any, declared by us and tax distributions. If Evercore LP makes such distributions, the limited partners of Evercore LP will be entitled to receive equivalent distributions from Evercore LP on their partnership units.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
Share Repurchases for the period January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020
|2020||Total Number of|
Shares (or Units)
Paid Per Share
|Total Number of Shares (or Units) Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs(2)||Maximum Number (or Approximate Dollar Value) of Shares (or Units) that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs(2)|
|January 1 to January 31||32,232 ||$||76.45 ||25,000 ||4,094,401 |
|February 1 to February 29||1,742,690 ||76.99 ||825,134 ||3,269,267 |
|March 1 to March 31||66,958 ||65.83 ||— ||3,269,267 |
|Total January 1 to March 31||1,841,880 ||$||76.57 ||850,134 ||3,269,267 |
|April 1 to April 30||9,394 ||$||52.62 ||— ||3,269,267 |
|May 1 to May 31||9,000 ||49.98 ||— ||3,269,267 |
|June 1 to June 30||10,541 ||57.11 ||4,000 ||3,265,267 |
|Total April 1 to June 30||28,935 ||$||53.43 ||4,000 ||3,265,267 |
|July 1 to July 31||5,275 || ||$||57.53 || ||— || ||3,265,267 |
|August 1 to August 31||5,229 || ||55.30 || ||— || ||3,265,267 |
|September 1 to September 30||5,372 || ||62.19 || ||— || ||3,265,267 |
|Total July 1 to September 30||15,876 ||$||58.37 ||— ||3,265,267 |
|October 1 to October 31||2,107 ||$||67.49 ||— ||3,265,267 |
|November 1 to November 30 ||23,555 ||84.53 ||— ||3,265,267 |
|December 1 to December 31||10,040 ||93.47 ||— ||3,265,267 |
|Total October 1 to December 31||35,702 ||$||86.04 ||— ||3,265,267 |
|Total January 1 to December 31||1,922,393 ||$||76.25 ||854,134 ||3,265,267 |
(1)Includes the repurchase of 991,746, 24,935, 15,876, and 35,702 shares in treasury transactions arising from net settlement of equity awards to satisfy minimum tax obligations during the three months ended March 31, 2020, June 30, 2020, September 30, 2020, and December 31, 2020, respectively.
(2)On October 23, 2017, our Board of Directors authorized (in addition to the net settlement of equity awards) the repurchase of Class A Shares and/or LP Units so that from that date forward, Evercore is able to repurchase an aggregate of the lesser of $750.0 million worth of Class A Shares and/or LP Units and 8.5 million Class A Shares and/or LP Units. Under this share repurchase program, shares may be repurchased from time to time in open market transactions, in privately-negotiated transactions or otherwise. The timing and the actual amount of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors, including legal requirements, price and economic and market conditions. This program may be suspended or discontinued at any time and does not have a specified expiration date.
Information relating to compensation plans under which the Company's equity securities are authorized for issuance is set forth in Part III, Item 12 of this report.
|Item 6.||Selected Financial Data|
The following table sets forth the historical selected financial data for the Company for all periods presented. For more information on our historical financial information, see Item 7. "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and Item 8. "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data." During 2018, certain balances for prior periods were reclassified to conform to their current presentation. We disaggregated "Investment Banking Revenue" into "Advisory Fees," "Underwriting Fees" and "Commissions and Related Fees" and renamed "Investment Management Revenue" to "Asset Management and Administration Fees," which includes management fees from our wealth management and institutional asset management businesses. On July 2, 2020, we sold the trust business of ECB (the "ECB Trust business") and on December 16, 2020, we sold the remaining ECB business. See Note 5 to our consolidated financial statements for further information on business changes and developments.
| ||(dollars in thousands, except per share data)|
|STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DATA|
|Advisory Fees||$||1,755,273 ||$||1,653,585 ||$||1,743,473 ||$||1,324,412 ||$||1,096,829 |
|Underwriting Fees||276,191 ||89,681 ||71,691 ||45,827 ||36,264 |
|Commissions and Related Fees||205,767 ||189,506 ||200,015 ||205,630 ||230,913 |
Asset Management and Administration Fees(1)
|54,397 ||50,611 ||48,246 ||59,648 ||63,404 |
Other Revenue, Including Interest and Investments(1)
|(6,309)||45,454 ||19,051 ||88,828 ||29,380 |
|Total Revenues||2,285,319 ||2,028,837 ||2,082,476 ||1,724,345 ||1,456,790 |
|Interest Expense||21,414 ||20,139 ||17,771 ||19,996 ||16,738 |
|Net Revenues||2,263,905 ||2,008,698 ||2,064,705 ||1,704,349 ||1,440,052 |
|Other Expenses||49,457 ||36,865 ||30,387 ||47,965 ||101,172 |
|Total Expenses||1,737,472 ||1,570,987 ||1,522,628 ||1,275,538 ||1,178,878 |
|Income before Income from Equity Method Investments and Income Taxes||526,433 ||437,711 ||542,077 ||428,811 ||261,174 |
|Income from Equity Method Investments||14,398||10,996||9,294||8,838||6,641|
|Income before Income Taxes||540,831 ||448,707 ||551,371 ||437,649 ||267,815 |
|Provision for Income Taxes||128,151 ||95,046 ||108,520 ||258,442 ||119,303 |
|Net Income||412,680 ||353,661 ||442,851 ||179,207 ||148,512 |
|Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest||62,106 ||56,225 ||65,611 ||53,753 ||40,984 |
|Net Income Attributable to Evercore Inc.||$||350,574 ||$||297,436 ||$||377,240 ||$||125,454 ||$||107,528 |
|Dividends Declared per Share||$||2.35 ||$||2.24 ||$||1.90 ||$||1.42 ||$||1.27 |
|Diluted Net Income Per Share Attributable to Evercore Inc. Common Shareholders||$||8.22 ||$||6.89 ||$||8.33 ||$||2.80 ||$||2.43 |
|STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL CONDITION DATA|
|Total Assets||$||3,370,888 ||$||2,598,613 ||$||2,125,667 ||$||1,584,886 ||$||1,662,346 |
|Long-term Liabilities||$||817,581 ||$||803,710 ||$||368,037 ||$||324,466 ||$||415,594 |
|Total Long-term Debt||$||338,518 ||$||375,062 ||$||168,612 ||$||175,146 ||$||184,647 |
|Total Liabilities||$||1,881,514 ||$||1,472,363 ||$||1,117,728 ||$||788,518 ||$||879,015 |
|Noncontrolling Interest||$||258,428 ||$||256,534 ||$||249,819 ||$||252,404 ||$||256,033 |
|Total Equity||$||1,489,374 ||$||1,126,250 ||$||1,007,939 ||$||796,368 ||$||783,331 |
(1)Certain balances in prior periods were reclassified to conform to their current presentation. See Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements for further information.
|Item 7.||Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations|
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with Evercore Inc.'s consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.
Key Financial Measures
Total revenues reflect revenues from our Investment Banking and Investment Management business segments that include fees for services, transaction-related client reimbursements and other revenue. Net revenues reflect total revenues less interest expense.
Investment Banking. Our Investment Banking business earns fees from our clients for providing advice on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, restructurings, activism and defense and similar corporate finance matters, and from underwriting and private placement activities, as well as commissions and fees from research and our sales and trading activities. The amount and timing of the fees paid vary by the type of engagement or services provided. In general, advisory fees are paid at the time we sign an engagement letter, during the course of the engagement or when an engagement is completed. The majority of our investment banking revenue consists of advisory fees for which realizations are dependent on the successful completion of transactions. A transaction can fail to be completed for many reasons which are outside of our control, including failure of parties to agree upon final terms with the counterparty, to secure necessary board or shareholder approvals, to secure necessary financing or to achieve necessary regulatory approvals, or due to adverse market conditions. In the case of bankruptcy engagements, fees are subject to approval of the court. Underwriting fees are recognized when the offering has been deemed to be completed and placement fees are generally recognized at the time of the client's acceptance of capital or capital commitments. Commissions and Related Fees includes commissions, which are recorded on a trade-date basis or, in the case of payments under commission sharing arrangements, on the date earned. Commissions and Related Fees also include subscription fees for the sales of research. Cash received before the subscription period ends is initially recorded as deferred revenue (a contract liability) and recognized as revenue over the remaining subscription period.
Revenue trends in our advisory business generally are correlated to the volume of M&A activity, restructuring activity, which tends to be counter-cyclical to M&A, and capital advisory activity. Demand for these capabilities can vary in any given year or quarter for a number of reasons. For example, changes in our market share or the ability of our clients to close certain large transactions can cause our revenue results to diverge from the level of overall M&A, restructuring or capital advisory activity. Revenue trends in our equities business are correlated to market volumes, which generally decrease in periods of low market volatility or unfavorable market or economic conditions. For further information, see COVID-19 in "Results of Operations."
Investment Management. Our Investment Management business includes operations related to the Wealth Management and Institutional Asset Management businesses and interests in private equity funds which we do not manage. Revenue sources primarily include management fees, fiduciary fees, performance fees and gains (or losses) on our investments. We completed the sale of the ECB Trust business on July 2, 2020 and the remaining ECB business on December 16, 2020. Following these transactions, there are no remaining consolidated businesses in the Institutional Asset Management business. See Note 5 to our consolidated financial statements for further information.
Management fees for third party clients generally represent a percentage of AUM. Fiduciary fees, which are generally a function of the size and complexity of each engagement, are individually negotiated. We record performance fees upon the earlier of the termination of the investment fund or when the likelihood of clawback is mathematically improbable. Gains and losses include both realized and unrealized gains and losses on principal investments, including those arising from our equity interest in investment partnerships.
Transaction-Related Client Reimbursements. In both our Investment Banking and Investment Management segments, we incur various transaction-related expenditures, such as travel and professional fees, in the course of performing our services. Pursuant to the engagement letters with our advisory clients, these expenditures may be reimbursable. We define these expenses, which are associated with revenue activities earned over time, as transaction-related expenses and record such expenditures as incurred and record revenue when it is determined that clients have an obligation to reimburse us for such transaction-related expenses. Client expense reimbursements are recorded as revenue on the Consolidated Statements of Operations on the later of the date an engagement letter is executed or the date we pay or accrue the expense.
Other Revenue and Interest Expense. Other Revenue and Interest Expense is derived from investing customer funds in financing transactions. These transactions are principally repurchases and resales of Mexican government and government agency securities. Revenue and expenses associated with these transactions are recognized over the term of the repurchase or resale transaction. These transactions were part of our ECB business in Mexico, which was sold on December 16, 2020. See Note 5 to our consolidated financial statements for further information.
Other Revenue also includes the following:
•Interest income and income (losses) earned on investment securities, including our investment funds and futures contracts which are used as an economic hedge against our deferred cash compensation program, certificates of deposit, cash and cash equivalents and on our debt security investment in G5 Holdings S.A. ("G5")
•Adjustments to amounts due pursuant to our tax receivable agreement, subsequent to its initial establishment, related to changes in enacted tax rates
•Gains (losses) resulting from foreign currency fluctuations
•Principal trading and realized and unrealized gains and losses on interests in private equity funds which we do not manage
•A net loss on the sales of our businesses at ECB, as well as a loss related to the release of cumulative foreign exchange losses resulting from the sale and wind-down of our businesses in Mexico in 2020
Interest Expense also includes interest expense associated with our Notes Payable, subordinated borrowings and lines of credit.
Employee Compensation and Benefits Expense. We include all payments for services rendered by our employees, as well as profits interests in our businesses that have been accounted for as compensation, in employee compensation and benefits expense.
We maintain compensation programs, including base salary, cash, deferred cash and equity bonus awards and benefits programs and manage compensation to estimates of competitive levels based on market conditions and performance. Our level of compensation, including deferred compensation, reflects our plan to maintain competitive compensation levels to retain key personnel, and it reflects the impact of newly-hired senior professionals, including related grants of equity awards which are generally valued at their grant date.
Increasing the number of high-caliber, experienced senior level employees is critical to our growth efforts. See Item 1. "Business" for further information. In our advisory businesses, these hires generally do not begin to generate significant revenue in the year they are hired.
Our annual compensation program includes share-based compensation awards and deferred cash awards as a component of the annual bonus awards for certain employees. These awards are generally subject to annual vesting requirements over a four-year period beginning at the date of grant, which occurs in the first quarter of each year; accordingly, the expense is generally amortized over the stated vesting period, subject to retirement eligibility. With respect to annual awards, our retirement eligibility criteria generally stipulates that if an employee has at least five years of continuous service, is at least 55 years of age and has a combined age and years of service of at least 65 years, the employee is eligible for retirement. Beginning in 2019, we implemented additional retirement eligibility qualifying criteria, for awards issued in 2019 and after, that stipulates if an employee has at least 10 years of continuous service and is at least 60 years of age, the employee is also eligible for retirement. Retirement eligibility allows for continued vesting of awards after employees depart from the Company, provided they give the minimum advance notice, which is generally six months to one year.
We estimate forfeitures in the aggregate compensation cost to be amortized over the requisite service period of the awards. We periodically monitor our estimated forfeiture rate and adjust our assumptions to the actual occurrence of forfeited awards. A change in estimated forfeitures is recognized through a cumulative adjustment in the period of the change.
Our Long-term Incentive Plan provides for incentive compensation awards to Advisory Senior Managing Directors, excluding executive officers, who exceed defined benchmark results over four-year performance periods beginning January 1,
2013 (the "2013 Long-term Incentive Plan") and January 1, 2017 (the "2017 Long-term Incentive Plan"). The 2013 Long-term Incentive Plan was paid in cash in installments in 2017, 2018 and 2019 (for the performance period beginning on January 1, 2013). The 2017 Long-term Incentive Plan is due to be paid, in cash or Class A Shares, at our discretion, in three equal installments in the first quarter of 2021, 2022 and 2023 (for the performance period beginning on January 1, 2017), subject to employment at the time of payment. These awards are subject to retirement eligibility requirements after the performance criteria has been achieved. We periodically assess the probability of the benchmarks being achieved and expense the probable payout over the requisite service period of the award. The performance period for the 2017 Long-term Incentive Plan ended on December 31, 2020.
From time to time, we also grant performance awards to certain individuals which include both performance and service based vesting requirements. See Note 19 to our consolidated financial statements for further information.
We believe that the ratio of Employee Compensation and Benefits Expense to Net Revenues is an important measure to assess the annual cost of compensation and provides a meaningful basis for comparison of compensation and benefits expense between present, historical and future years.
Non-Compensation Expenses. Our other operating expenses include costs for occupancy and equipment rental, professional fees, travel and related expenses, communications and information technology services, depreciation and amortization, execution, clearing and custody fees, acquisition and transition costs and other operating expenses. We refer to all of these expenses as non-compensation expenses.
Other Expenses include the following:
•Amortization of LP Units and Certain Other Awards – Includes amortization costs associated with the vesting of Class J limited partnership units of Evercore LP ("Class J LP Units") issued in conjunction with the acquisition of ISI and certain other related awards.
•Special Charges, Including Business Realignment Costs – Includes the following expenses for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018:
◦2020 – Includes expenses related to separation and transition benefits and related costs as a result of our review of operations and the acceleration of depreciation expense for leasehold improvements and certain other fixed assets in conjunction with the expansion of our headquarters in New York and our business realignment initiatives, as well as charges related to the impairment of assets resulting from the wind-down of our businesses in Mexico
◦2019 – Includes expenses related to the acceleration of depreciation expense for leasehold improvements in conjunction with the expansion of our headquarters in New York, the impairment of goodwill in our Institutional Asset Management reporting unit and separation and transition benefits and related costs as a result of the review of our operations
◦2018 – Includes expenses related to separation benefits and costs for the termination of certain contracts associated with closing our agency trading platform in the U.K. and separation benefits and related charges associated with our businesses in Mexico, as well as the acceleration of depreciation expense for leasehold improvements in conjunction with the expansion of our headquarters in New York
•Acquisition and Transition Costs – Includes costs incurred in connection with acquisitions, divestitures and other ongoing business development initiatives, primarily comprised of professional fees for legal and other services, including costs in 2020 associated with the sale of our ECB businesses.
•Fair Value of Contingent Consideration – Includes expense, or the reversal of expense, associated with changes in the fair value of contingent consideration issued to the sellers of certain of our acquisitions.
•Intangible Asset and Other Amortization – Includes amortization of intangible assets and other purchase accounting-related amortization associated with certain acquisitions.
Income from Equity Method Investments
Our share of the income (loss) from our equity interests in ABS, Atalanta Sosnoff and Luminis are included within Income from Equity Method Investments, as a component of Income Before Income Taxes, on the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
Provision for Income Taxes
We account for income taxes in accordance with ASC 740, "Income Taxes" ("ASC 740"), which requires the recognition of tax benefits or expenses on temporary differences between the financial reporting and tax basis of our assets and liabilities. Excess tax benefits and deficiencies associated with the appreciation or depreciation in our share price upon vesting of employee share-based awards above or below the original grant price are recognized in our Provision for Income Taxes. In addition, net deferred tax assets are impacted by changes to statutory tax rates in the period of enactment.
We record noncontrolling interest relating to the ownership interests of certain of our current and former Senior Managing Directors and other officers and their estate planning vehicles in Evercore LP, as well as the portions of our operating subsidiaries not owned by Evercore. Evercore Inc. is the sole general partner of Evercore LP and has a majority economic interest in Evercore LP. As a result, Evercore Inc. consolidates Evercore LP and records a noncontrolling interest for the economic interest in Evercore LP held by the limited partners.
We generally allocate net income or loss to participating noncontrolling interests held at Evercore LP and at the operating entity level, where required, by multiplying the relative ownership interest of the noncontrolling interest holders for the period by the net income or loss of the entity to which the noncontrolling interest relates. In circumstances where the governing documents of the entity to which the noncontrolling interest relates require special allocations of profits or losses to the controlling and noncontrolling interest holders, the net income or loss of these entities is allocated based on these special allocations.
Results of Operations
The following is a discussion of our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. For a more detailed discussion of the factors that affected the revenue and operating expenses of our Investment Banking and Investment Management business segments in these periods, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, see the discussion in "Business Segments" and COVID-19 below.
| ||For the Years Ended December 31,||Change|
| ||2020||2019||2018||2020 v. 2019||2019 v. 2018|
| ||(dollars in thousands, except per share data)|
|Advisory Fees||$||1,755,273 ||$||1,653,585 ||$||1,743,473 ||6 ||%||(5 ||%)|
|Underwriting Fees||276,191 ||89,681 ||71,691 ||208 ||%||25 ||%|
|Commissions and Related Fees||205,767 ||189,506 ||200,015 ||9 ||%||(5 ||%)|
|Asset Management and Administration Fees||54,397 ||50,611 ||48,246 ||7 ||%||5 ||%|
|Other Revenue, Including Interest and Investments||(6,309)||45,454 ||19,051 ||NM||139 ||%|
|Total Revenues||2,285,319 ||2,028,837 ||2,082,476 ||13 ||%||(3 ||%)|
|Interest Expense||21,414 ||20,139 ||17,771 ||6 ||%||13 ||%|
|Net Revenues||2,263,905 ||2,008,698 ||2,064,705 ||13 ||%||(3 ||%)|
|Operating Expenses||1,688,015 ||1,534,122 ||1,492,241 ||10 ||%||3 ||%|
|Other Expenses||49,457 ||36,865 ||30,387 ||34 ||%||21 ||%|
|Total Expenses||1,737,472 ||1,570,987 ||1,522,628 ||11 ||%||3 ||%|
|Income Before Income from Equity Method Investments and Income Taxes||526,433 ||437,711 ||542,077 ||20 ||%||(19 ||%)|
|Income from Equity Method Investments||14,398 ||10,996 ||9,294 ||31 ||%||18 ||%|
|Income Before Income Taxes||540,831 ||448,707 ||551,371 ||21 ||%||(19 ||%)|
|Provision for Income Taxes||128,151 ||95,046 ||108,520 ||35 ||%||(12 ||%)|
|Net Income||412,680 ||353,661 ||442,851 ||17 ||%||(20 ||%)|
|Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest||62,106 ||56,225 ||65,611 ||10 ||%||(14 ||%)|
|Net Income Attributable to Evercore Inc.||$||350,574 ||$||297,436 ||$||377,240 ||18 ||%||(21 ||%)|
|Diluted Net Income Per Share Attributable to Evercore Inc. Common Shareholders||$||8.22 ||$||6.89 ||$||8.33 ||19 ||%||(17 ||%)|
2020 versus 2019
Net Income Attributable to Evercore Inc. was $350.6 million in 2020, an increase of $53.1 million, or 18%, compared to $297.4 million in 2019. The changes in our operating results during these years are described below.
Net Revenues were $2.26 billion in 2020, an increase of $255.2 million, or 13%, versus Net Revenues of $2.01 billion in 2019. Advisory Fees increased $101.7 million, or 6%, Underwriting Fees increased $186.5 million, or 208%, and Commissions and Related Fees increased $16.3 million, or 9%, compared to 2019. Asset Management and Administration Fees increased $3.8 million, or 7%, compared to 2019. Other Revenue, Including Interest and Investments, decreased compared to 2019, primarily due to a loss of $30.8 million resulting from the sale and wind-down of our businesses in Mexico, including $3.4 million related to the sale of the ECB businesses, as well as $27.4 million related to the release of cumulative foreign exchange losses. See Note 5 to our consolidated financial statements for further information. Other Revenue, Including Interest and Investments, also decreased due to lower interest income and losses on our legacy private equity investments during 2020. Interest Expense increased 6% compared to 2019, which was primarily attributable to interest expense on the 2019 Private
Placement Notes which were issued in August 2019. See Note 14 to our consolidated financial statements for further information.
Total Operating Expenses were $1.69 billion in 2020, compared to $1.53 billion in 2019, an increase of $153.9 million, or 10%. Employee Compensation and Benefits Expense, as a component of Operating Expenses, was $1.37 billion in 2020, an increase of $188.5 million, or 16%, versus expense of $1.18 billion in 2019. The increase in the amount of compensation recognized in 2020 principally reflects higher levels of compensation expense in 2020 related to higher revenues and higher amortization of prior period deferred compensation awards, partially offset by lower compensation expense related to senior new hires. See Note 19 to our consolidated financial statements for further information. Non-Compensation expenses, as a component of Operating Expenses, were $316.7 million in 2020, a decrease of $34.6 million, or 10%, versus $351.3 million in 2019. Non-Compensation operating expenses decreased compared to 2019, primarily driven by decreased travel and related expenses, related to prolonged travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. See COVID-19 below for further information. Non-Compensation expenses per employee were approximately $171.7 thousand in 2020, versus $193.8 thousand for 2019.
Total Other Expenses of $49.5 million in 2020 included (a) Special Charges, Including Business Realignment Costs, of $46.6 million related to separation and transition benefits and related costs (see below for further information) and the acceleration of depreciation expense for leasehold improvements and certain other fixed assets in conjunction with the expansion of our headquarters in New York and our business realignment initiatives, as well as charges related to the impairment of assets resulting from the wind-down of our businesses in Mexico, (b) intangible asset and other amortization of $1.2 million, (c) compensation costs of $1.1 million associated with the vesting of Class J LP Units and certain other awards granted in conjunction with the acquisition of ISI and (d) Acquisition and Transition Costs of $0.6 million. Total Other Expenses of $36.9 million in 2019 included (a) compensation costs of $18.2 million associated with the vesting of Class J LP Units and certain other awards granted in conjunction with the acquisition of ISI, (b) Special Charges, Including Business Realignment Costs, of $10.1 million related to the acceleration of depreciation expense for leasehold improvements in conjunction with the expansion of our headquarters in New York, the impairment of goodwill in the Institutional Asset Management reporting unit and separation and transition benefits for certain employees terminated as a result of the review of our operations (see below for further information), (c) intangible asset and other amortization of $7.5 million and (d) Acquisition and Transition Costs of $1.0 million.
In 2020, we completed a review of operations focused on markets, sectors and people which delivered lower levels of productivity in an effort to attain greater flexibility of operations and better position ourself for future growth. This review, which began in the fourth quarter of 2019, generated reductions of approximately 8% of our headcount. In conjunction with the employment reductions, we incurred aggregate separation and transition benefits (including costs related to the acceleration of deferred compensation) and related costs of $41.7 million in 2020 and $2.9 million in 2019, which has been recorded in Special Charges, Including Business Realignment Costs
As a result of the factors noted above, Employee Compensation and Benefits Expense as a percentage of Net Revenues was 60.6% in 2020, compared to 59.8% in 2019. The compensation ratio for 2020 and 2019 is 62.4% and 59.9%, respectively, when the $41.3 million and $2.9 million, respectively, of separation and transition benefits expense, which is presented within Special Charges, Including Business Realignment Costs, is also included. The increase in the compensation ratio principally reflects higher levels of compensation expense in 2020 related to higher revenues and higher amortization of prior period deferred compensation awards, partially offset by lower compensation expense related to senior new hires. See Note 19 to our consolidated financial statements for further information. The compensation ratio in any given period is subject to fluctuation based, in part, on the amount of revenue earned in that period.
Income from Equity Method Investments was $14.4 million in 2020, compared to $11.0 million in 2019. The increase was a result of an increase in earnings from ABS, Atalanta Sosnoff and Luminis in 2020.
The provision for income taxes in 2020 was $128.2 million, which reflected an effective tax rate of 23.7%. The provision for income taxes in 2019 was $95.0 million, which reflected an effective tax rate of 21.2%. The provision for income taxes for 2020 reflects an additional tax expense of $0.02 million and for 2019 an additional tax benefit of $12.2 million due to the net impact associated with the appreciation or depreciation in our share price upon vesting of employee share-based awards above or below the original grant price, the effect of certain nondeductible expenses, including expenses related to Class J LP Units and Class I-P and K-P Units, as well as the noncontrolling interest associated with LP Units and other adjustments. The increase in the tax rate also reflects the increase in compensation subject to the IRC section 162(m) disallowance.
Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest was $62.1 million in 2020 compared to $56.2 million in 2019. The increase in Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest primarily reflects higher income in 2020, partially offset by the full year impact of our purchases of the remaining 10% of the Private Capital Advisory L.P. business and the purchase of 17% of the EWM business in May 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our business operations, and the substantial majority of our teams continue to work remotely. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our revenues and cash flows for 2020 was mitigated by our broad and diverse capabilities, including underwriting, restructuring, capital markets advisory and equities, together with strong M&A activity during the fourth quarter of 2020. However, there remains uncertainty as to how the course of the pandemic, including the timing and acceptance of vaccinations, and government response may impact the markets and our clients' needs in the future. For a further discussion of risks related to our business, refer to "Risk Factors" elsewhere in this Form 10-K.
For a discussion of 2019 versus 2018, refer to "Results of Operations" in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Impairment of Assets
2020 – At November 30, 2020, in accordance with ASC 350, "Intangibles - Goodwill and Other" ("ASC 350"), we performed our annual Goodwill impairment assessment and concluded that the fair value of our reporting units substantially exceeded their carrying values.
2019 – At November 30, 2019, we determined that the fair value of our reporting units substantially exceeded their carrying values, with the exception of our Institutional Asset Management reporting unit, which was less than its carrying value. In determining the fair value of this reporting unit, we utilized a discounted cash flow methodology based on the adjusted cash flows from operations. As a result of this analysis, we recorded a goodwill impairment charge of $0.8 million in the Investment Management segment, which is included within Special Charges, Including Business Realignment Costs, on the Consolidated Statement of Operations for the year ended December 31, 2019. This charge resulted in a decrease of $0.5 million to Net Income Attributable to Evercore Inc. (after adjustments for noncontrolling interest and income taxes) for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Additionally, in December 2019, we performed an impairment assessment of the goodwill remaining in the Institutional Asset Management reporting unit following the classification of the ECB Trust business as Held for Sale, in accordance with ASC 350. In determining the fair value of this reporting unit, we utilized a discounted cash flow methodology based on the adjusted cash flows from operations. As a result of this analysis, we determined that the fair value of the remaining business in the Institutional Asset Management reporting unit was less than its carrying value. Accordingly, we recorded a goodwill impairment charge of $2.1 million in the Investment Management segment, which is included within Special Charges, Including Business Realignment Costs, on the Consolidated Statement of Operations for the year ended December 31, 2019. This charge resulted in a decrease of $1.4 million to Net Income Attributable to Evercore Inc. (after adjustments for noncontrolling interest and income taxes) for the year ended December 31, 2019.
We recorded impairment charges of $1.7 million in Special Charges, Including Business Realignment Costs, on the Consolidated Statement of Operations for the year ended December 31, 2020, related to the impairment of assets resulting from the wind-down of our businesses in Mexico. This was comprised of a charge of $1.2 million related to the impairment of operating lease right-of-use assets and a charge of $0.5 million related to the impairment of leasehold improvements. See Note 5 to our consolidated financial statements for further information.
The following data presents revenue, expenses and contributions from our equity method investments by business segment.
The following table summarizes the operating results of the Investment Banking segment.
| ||For the Years Ended December 31,||Change|
| ||2020||2019||2018||2020 v. 2019||2019 v. 2018|
| ||(dollars in thousands)|
|$||1,755,273 ||$||1,653,585 ||$||1,743,473 ||6 ||%||(5 ||%)|
|276,191 ||89,681 ||71,691 ||208 ||%||25 ||%|
Commissions and Related Fees
|205,767 ||189,506 ||200,015 ||9 ||%||(5 ||%)|
Other Revenue, net(3)(4)
|Net Revenues||2,217,386 ||1,951,795 ||2,012,023 ||14 ||%||(3 ||%)|
|Operating Expenses||1,637,542 ||1,485,477 ||1,448,301 ||10 ||%||3 ||%|
|Other Expenses||49,112 ||33,618 ||30,366 ||46 ||%||11 ||%|
|Total Expenses||1,686,654 ||1,519,095 ||1,478,667 ||11 ||%||3 ||%|
|Operating Income||530,732 ||432,700 ||533,356 ||23 ||%||(19 ||%)|
Income from Equity Method Investments(5)
|1,546 ||916 ||518 ||69 ||%||77 ||%|
|Pre-Tax Income ||$||532,278 ||$||433,616 ||$||533,874 ||23 ||%||(19 ||%)|
(1) Includes client related expenses of $14.9 million, $32.2 million and $31.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
(2) Includes client related expenses of $14.4 million, $7.2 million and $4.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
(3) Includes interest expense on Notes Payable, subordinated borrowings and lines of credit of $18.2 million, $12.9 million and $9.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
(4) Includes a loss of $21.1 million resulting from the sale and wind-down of our businesses in Mexico, related to the release of cumulative foreign exchange losses, for the year ended December 31, 2020.
(5) Equity in Luminis is classified as Income from Equity Method Investments.
For 2020, the dollar value of North American announced and completed M&A activity decreased 23% and 13%, respectively, compared to 2019, and the dollar value of Global announced and completed M&A activity decreased 4% and 6%, respectively, compared to 2019. For 2020, the dollar value of North American and Global announced M&A activity between $1 - $5 billion increased 16% and decreased 2%, respectively, compared to 2019.
* Source: Refinitiv January 5, 2021
| ||For the Years Ended December 31,||Change|
| ||2020||2019||2018||2020 v. 2019||2019 v. 2018|
|Industry Statistics ($ in billions) *|
|Value of North American M&A Deals Announced||$||1,467 ||$||1,897 ||$||1,742 ||(23 ||%)||9 ||%|
|Value of North American M&A Deals Announced between $1 - $5 billion||$||448 ||$||386 ||$||494 ||16 ||%||(22 ||%)|
|Value of North American M&A Deals Completed||$||1,431 ||$||1,637 ||$||1,817 ||(13 ||%)||(10 ||%)|
|Value of Global M&A Deals Announced ||$||3,605 ||$||3,755 ||$||3,865 ||(4 ||%)||(3 ||%)|
|Value of Global M&A Deals Announced between $1 - $5 billion||$||907 ||$||927 ||$||1,101 ||(2 ||%)||(16 ||%)|
|Value of Global M&A Deals Completed||$||2,974 ||$||3,152 ||$||3,696 ||(6 ||%)||(15 ||%)|
|Evercore Statistics **|
|Total Number of Fees From Advisory Client Transactions||687 ||661 ||663 ||4 ||%||— ||%|
|Investment Banking Fees of at Least $1 million from Advisory Client Transactions||386 ||328 ||345 ||18 ||%||(5 ||%)|
** Includes revenue generating clients only from Advisory and Underwriting transactions
Investment Banking Results of Operations
2020 versus 2019
Net Investment Banking Revenues were $2.22 billion in 2020, compared to $1.95 billion in 2019, an increase of $265.6 million, or 14%. We earned 687 fees from Advisory clients in 2020, compared to 661 in 2019, representing a 4% increase. We earned 386 fees in excess of $1.0 million in 2020, compared to 328 in 2019, representing an 18% increase. The increase in revenues from 2019 was partially attributed to an increase of $101.7 million, or 6%, in Advisory Fees, reflecting an increase in the number of Advisory fees earned and an increase in revenue earned from large transactions during 2020. Underwriting Fees increased $186.5 million, or 208%, compared to 2019, reflecting an increase in the number of transactions we participated in, as well as the relative size of our participation in those transactions. We participated in 118 underwriting transactions in 2020 (compared to 71 in 2019), 85 of which were as a bookrunner (compared to 53 in 2019). Commissions and Related Fees increased $16.3 million, or 9%, compared to 2019, as a result of elevated volatility during 2020. Other Revenue, net, in 2020, decreased versus 2019, primarily reflecting a loss of $21.1 million resulting from the sale and wind-down of our businesses in Mexico, related to the release of cumulative foreign exchange losses, as well as lower interest income and increased interest expense on the 2019 Private Placement Notes, which were issued in August 2019.
Operating Expenses were $1.64 billion in 2020, compared to $1.49 billion in 2019, an increase of $152.1 million, or 10%. Employee Compensation and Benefits Expense, as a component of Operating Expenses, was $1.33 billion in 2020, compared to $1.15 billion in 2019, an increase of $186.1 million, or 16%. The increase in the amount of compensation recognized in 2020 principally reflects higher levels of compensation expense in 2020 related to higher revenues and higher amortization of prior period deferred compensation awards, partially offset by lower compensation expense related to senior new hires. See Note 19 to our consolidated financial statements for further information. Non-Compensation expenses, as a component of Operating Expenses, were $302.8 million in 2020, compared to $336.9 million in 2019, a decrease of $34.1 million, or 10%. Non-Compensation operating expenses decreased from the prior year primarily driven by decreased travel and related expenses, related to prolonged travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. See COVID-19 above for further information.
Other Expenses of $49.1 million in 2020 included (a) Special Charges, Including Business Realignment Costs, of $46.6 million related to separation and transition benefits and related costs and the acceleration of depreciation expense for leasehold
improvements and certain other fixed assets in conjunction with the expansion of our headquarters in New York and our business realignment initiatives, as well as charges related to the impairment of assets resulting from the wind-down of our businesses in Mexico, (b) intangible asset and other amortization of $1.2 million, (c) compensation costs of $1.1 million associated with the vesting of Class J LP Units and certain other awards granted in conjunction with the acquisition of ISI, and (d) Acquisition and Transition Costs of $0.3 million. Other Expenses of $33.6 million in 2019 included (a) compensation costs of $18.2 million associated with the vesting of Class J LP Units and certain other awards granted in conjunction with the acquisition of ISI, (b) intangible asset and other amortization of $7.5 million, (c) Special Charges, Including Business Realignment Costs, of $7.2 million related to the acceleration of depreciation expense for leasehold improvements in conjunction with the expansion of our headquarters in New York and separation and transition benefits for certain employees terminated as a result of the review of our operations and (d) Acquisition and Transition Costs of $0.7 million.
For a discussion of 2019 versus 2018, refer to "Results of Operations" in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The following table summarizes the operating results of the Investment Management segment.
| ||For the Years Ended December 31,||Change|
| ||2020||2019||2018||2020 v. 2019||2019 v. 2018|
| ||(dollars in thousands)|
|Asset Management and Administration Fees:|
|Wealth Management||$||53,069 ||$||48,083 ||$||44,875 ||10 ||%||7 ||%|
Institutional Asset Management(1)
|1,328 ||2,528 ||3,371 ||(47 ||%)||(25 ||%)|
|Asset Management and Administration Fees||54,397 ||50,611 ||48,246 ||7 ||%||5 ||%|
Other Revenue, net(2)
|(7,878)||6,292 ||4,436 ||NM||42 ||%|
|Net Revenues||46,519 ||56,903 ||52,682 ||(18 ||%)||8 ||%|
|Operating Expenses||50,473 ||48,645 ||43,940 ||4 ||%||11 ||%|
|345 ||3,247 ||21 ||(89 ||%)||NM|
|Total Expenses||50,818 ||51,892 ||43,961 ||(2 ||%)||18 ||%|
|Operating Income (Loss)||(4,299)||5,011 ||8,721 ||NM||(43 ||%)|
Income from Equity Method Investments(4)
|12,852 ||10,080 ||8,776 ||28 ||%||15 ||%|
|Pre-Tax Income ||$||8,553 ||$||15,091 ||$||17,497 ||(43 ||%)||(14 ||%)|
(1)Includes the ECB business, which was sold in 2020.
(2)Includes a loss of $9.7 million resulting from the sale and wind-down of our businesses in Mexico, including $3.4 million related to the sale of our ECB businesses and $6.3 million related to the release of cumulative foreign exchange losses for the year ended December 31, 2020.
(3)Includes an impairment charge related to the impairment of goodwill in the Institutional Asset Management reporting unit of $2.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.
(4)Equity in ABS and Atalanta Sosnoff is classified as Income from Equity Method Investments.
Investment Management Results of Operations
Our Investment Management segment includes the following activities:
•Wealth Management – conducted through EWM and ETC. Fee-based revenues from EWM are primarily earned on a percentage of AUM, while ETC primarily earns fees from negotiated trust services.
•Private Equity – conducted through our investment interests in private equity funds. We maintain a limited partner's interest in Glisco II, Glisco III and Glisco IV, as well as Glisco Manager Holdings LP and the general partners of the Glisco Funds. We receive our portion of the management fees earned by Glisco from Glisco Manager Holdings LP. We are passive investors and do not participate in the management of any Glisco sponsored funds. We are also passive investors in Trilantic IV, Trilantic V and Trilantic VI. In the event the private equity funds perform below
certain thresholds we may be obligated to repay certain carried interest previously distributed. As of December 31, 2020, $0.4 million of previously distributed carried interest received from the funds was subject to repayment.
•We also hold interests in ABS and Atalanta Sosnoff that are accounted for under the equity method of accounting. The results of these investments are included within Income from Equity Method Investments.
Our Investment Management results include the ECB businesses, which were previously included in Institutional Asset Management above. These businesses were sold in 2020. See Note 5 to our consolidated financial statements for further information.
Assets Under Management
AUM for our consolidated Investment Management businesses of $10.2 billion at December 31, 2020 decreased compared to $10.7 billion at December 31, 2019, reflecting the deconsolidation of $1.5 billion of assets resulting from the sale of our ECB business, partially offset by market appreciation in our Wealth Management business. The amounts of AUM presented in the table below primarily reflect the assets which we manage. These assets reflect the fair value of assets managed on behalf of Institutional Asset Management (deconsolidated on December 16, 2020) and Wealth Management clients. As defined in ASC 820 "Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures" ("ASC 820"), valuations performed for Level 1 investments are based on quoted prices obtained from active markets generated by third parties and Level 2 investments are valued through the use of models based on either direct or indirect observable inputs in the use of models or other valuation methodologies performed by third parties to determine fair value. For both the Level 1 and Level 2 investments, we obtain both active quotes from nationally recognized exchanges and third-party pricing services to determine market or fair value quotes, respectively. For Level 3 investments, pricing inputs are unobservable for the investment and includes situations where there is little, if any, market activity for the investment. The inputs into the determination of fair value require significant management judgment or estimation. Wealth Management maintained 72% and 69% of Level 1 investments, 24% and 27% of Level 2 investments and 4% of Level 3 investments as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Institutional Asset Management maintained 85% of Level 1 investments and 15% of Level 2 investments as of December 31, 2019.
The fees that we receive for providing investment advisory and management services are primarily driven by the level and composition of AUM. Accordingly, client flows, market movements, foreign currency fluctuations and changes in our product mix will impact the level of management fees we receive from our investment management businesses. Fees vary with the type of assets managed and the channel in which they are managed, with higher fees earned on equity assets and alternative investment funds, such as hedge funds and private equity funds, and lower fees earned on fixed income and cash management products. Clients will increase or reduce the aggregate amount of AUM that we manage for a number of reasons, including changes in the level of assets that they have available for investment purposes, their overall asset allocation strategy, our relative performance versus competitors offering similar investment products and the quality of our service. The fees we earn are also impacted by our investment performance, as the appreciation or depreciation in the value of the assets that we manage directly impacts our fees.
The following table summarizes AUM activity for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019:
| ||(dollars in millions)|
|Balance at December 31, 2018||$||7,560 ||$||1,575 ||$||9,135 |
|Inflows||1,056 ||1,057 ||2,113 |
|Market Appreciation||1,268 ||160 ||1,428 |
|Balance at December 31, 2019||$||9,058 ||$||1,634 ||$||10,692 |
|Inflows||969 ||645 ||1,614 |
|Market Appreciation (Depreciation)||1,005 ||(125)||880 |
|Deconsolidation of ECB (December 16, 2020)||— ||(1,538)||(1,538)|
|Balance at December 31, 2020||$||10,163 ||$||— ||$||10,163 |
|Unconsolidated Affiliates - Balance at December 31, 2020:|
|Atalanta Sosnoff||$||— ||$||7,718 |