Morgan Stanley rainmaker Rob Kindler is leaving for the elite law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison after 17 years at the Wall Street investment bank, where he advised on some of the largest corporate takeovers ever.
Paul Weiss said Kindler is joining as a partner and will chair the mergers and acquisitions practice. He most recently served as Vice President at Morgan Stanley and served as the bank’s global head of M&A.
“Rob is widely recognized as one of the most influential and respected M&A practitioners in the world,” Brad Karp, chairman of Paul Weiss, said in a statement Tuesday.
Kindler said he was thrilled to be part of what he described as “the premier M&A defense and activism franchise.”
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of Morgan Stanley for the past 17 years as its visionary leadership has transformed the company into the leading investment bank it is today,” he said.
Kindler began his career at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore before joining JPMorgan Chase in 2000 as global head of M&A. Six years later he moved to Morgan Stanley.
One of the most pivotal deals he worked on at Morgan Stanley was the sale of a minority stake in himself to Japanese lender Mitsubishi UFJ Group (MUFG) in 2008. The $9 billion investment helped restore investor confidence in Morgan Stanley at the height of the financial crisis.
Kindler became part of Wall Street folklore when he was sent to personally collect a $9 billion check from MUFG due to holidays in Japan and the US.
John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley at the time, described in his recent memoir how Kindler showed up “in his khakis and sandals from Cape Cod” where he had been this weekend, then emailed his boss saying, “We have the check!!!!!!” and “It’s closed!!!!!!!!”.
Kindler has advised on dozens of other major deals, including Time Warner on AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition, Dow Chemical’s $130 billion merger with DuPont, and Bristol Myers Squibb on Celgene’s $90 billion acquisition.
Most recently, he advised Morgan Stanley on the acquisitions of ETrade and Eaton Vance, two deals that have been pivotal to the growth of wealth and wealth management.