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How one UBS banker became a top Wall Street matchmaker

How one UBS banker became a top Wall Street matchmaker
[Illustration: Artur Tenczyński]


Investment banker Romitha Mally has helped orchestrate some of the highest-profile mergers between beloved indie brands and huge conglomerates. In recent years, she brokered Unilever’s acquisitions of Dollar Shave Club (reportedly a $1 billion deal), Sundial Brands (parent of SheaMoisture), and the Laundress, which makes eco-friendly cleaning products. “I try to tell a story,” she says. To woo buyers, she explains how cult brands can power long-term sustainable growth by serving emerging and millennial consumers. “I want both sides to feel like it’s the perfect . . . fit.” As a result, the founders of Sundial Brands, Dollar Shave Club, and the Laundress continue to run their brands inside Unilever. Mally harnessed the power of the origin story a few years ago when trying to persuade dog-food maker Blue Buffalo to let her firm take the company public. She made a video highlighting the founders’ journey to create a better product after the family dog struggled with cancer, and it resonated: Her firm led the company’s IPO, and last year she negotiated its sale to General Mills for $8 billion.

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