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Greenhill's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

You will recall that we have consistently talked about having four main objectives for the firm. One to increase our market share of the global pool of advisory fees; Two, to consistently achieve the highest profit margin among our closest peers; Three, to maintain the strong dividend policy; and Four, to maintain a flat or even declining share count. I will focus on the first of these and then turn it back Richard for the others.

In terms of increasing our market share, we are pleased with our growth in advisory revenue, both in absolute and relative terms as well as the increasing diversity of our sources of revenue. Our 20% growth for the year came despite quite a challenging M&A environment which worsened materially starting in August. That strong growth also came in spite of some very important announced transactions we were involved in that failed to get to the finish line.

Our solid revenue performance for the quarter and full year should go a long way toward clearing up several misconceptions that developed about us over the course of the last year. Namely the league tables are indicative of financial performance, that setbacks and one or two deals can determine the financial outcome for an entire year and then an occasional quite quarter is indicative of the long-term strength of the franchise.

The facts are that league tables can be highly misleading that every year we will have big transaction losses as well as big wins and this is simply not a business where there is going to be quarterly consistency. But should be important for shareholders and employees alike is the long-term growth and profitability of Greenhill which is best measured over periods of at least a year and by that measure we feel very good about our performance.

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