Quattrone forms Qatalyst Group

Former Credit Suisse First Boston tech banker Frank Quattrone has launched Qatalyst Group as a San Francisco-based tech-focused merchant bank. The firm’s investment banking arm will provide M&A advisory services, while its Qatalyst Capital Partners unit will make principal investments alongside venture capital and private equity firms. No word yet on Qatalyst’s capitalization.

The launch of the firm comes less than a year after obstruction of justice charges were dismissed against Quattrone.

Quattrone was one of the highest profile Wall Street bankers to face prison since Michael Milken, the junk bond king of the 1980s. Quattrone, who has advised technology companies worldwide since 1981, helped to bring dozens of companies public during the heyday of the 1990s tech boom, including Netscape Communications, Cisco Systems and Amazon.com.

As a result, a number of tech community leaders have come out in support of Quattrone. The prepared release that announced the formation of Qatalyst last week featured comments from such Silicon Valley executives as Jim Breyer of Accel Partners; Gideon Yu, CFO of Facebook; Bill Campbell, chairman of Intuit; and Craig Johnson, president of JMP Group.

The launch of Qatalyst is an important development for the technology industry, says Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google. “I look forward to working with him [Frank Quattrone] again and am very enthusiastic about Qatalyst’s prospects for success,” Schmidt says in a prepared release.

In addition to Quattrone, the rest of the firm’s founding staff includes Jonathan Turner, former head of Credit Suisse’s Internet group; Adrian Dollard, former general counsel to Credit Suisse’s tech group and a lawyer at Shearman & Sterling; Neil Chalasani, previously a vice president with Evercore’s tech, media and telecom group; Brian Slingerland, formerly a vice president with Goldman Sachs’ tech, media and telecom group; and Brian Cayne, most recently an associate at Vista Equity Partners.