Rock Solid Founders
Perella Weinberg Partners (PWP) is a leading independent financial services firm. It advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, financial restructuring, capital structure advisory, private capital raising, pension matters, strategic advisory, independent special committee advisory, and government services. The partnership formed in 2006 to meet the rising demand for independent, unbiased advice relating to critical strategic, financial and investment decisions.
Perella Weinberg Partners was established by Joseph Perella, Tarek Abdel-Meguid, and Peter Weinberg. Mr. Perella served as CEO from formation in 2006 to June 2014. Prior to co-founding PWP, he was a senior executive at Morgan Stanley holding such positions as Vice Chairman, Chairman of Institutional Securities and Investment Banking, and Worldwide Head of the Investment Banking Division.
Prior to co-founding PWD, Mr. Weinberg served as partner at Goldman Sachs where he founded its Financial Sponsors Group and held leadership roles in its Investment Banking Services, Communications, Media and Telecom Group, and Global Investment Banking Division. Between 1999 and 2005, he was CEO of Goldman Sachs International. Prior to co-founding PWD, Mr. Meguid had spent his entire career at Morgan Stanley, the last five years as Head of Worldwide Investment Banking and a member of its Management Committee.
Together, the three founders offered more than a century of experience at the some of the world’s most respected and enduring financial institutions. They needed a new identity system that reflected their skill and experience.
A Sense of Urgency
Between 2005 to 2006 the partners raised more than $1 billion from global strategic investors to establish operations and to fund investment strategies in its signature asset management business. Suddenly, Perella Weinberg Partners had vast capital to invest — but no public brand under which to invest it. They needed a comprehensive brand strategy or design program that conveyed the experience, integrity and respect their founders had exercised to win the trust of their investors. And they needed it fast. Neri Design Group rushed to meet PWP’s pressing need.
Before most transactions were digital, financial service firms and banks communicated trust and security by building monumental buildings in the form of citadels and tombs. Money, such architecture suggested, was as safe as the Crown Jewels inside the Tower of London. But in the age of digital currency and transactions, such buildings became anachronistic so financial service firms and commercial banks needed to suggest security and trust using other branding techniques. Neri Design Group had this in mind as it developed the branding scheme for PWP.
There would be no need for a symbol: the names of the powerful leaders behind the firm set in a font that traced its origins to the Roman empire would make the bold, simple statement about the character and values of PWP. To suggest strength and continuity, NDG chose the Trajan typeface as the central element of the brand identity. The Trajan typeface is traced to the 13th Emperor of Rome (circa. 100AD), an avid sponsor of public buildings. The three words of the name are arranged in Doric order. The Doric column is associated with strength and masculinity because these columns simple, solid columns could bear the most weight. Greek and Roman builders used Doric columns at the public levels of structures, reserving slender Ionic and Corinthian columns for support and decoration of higher levels of the structure.
The three words Perella, Weinberg and Partners were then stacked to form the solid shaft of the Doric column, with rule lines serving as both capital and base. Blue is the preferred color of discrete industries such as banking and finance, and NDG did not defy tradition. Inside the blue square, the logo reads like the carved sign on stone edifice still common in cities such as Rome, London, and New York. Solid. Stable. Secure.
Six Time Zones, Ten Crossings, Jet Speed
The work schedule was not inspired by antiquity. NDG moved at jet speed. Between January and June of 2006, Gabriela Neri crossed the Atlantic Ocean 10 times, working with accuracy and speed to develop a comprehensive branding system that included a new corporate identity, business stationery system, ‘tombstone’ signage, website, and print collateral. Completing design iterations in New York at 5 pm, she would take a red-eye flight to London overnight, arriving late morning for presentations to PWP partners then returning to New York to make refinements the following day. Exhausted, exhilarated, the new brand program launched in New York and London in June 2006.
A Decade of Growth
Since our work for Perella Weinberg Partners, the firm has thrived. It remains privately-owned, advising clients on complex strategic transactions while providing “a first-class alternative investment platform.” Including affiliates, PWP has capital commitments and managed assets of approximately $8.9 billion and employing more than 450 employees at its offices in New York, London, Abu Dhabi, Denver, Dubai, and San Francisco.