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Greenhill's carrion call

Bob Greenhill played the boom perfectly. Now he's getting ready for the bust.

Last month the legendary deal maker hired distressed-company ace Michael Kramer from Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin to head a new corporate restructuring practice at his New York-based investment banking boutique, Greenhill & Co. As recession fears persist and dot-coms disappear, Greenhill isn't the only banker brushing up on his Chapter 11 skills. But the former Morgan Stanley president, who recently advised the U.S. government on its proposal to break up Microsoft, insists that this is not mere grave-dancing. "The reason we're interested in entering the business is because we think it is a good fit with our advisory business," says Greenhill. He started looking at the area six months ago. "It's not just because we think we're entering a period of heightened activity." The firm intends to add a few more restructuring pros to bolster Kramer's group, and Greenhill says some current staffers will learn the business as well: "Everyone is exposed to all aspects of our business. We believe in integration."