(Bloomberg) -- Evercore Partners Inc., the advisory firm founded by former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, said second-quarter profit rose 19% as investment-banking revenue climbed.

Net income excluding certain items climbed to $21.2 million, or 49 cents per share, from $17.8 million, or 43 cents, in the year-earlier period, the New York-based firm said in a statement today. That beat the 48-cent average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Altman, 65, chairman of the firm, has said that the ingredients for an upturn in merger-and-acquisition volume are in place, including improving business conditions, higher equity prices and the availability of credit. That will help to overcome impediments such as uncertainty over the European sovereign-debt crisis and the looming U.S. fiscal cliff during the next 12 to 18 months, Altman has said.

“The financial market environment is a challenging one, but our own backlog is strong,” Altman said in today’s statement.

Evercore rose 12 cents to close at $20.95 in New York yesterday. The stock has declined 21% this year.

Adjusted net revenue rose 23% to $172.1 million in the second quarter from the same period a year earlier. The increase was driven by a 35% jump in investment-banking adjusted net revenue. The investment-management unit had a 25% decline in adjusted net revenue from a year earlier.

New Director

Evercore earned advisory fees from 137 clients in the second quarter, compared with 77 in the same period last year and 104 in the first quarter. The firm earned advisory fees in excess of $1 million from 30 transactions, compared with 21 a year earlier and 17 in the first quarter.

The company had assets under management of $11.8 billion at June 30, an 8% decline from the first quarter due to net outflows and market depreciation, according to the statement. Assets under management fell by 27% from the second quarter last year.

Evercore’s adjusted compensation expense rose 24% to $102.8 million from $82.8 million a year earlier. The adjusted pro forma compensation ratio was 60% of net revenue, compared to 59% for the same period last year.

The firm expanded its board to nine members and appointed Robert B. Millard as a director, according to a regulatory filing today. Millard, 62, is a managing partner of Realm Partners LLC and serves as chairman of the MIT Investment Management Co., according to the filing.

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