Frontline – April 2008

FRONTLINE 2008-04-01 Staff Writer <b>Glocap expands in Asia</b><br />New York-based executive search firm Glocap Search has announced an expansion of its Asia search activities and the appointment of Rick Johannessen as a senior vice president who will lead the effort on the continent. Joha

Glocap expands in Asia
New York-based executive search firm Glocap Search has announced an expansion of its Asia search activities and the appointment of Rick Johannessen as a senior vice president who will lead the effort on the continent. Johannessen will initially be based out of Glocap’s New York headquarters and will split his time between there and Hong Kong. Brian Korb, a partner with Glocap, explained in a statement that the addition of Johannessen enables the firm to enhance the services it provides to clients with their own investment focus in Asia. Prior to joining Glocap, Johannessen, fluent in both Mandarin and Japanese, was at JM Brasch Partners, a Hong Kong-based alternative asset search firm he co-founded. He has been living and working in Asia since 1996. ?Rick’s knowledge of the Asian markets, the different players and the cultural nuances of the region adds a key to dimension to our ability to find the best candidates for our clients,? Korb says. ?I am excited to combine Glocap’s platform and domain expertise with my regional track record to provide our clients with an integrated global search service for principal investors,? says Johannessen.

3i Infotech acquires PE tech provider
3i Infotech, a global provider of IT solutions, has announced the acquisition of Accounting Frameworks Limited (AFL), a provider of accounting, portfolio management and front office systems to the private equity sector. AFL software and services are distributed and implemented in the UK, Northern Europe and the Middle East and include a client base that represent all sectors of the private equity and venture capital industry. ?There is a great deal of synergy between 3i Infotech – Western Europe and AFL and we are delighted to have secured a deal to work with a business that understands our ambitions. Capitalizing on the global presence and in-depth market knowledge that exists within 3i Infotech, we now have the opportunity to develop our solutions and increase our customer base,? said Peter Wooster, director of AFL. ?The strategic acquisition of this independent provider of accounting and portfolio software reaffirms marks another milestone in our commitment to the European financial services market,? says Chris Potts, COO of 3i Infotech-Western Europe. The acquisition of AFL follows the 3i’s purchase of Exact Technical Services in January 2008 and the 2006 acquisition of Rhyme Systems, the UK’s leading provider of asset management solutions.

Makan Capital hires CFO, CIO
Makan Capital Group, a private equity real estate group and investment banking firm in the United Arab Emirates, has hired former SinoGulf Investments executive Samer Wahbeh to chief financial office and director of the Property Development Fund. The firm has also hired former Molinaro Koger managing director Bracken White to chief investment officer. Wahbeh previously led the accounting, treasury, debt raising, MIS and DIFC fi- nancial reporting functions of SinoGulf. Before, he was a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he headed the financial due diligence team. He also worked in the audit, business risk services and business advisory departments of KPMG and Arthur Andersen. At Molinaro, White raised equity for hotel portfolios and development programs. Before, he was a principal at Presidio Merchant Partners and at Banc of America Securities. He also previously founded The Juniper Group, a real estate advisory firm.

IB Savvian merges with Japanese peer
San Francisco-based investment bank Savvian and Tokyo-based GCA Holdings have announced the completion of their merger. The newly combined company will be known as GCA Savvian and will be traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. This ?merger of equals? was driven by their mutual aim to create a global investment banking franchise. The newly combined company has stressed its ability to advise on cross border M&A activity, especially among US, European and Japanese clients. Both investment banks were founded in 2003 and maintained a close working relationship since their inception, with both firms building asset management teams to complement their investment banking offerings. While the two investment banks stressed it was a marriage of equals, GCA Holdings technically acquired Savvian through a stock swap. This is the first time a Japanese company has used its own stock to acquire an overseas company, according to a recent report from the Japanese Economic Newswire. At a recent press conference in Tokyo, GCA announced that through the merger, it seeks to raise its overseas revenue as a percentage of the total to 70 percent over three years from the current 30 percent.

Close Brothers appoints two
Close Brothers, the European corporate advisory, has announced the appointment of two managing directors in recent weeks. Christopher Clayton will join the firm as managing director to head the firm’s pension advisory group, while Richard Pulford will head the firm’s recently announced Manchester office in the UK. Clayton joins Close from Grant Thornton where he was the lead director for Thornton’s M&A practice, recently specializing in advising companies and trustees on issues surrounding their pension schemes. He has also worked with the UK’s Pension Regulator on a policy and regulatory matters. Up until August 2007, Christopher spent nine months on secondment to the Pensions Regulator, working as a Business and Financial Analyst in the Corporate Risk Management team. Pulford joins Close Brothers from PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he has been a director in both Manchester and London corporate finance businesses since 2004. Prior to that, Pulford spent two years on secondment to the Takeover Panel, dealing with cases such as the £6bn hostile bid for 6 Continents and the contested takeover of Pizza Express.

CEE recruiter appoints new Czech Republic manager
Pedersen & Partners, an executive search firm in Central and Eastern Europe, has announced the appointment of Daniel Hron as Country Manager for the Czech Republic, replacing Michael Al-Nassir, a partner who has served in that role since 2002. Al-Nassir will take on a new assignment within Pedersen & Partners in the latter part of 2008, but will remain in Prague during the next six months to ensure a smooth handover. For the past seven years, Hron has been a principal consultant at Egon Zehnder International, another search firm in the country. Previously, he worked for Schindler Elevators in the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Slovakia in local and regional roles, including general manager and chairman of the board at Schindler Slovakia. ?Pedersen & Partners will continue to lead the way in the region and Daniel’s strong business acumen and a successful track record will be a strong contribution to our team and will continue our tradition of high quality service for our clients in the Czech Republic and across the CEE region,? Al-Nassir said in a statement.

Piper Jaffray expands tech coverage
Middle market investment bank Piper Jaffray has hired Mark Murphy as a senior research analyst, as a part of a larger effort to broaden its coverage of the software and technology sector. Murphy will be based in the firms San Francisco officer, where he will cover enterprise software companies. Murphy was previously a managing director at Broadpoint Capital, where he also covered the enterprise software sector. ?Mark brings strong quantitative and valuation experience to the Piper Jaffray research team,? head of investment research Joel Denney said in a statement. ?His expertise further extends our research capabilities and our ability to provide proprietary and in-depth analysis of the software sector.? Murphy joins senior research analyst Ajay Kasargod in covering the software industry. In addition to the software sector, Piper Jaffray covers the computer hardware and semiconductors, internet, IT services and wireless technologies sub-sectors.

Probitas names new partner
Fund placement agent and portfolio services provider Probitas Partners has promoted Adam Frieman in its New York office to partner. Frieman focuses on relationship management and liquidity management for Probitas’s limited partner client base, as well as sourcing new general partner clients. Before joining Probitas, Frieman was deputy head of US equity capital markets at UBS. There he sourced and underwrote initial public offerings, secondary offerings, convertible bonds and private placements. He also founded and ran UBS’s equity risk management group. ?We are pleased that a seasoned Wall Street veteran like Adam made a seamless transition to our organization,? founding partner Mike Hoffman said in a statement. ?Adam’s expertise in the equity markets and in risk management has expanded our franchise.?

Ernst & Young appoints head of NEMIA private equity
Ernst & Young has appointed John Harley to head of private equity for Northern Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (NEMIA). Harley was previously in Ernst & Young’s NEMIA practice, but left to spend three years as global vice-chairman of the firm’s accounts, industries and business development group. He joined Ernst & Young in 2000 as global head of its technology, media and telecoms corporate finance practice. ?I am delighted to be appointed to this role and to have the opportunity to lead growth in this vital and dynamic business, building on the excellent credentials that Ernst & Young have already established,? Harley said in a statement. ?Private equity remains an important part of the UK and global economies and I look forward to working with our private equity teams and clients.? Mark Otty, chairman of Ernst & Young in the UK and managing partner for the NEMIA region, added: ?The wealth of experience that John brings to this role will make a significant contribution to the firm’s commitment to this very important market opportunity.?

Kroll Talbot Hughes appoints German office co-heads
Kroll Talbot Hughes, the European restructuring practice of risk consultancy Kroll, has appointed Walter Bickel and Nick Crossfield as co-heads of its office in Munich, Germany. Bickel is a new hire from Droege & Comp, where he led the restructuring and turnaround practice. He has led German restructuring projects in the automotive, manufacturing, electronic and service sectors. Crossfield joins from KTH’s London office, where he was a partner. Before joining KTH in 2007, he was a director at Network Rail, where he was part of the team that stabilized and restructured the business after the Railtrack crisis. He also held senior management positions at Corus Steel and PricewaterhouseCoopers. KTH said in a statement that the two appointments will ?position KTH to be one of the leading corporate restructuring practitioners in Germany, with ambitious plans to continue growing the team significantly during 2008.? Kroll was acquired by Marsh McClennan in 2004, and in expanding its European practice KTH plans to work with Oliver Wyman, Marsh’s strategic and operational consultancy, to develop a ?complete restructuring approach for the European market.?