Frontline – March 2006

FRONTLINE 2006-03-01 Staff Writer <b>Macquarie hires two China specialists</b><br />Australia-headquartered Macquarie Group has added two new senior hires to a division containing over 165 professionals in Asia, a move aimed at further strengthening its corporate finance business in China.

Macquarie hires two China specialists
Australia-headquartered Macquarie Group has added two new senior hires to a division containing over 165 professionals in Asia, a move aimed at further strengthening its corporate finance business in China. The new hires include the former head of China private equity and managing director at Bank of China’s investment subsidiary BOC International, Robert Xie. Xie was also the founding chairman of Bank of China’s private equity group. In addition to Xie, Macquarie has also brought in Barbara Zhang as managing director focusing on the telecom and utilities sectors in China. Prior to joining Macquarie, Zhang was head of the China division of the global investment banking team at Deutsche Bank. The latest hires mark Macquarie’s expansion in its Asia corporate finance division, and follows on from its appointment of Simon Murray as Asia chairman of corporate finance in December. Murray was formerly chief executive of Hutchinson Whampoa and Asia Pacific executive chairman of Deutsche Bank.

Deloitte nabs PwC PE expert
Business advisory group Deloitte has appointed former PricewaterhouseCoopers M&A specialist Chris Hyams as a partner in its private equity transaction services team in London. Hyams joined Deloitte in January from the Paris office of PwC, where he was a partner working on a range of transactions for private equity houses and corporates. Hyams spent the past eight years at PwC, most recently in the Paris office but also in New York. Timothy Mahapatra, head of private equity transaction services at Deloitte, said Hyams will work with a number of the firm’s private equity clients in the private equity transaction services group, and that the firm would utilize his international experience, particularly of the French market. Deloitte’s private equity clients have included Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Texas Pacific Group, Cinven, 3i, HgCapital, Candover, Investcorp and BC Partners.

Japan’s Mizuho partners with Evercore
Tokyo-based financial group Mizuho Securities has formed an alliance with New York financial advisory and investment firm Evercore Partners to provide M&A advisory services in North America and Japan. The alliance, which includes Mizuho’s US advisory subsidiary, The Bridgeford Group, will give Mizuho access to Evercore’s senior-level client relationships, M&A and restructuring experience, while Evercore gains access to Mizuho’s Japanese corporate clients. Evercore Partners currently only has offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The alliance is intended to cover large-scale, cross-border M&A transactions between Japanese and North American companies, according to a statement by Mizuho.

Cruz rises to partner at Probitas
Probitas Partners, a San Francisco-based placement agent, has promoted Reidan Cruz to partner in the firm. Cruz had been involved in the opening of Probitas’ New York office in 2002 as a principal of the firm’s relationship management team. Prior to joining Probitas, Cruz was a vice president at Merrill Lynch’s private equity group, where he managed limited partner relationships and assisted the firm’s general partners in the fundraising process. Probitas was founded in 2001 and provides placement, portfolio management, and liquidity management services for private equity funds.

Five move up at Harris Williams
Middle-market M&A advisory firm Harris Williams & Co. has promoted five professionals among its ranks. Peter Bowles will now be managing director, after having migrated to the firm in 1998 from Wheat First Butcher Singer (now known as Wachovia Securities) where he was an equities researcher. Robert Baltimore is now managing director of new business development. He joined the firm in 2001 upon receiving his MBA from the University of North Carolina. John Neuner is now director, having joined the firm in 2000 from Wachovia Bank’s leveraged finance group. Luke Düster is now director of new business development and joined Harris Williams in 2004 after earning his MBA from Wharton. Jeffrey Herr is now vice president. He joined Harris Williams in 2004 after serving as a vice president with the Royal Bank of Canada Financial Group. Baltimore and Düster will relocate to Philadelphia and build out the firm’s newly opened office. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, with offices in San Francisco, Boston and Philadelphia, Harris Williams is a subsidiary of The PNC Financial Services Group.

Dual promotions at Capstone Palomar
Global placement agent Capstone Palomar Partners has promoted Alex Brooks and Clayton Deniger to partner. Both had previously served as principals with the firm, with Brooks active in sourcing and diligencing alternative investment funds and growing Capstone Palomar’s institutional investor relationships on the US West Coast, while Deniger manages US fundraising engagements and daily operations at the firm’s US offices. Brooks joined Capstone Palomar in 2004 from mid- and large-cap growth manager Hourglass Capital Management, where he had headed fundraising efforts. Deniger joined the firm in 2005 after having founded Substrate Technologies, a VCbacked semiconductor component supplier. Capstone Palomar is a transatlantic firm with offices in Dallas, New York and Zurich.

Heidrick & Struggles boosts US PE search team by three
Executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International has built up its US search team with the hiring of one partner and two principals to the firm’s private equity and venture capital practice. Among the new hirees are Kelly Kay, who will be located in San Francisco as partner; Chris Cantarella as principal at the firm’s Tysons Corner office in McLean, Virginia; and Michael Hickcox at the Menlo Park office as principal. In addition to its North America presence, Heidrick & Struggles also has operations in Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

New virtual data room service released
Atlanta-based Due Diligence Online, LLC, has released its VRoom Virtual Deal Room. The firm provides web-based virtual data rooms used for M&A and investment transactions, and its latest product combines a virtual roadshow service with sell-side due diligence to provide online access to executive audio/video presentations and confidential documents. ?Previously this approach was reserved for only the largest deals,? said Dan Bradbary, CEO of Due Diligence Online, in a press statement. ?We wanted to provide small to mid-sized companies with an economical and easy-to-use web-based tool to help them meet their financing needs.?

Allied acquires in-house senior loan financing group
Allied Capital, a business development company headquartered in Washington DC, has established an in-house senior loan financing group called AC Finance. AC Finance will enhance Allied Capital’s service mix by adding senior loan capabilities. Serving as managing director of AC Finance will be James Fisher, who has been in the mid-market leveraged finance industry for 24 years and formerly led the middle market structured finance division of JP Morgan Chase. Fisher and his underwriting team of seven professionals were previously employed by a subsidiary of Allied Capital portfolio company Callidus Capital Management. Given this connection, Allied Capital has worked closely with Fisher and his team since acquiring Callidus. Bill Walton, CEO of Allied Capital, was quoted in a press release as saying, ?As a subordinated debt and equity capital provider to the middle market, we have built strong, long-lasting relationships with the private sponsor community. The launch of AC Finance will allow us to continue to strengthen those relationships by providing seamless, one-stop financing options to sponsors and companies.?

Bain implements new Vantage product
Vantage Reporting, the hybrid component-based software tailored for private equity firm IT infrastructures, announced that Boston private equity firm Bain Capital has selected Vantage’s Precision Tailoring Framework and Vantage Investor software module for the firm’s investor reporting function. Bain Capital previously used ?a multitude of solutions including spreadsheets to track their investments and valuations,? according to a Vantage press release. Bain Capital vice president Susan Lock said in a statement: ?Vantage’s solution is a much more efficient and capable software system, and we look forward to its implementation.? The Precision Tailoring software product is a new one from the Boston-based company, founded in 1999 and led by chief executive officer Gregory Woolf. In the press release, Woolf said: ?[I]n the private investment space, there’s an acute need for software product that can be customized to each firm’s specific requirements while leveraging their existing systems.?

Cascadia gets close with VC community
North American middle market investment bank Cascadia Capital has opened an office in San Francisco to close the distance from its clients and the venture capital community on the US West Coast. Heading the office is Ted Ridgway, who has been appointed managing director of the San Francisco office as well as head of Cascadia’s emerging growth origination activities. ?Whereas our New York office put us closer to the private equity community, the San Francisco office offers greater proximity to the venture capital and growth equity communities,? said Michael Butler, Cascadia’s chairman and CEO, in a press release. Cascadia provides M&A advisory and capital formation services for existing portfolio companies of venture capital and private equity firms. In addition to its San Francisco and New York offices, Cascadia also has an office in Seattle.