Frontline – October 2008, part 2

FRONTLINE 2008-10-01 Staff Writer <b>BNP Paribas launches distressed finance team</b><br /> Paris-based BNP Paribas Corporate and Investment Banking has created a new distressed finance group (DFG), and has appointed Alain Dib as its global head. Dib will report to Frederic Janbon, global

BNP Paribas launches distressed finance team
Paris-based BNP Paribas Corporate and Investment Banking has created a new distressed finance group (DFG), and has appointed Alain Dib as its global head. Dib will report to Frederic Janbon, global head of fixed income, and Dominique Rémy, global head of financing. Dib has 16 years of experience in leveraged finance and high yield debt, working with financial sponsors, corporate and institutional investors. He was most recently co-head of European high yield capital markets. Monique Hill will lead the US team and will report to Dib. Monique has over 30 years of diversified banking experience at BNP Paribas in the US and in Europe in leveraged and structured finance, restructuring and work-out, credit and counterparty risk management as well as trading. She was most recently in charge of distressed trading/special situations in the US. “BNP Paribas believes that the current market dislocation and economic outlook will bring attractive business opportunities in the fields of distressed trading, rescue financing and turnaround investing,” the firm said in a statement.

Cavendish hires partner
Cavendish Capital Advisors, the refinancing arm of Cavendish Corporate Finance (CCA), has hired Simon Ramery as a partner. In this role he leads the team at CCA and is responsible for developing the business, focusing on fundraising equity and debt for clients, as well as providing a leverage management service to companies that are highly geared. Ramery has worked in both debt and equity financing during his career. He joins CCA from the investment banking business of Kaupthing Bank, where he helped establish the bank’s acquisition and leveraged finance operation in the UK. Prior to that, he spent six years with Bank of Scotland, working in acquisition and leveraged finance.

Regulatory reporter makes aaquisition
30 countries, has acquired Iris integrated risk management AG (IRIS), a provider of risk management solutions. The acquisition enables FRSGlobal to introduce the first combined risk and regulatory reporting solution for financial services – addressing the need to create a single, reliable data framework to best manage risk and meet increasing global regulatory demands. The deal is supported by The Carlyle Group and Kennet Partners, the private equity investors in FRSGlobal, and is subject to EU approval. Upon completion, FRSGlobal will become the largest independent software and services supplier operating in the space. “Regulation such as Basel, RegNMS and MiFID was already creating a need for appropriate trading, data and risk infrastructure to be put in place,” Kennet managing director David Carratt said in a statement. “The credit crisis however has changed the nature of the beast and consequently created a host of other gaps in the existing operations of financial institutions. Risk and regulation has perhaps never been more important, or more debated, and if any companies are to benefit from this new environment they are within the financial technology space.”

Alvarez & Marsal continues expansion
New York-based turnaround and restructuring adviser Alvarez & Marsal has announced several new senior hires, as the firm continues its expansion in Europe, the Middle East and India. The firm plans to double in size by 2009. The new hires are: Ann Cairns, a managing director, who joins from ABN AMRO to lead the firm’s financial industry advisory practice in Europe; Ramon Tisaire, a former managing director with CapGemini, who will lead the firm’s newly launched performance improvement practice in Spain; Colin Leisk, formerly of IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton, who joins as a managing director in France; and Walter Bickel and Gerald Corbae, who join A&M as managing directors in Munich to head up performance improvement efforts in Germany. In addition, Stefaan Vansteenkiste and Scott Pinfield have been named co-heads of its UK turnaround and restructuring practice; Douglas Rosefsky has been named co-head of the firm’s turnaround and restructuring practice in France; Max Frangulov serves as co-head of the firm’s newly launched practice in Russia; Sankar Krishnan has been appointed to oversee its practices in India and the Middle East; and Rakesh Chopra heads up the firm’s practice in India.

Mourant appoints business development manager
Mourant International Finance Administration has appointed a new business development manager at its London office. Richard Harland has moved to London from Mourant’s Guernsey office. Harland joined Mourant in 2006 and since then has worked within accounting, administration and client relationship roles. Prior to that, Richard spent three years working for PricewaterhouseCoopers auditing private equity, real estate and captive insurance funds. Richard also has several years of business development experience working for large organizations in the US. “Richard spearheads the business development activity across all Mourant’s European offices in London, Luxembourg, Jersey and Guernsey,” Steve Cartwright, head of marketing, said in a statement. “He has a pivotal role for the firm in London, acting as a point of contact for all private equity fund administration enquiries and helping clients to decide whether outsourcing is the most appropriate solution for them.”

Loughlin Meghji hires two directors
Loughlin Meghji + Company has appointed two directors, expanding the firm’s consulting and support expertise. The firm, which also recently moved to new, larger headquarters in New York, said the hires are part of a drive to double staff by year-end. Richard Janda joins the company as director of research, a new position. Janda was most recently Janda served director of research with XRoads Solutions Group, a boutique corporate restructuring firm. David Rentschler comes to Loughlin Meghji + Co as a director, providing senior-level advice for distressed and restructuring engagements. Rentschler joins the firm from The Huff Companies, where he served most recently as interim CEO of a portfolio company and was a partner and research director of the Huff Alternative Fund focusing primarily on private equity. In his 16 years with Huff, he also held senior positions in investment research with a focus on high yield, mezzanine and distressed situations. Prior to joining Huff, he was a senior consultant with the Deloitte & Touche Valuation Group.

Willis launched South Africa M&A practice
Global insurance broker Willis Group has launched a new mergers and acquisitions practice in South Africa to serve the insurance brokerage and risk management needs of the growing private equity sector and local corporate clients, the firm said. “South Africa has recently become an attractive location for M&A investment, with assets under management by private equity firms increasing by 46 percent in the past year. Willis’ decision to expand its international M&A practice to South Africa is a direct reflection of the growing demand the company sees for specialist advice on the assessment and insurance of the risks and exposures arising from M&A activity in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa,” the firm said in a statement. William Seccombe, head of Willis’ financial and executive risks division in South Africa, will lead the newly created regional M&A team, with support from Willis’ London M&A team led by Richard Worker.

Burdale changes senior management
Burdale Financial, a member of Bank of Ireland Group which focuses on comprehensive asset based lending in the UK, has made changes to its’ management team. Dennis Levine, who founded Burdale in 1992, will step up from his current role as chief executive to become chairman, effective October 1, 2008. A new management committee with key new leadership positions will be put in place as well. Steven Chait will be appointed head of new business and Nigel Hogg as head of portfolio management, designate. Chait has been at Burdale since 1992 and is currently director, new business. Nigel has been at Burdale since 1995 and is currently director, new business credit and special projects. Jon Norton, director structured finance will also join the management committee.

JP Morgan takes on Measurisk
JP Morgan’s investor services business has absorbed Measurisk, formerly the risk measurement affiliate of Bear Stearns. Measurisk provides institutional investors and asset managers with risk transparency and risk measurement solutions, including value-atrisk, stress testing and position-based analytics, for multi-manager, multi-asset class, global portfolios. Measurisk services fund of funds, pension plans, endowments, foundations and other institutional investors. More then 1,000 hedge funds, representing over $650 billion in assets, provide data each month to Measurisk.

Baird launches China investment banking practice
US middle market financial services firm Baird has hired Anthony Yan-Hong Siu, director of corporate advisory at Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, to launch a China investment banking practice. Siu will be based in Baird’s Shanghai office, which also houses the firm’s private equity operating and investment teams. He will focus on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, working with Baird’s existing investment bankers in the US and Europe. At Standard Chartered Bank, Siu was responsible for cross-border mergers and acquisitions in China. Before, he was a senior vice president at Daiwa Securities SMBC. He has also worked at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Schroders. Baird employs 150 investment bankers in the US, UK and Germany, but Siu will represent the firm’s first Asian investment banking division. Baird’s director of investment banking, Steve Booth, said the decision to start an investment banking business in China was driven by the need to give Baird’s clients, particularly in the consumer and industrial sectors, access to deals in China.

Atlas launches insurance practice
Atlas Partners, led by managing partner Paul Lumbis, has launched an insurance-focused corporate finance advisory practice. The partnership will provide lead advisory support to insurance and reinsurance transactions in the UK, Bermuda, Europe, Middle East, India and South Africa. Lumbis is joined by David Coles, director, and Jon de Jager, assistant director with additional appointments due in 2009. Lumbis said in a statement: “For far too long, the international insurance and reinsurance mid-market has been underserved by the investment banking community. Atlas Partners intends to address this by providing a full range of independent, market-specific corporate finance advice and analysis to support our clients’ strategies.” Before launching Atlas Partners, Lumbis was a managing director of GC Securities, led Guy Carpenter’s European corporate finance advisory practice, and held senior roles at Ernst & Young and Aviva. Coles was formerly senior vice president at GC Securities focusing on UK and international insurance and reinsurance M&A and capital raising transactions. De Jager was previously vice president at GC Securities, focusing on UK and international insurance and reinsurance M&A and capital raising transactions.