Frontline – January 2006

FRONTLINE 2006-01-01 Staff Writer <b>Alvarez targets Asian BVI companies</b><br />Distressed advisor Alvarez & Marsal Asia has formed a partnership with MWM Corporate Services to provide services to British Virgin Island-listed business that operate throughout Asia. In a statement, Alva

Alvarez targets Asian BVI companies
Distressed advisor Alvarez & Marsal Asia has formed a partnership with MWM Corporate Services to provide services to British Virgin Island-listed business that operate throughout Asia. In a statement, Alvarez & Marsal noted that many Western companies doing business in China flow through companies incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. More than half of the 625,000 registered BVI international companies operate in Asia, the statement claimed. A 2003 change to the BVI Insolvency Act has created more options for companies going through restructuring or liquidation, the company stated. MWMlead by Meade Malone, is a provider of insolvency services to British Virgin Islands-incorporated companies. Alvarez & Marsal Asia is a division of Alvarez & Marsal, a global turnaround and restructuring services company founded in 1983.

Huntley heads to Heritage Group
March Huntley, the head of business development at Northern Trust Guernsey, has left the firm to become head of fund administration services at Guernsey-based Heritage Group. He will begin is worth with Heritage on January 1. Huntley declined to give further details on his new firm’s plans. Heritage manages over $3 billion of assets from offices in Guernsey, Jersey and London. Through Prism, a captive management company, Heritage is a member of the Channel Island Stock Exchange. Its services include services include captive insurance and protected cell company management, aircraft and marine insurance and registration, risk management, offshore financial structures including trust, company and special purpose vehicle creation, insurance broking and management.

S&P launches leverage publication
Standard & Poor’s has launched a new quarterly publication called Leverage Matters, which will provide market commentary and case studies focused on the loan market. The inau-COPYING WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM PRIVATE EQUITY MANAGER IS UNLAWFUL. gural issue contains commentary from credit analyst Paul Watters, who argues that new and less experienced entrants to the market are not fully aware of the risks associated with defaults. ?European leveraged finance is the place to be for now, and in these heady days of ?white hot? liquidity and deteriorating credit, information is key,? said managing editor Audrey Whitfill, in a statement.

Headhunter enters St. Petersburg
Pendersen & Partners, an executive search firm focused on Central and Eastern Europe, has opened an office in St. Petersburg, the firm announced. Already Pendersen has offices in Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Istanbul, Kiev, Moscow, Prague, Riga, Sofia, Tallinn, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw and Zagreb. The head of the St. Petersburg office is Matvey Pirozhenko, who previously worked at Danish windows producer VELUX.

Milbank Tweed names two European partners
International law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has elected Ulrike Dormann and James Warbey as partners in the firm’s Munich and London offices, respectively. Dormann works in Milbank’s global corporate department. Warbey works in the global finance group. The promotions follow nine other Milbank attorneys around the world named partner in 2005.

SJ Berwin moves into Italy
Alberto Morano, a private equity lawyer in Italy for the past 15 years, is to head up SJ Berwin’s new Italian offices. The two offices, based in Milan and Turin, opened for business last month. Morano will spearhead Italian operations from the Milan office. Morano joins SJ Berwin as a partner and will work alongside Massimo Chaia, Arturo Meglio and Fabio Cigna. According to the firm, the team has expertise in private equity, M&A, acquisition finance, real estate, corporate and labor law. It added that it will be expanded to include EU and competition law in the near future.

Mourant assets surge
Mourant, the professional services firm, in 2005 saw its assets under administration grow 65 percent from $46 billion to roughly $70 billion, the firm announced. The growth comes as the firm has expanded geographically with new offices in Cayman and New York. Additional offices are in Luxembourg, London, Jersey and Guernsey. Research firm Fitzrovia estimates that Mourant controls between 30 percent and 35 percent of the market in fund administration services.

Atlantic-Pacific poaches Merrill pro
Atlantic-Pacific Capital, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based placement agent, has hired Terry Wetterman Jr. away from Merrill Lynch Private Equity Group to focus on project management. Wetterman will become part of the firm’s direct private placements initiative. Atlantic-Pacific was founded in 1995 and has raised over $21 billion. It has six offices in North America, Europe and Asia. The firm is led by CEO James Manley the former co-founder of Everest Capital Limited. Before that he worked at Prudential Securities Capital Markets.

Monument Group heads to Europe
Private equity fund placement boutique Monument Grouphas launched a London-based affiliate, the Boston-headquartered firm announced. The establishment of Monument Group in London is ?expected to substantially bolster the firm’s fundraising and origination abilities in the European market? according to a statement. John McLaren, co-founder and managing director of Monument Group, will now be based in the firm’s London office. The firm was established in 1994 in Boston. To date, the firm has raised approximately $32 billion. The firm is currently raising $1.6 billion for New York-based Quadrangle Capital Partners.

BerchWood expands
BerchWood Partners, a placement agent for private equity funds, has added Bruce Pflaum in San Francisco, Doug Jarrett in New York and Alexander Apponyi in London. Pflaum joined BerchWood in August from Capital Advisors, a real estate and financial advisory firm. Jarrett joins from Bank of America, where he executed equity, debt and M&A advisory transactions. Apponyi joins the team after 11 years with UBS, most recently as a director in the investment banking department, where he launched the European private equity placements group. In the last 18 months, BerchWood has raised funds valued at over $1 billion, including Close Brothers Private Equity Fund VII (£360 million), DW Healthcare Partners LP ($90 million) and Montauk TriGuard Fund III LP ($300 million). The firm is led from New York by David Berchenbriter, a former managing director at placement agent CP Eaton & Associates.

SVB launches Shanghai business
Silicon Valley Bank has opened its third international subsidiary in Shanghai. The business is called SVB Business Partners (Shanghai). SVB also has offices in Bangalore and London. According to a press release, SVB Business Partners (Shanghai) will ?serve as a hub for companies expanding business activities or adding a physical presence in China.? SVB Financial Group, formerly Silicon Valley Bancshares, is a financial holding company that serves emerging growth and mature companies in the technology, life science, private equity and premium wine industries. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Silicon Valley Bank is the dominant provider of venture debt to emerging companies.

Head of sponsors quits CSFB
Peter Bacon has reportedly left Credit Suisse First Boston to join the hedge fund set up by his former boss Bennett Goodman. Bacon left to launch the European arm of GSO, a $2.5 billion (€2.1 billion) credit opportunity fund, according to the Financial News. At CSFB, Bacon will be replaced by Didier Denat and Ronan Agnew as co-heads in charge of working with the bank’s European private equity clients in London. GSO was founded last year by three other former CSFB bankers: alternative investment veteran Bennett Goodman, global head of leverage finance and Bacon’s former boss; Tripp Smith, a former head of high-yield bonds; and Doug Ostrover, head of high-yield sales. Bacon became head of the European financial sponsor coverage team in 2000, having previously run DLJ Merchant Banking’s chemicals investment banking team in New York.

Weil Gotshal in leadership shuffle
Global law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, one of the chief providers of legal counsel to the private equity industry, has recently announced leadership changes. James Westra and Glenn West have been named co-heads of the private equity practice. Westra is also the managing partner of the firm’s Boston office and a member of the firm’s management committee. West is the managing partner of the Dallas office and a member of the firm’s management committee. Barry Wolf, the former co-head of the private equity practice, is now cochairman of the corporate department, along with Tom Roberts. Wolf remains based in New York. Weil Gotshal has roughly 1200 lawyers in 20 offices around the world. The firm was founded in 1931.

Hummel leaves 3i for Dechert in Munich
Berthold Hummel has left his position as senior counsel for pan-European firm 3i to join law firm Dechert in Munich. Hummel has become a partner in the Corporate and Securities practice. He has worked for 3i in Frankfurt for the past six years, focusing on leveraged buyouts and venture capital transactions, according to a press release. Among the deals Hummel advised on were Germany’s Betapharm GmbH €300 million buyout and Spain’s Esmalglass SA €250 million buyout. Hummel has advised on a number of recent German IPOs. Prior to joining 3i, Hummel was general counsel at Munich’s Technologieholding VC GmbH. Before that he led the private equity and venture capital practice of Schürmann & Partners. In a statement, Federico Pappalardo, the partner in charge of Dechert’s Munich office, said: ?The strength and depth of [Hummel’s] knowledge of the European private equity and venture capital markets following years of in-house experience at one of the leading pan-European private equity houses represents a significant boost to our Munich-based private equity team demonstrates Dechert’s clear commitment to expanding its German practice.?