Frontline – February 2006

FRONTLINE 2006-02-01 Staff Writer <b>New MD at Morgan Joseph</b><br />Morgan Joseph & Co, a New York-based investment banking firm serving the middle market, has appointed G. Scott Cantini as a managing director focused on providing growth capital to public and private companies. Cantin

New MD at Morgan Joseph
Morgan Joseph & Co, a New York-based investment banking firm serving the middle market, has appointed G. Scott Cantini as a managing director focused on providing growth capital to public and private companies. Cantini was most recently a partner at America’s Growth Capital, where he focused on PIPEs, private placements and private equity coverage. He has also had spells in the private equity groups at SG Cowen and Smith Barney, as well as having been a founder of CityLab Advisors, an investment bank consulting firm dedicated to private and middle market public companies. Morgan Joseph provides financial advisory and capital raising services including M&A and restructuring advice, and equity and debt private placements and public offerings.

Harris Williams opens Philly office
Harris Williams, a provider of M&A advisory and related services to middle market companies worldwide, has launched a new office in Philadelphia. Founded in 1991, Harris Williams is based in Richmond, Virginia, and has other existing offices in San Francisco and Boston. In a statement, the firm said it would conduct its ?core middle market M&A advisory business? from Philadelphia, under the Harris Williams and Cobblestone Advisers brands. Cobblestone, which is a division of Harris Williams, specializes in advising lower middle market US firms. The new office is located at: 1600 Market Street, 21st floor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Tel: 804 915 0129 or 804 915 0177. Harris Williams was acquired by PNC Financial Services Group, the financial services giant, in October 2005.

Lincoln, Peters forge global initiative
Chicago-based Lincoln Partners and Frankfurt’s Peters Associates have merged to create a global investment bank focused on the mid market. The deal is said to be just the first step in the combined firm’s international initiative. The merged company, called Lincoln International, will have a footprint in Chicago, New York, Frankfurt and Paris. The new company also incorporates the former France-based M&A advisory team of KPMG. The group had been closely linked to Peters following its spinout from the accounting firm, but will now be rolled into the Lincoln International platform. US buyout groups continue to move into European markets. ?From our perspective, we started looking internally about a year and a half ago, and realized that we needed to aggressively serve the private equity market,? Peters said.

Mourant New York team on the move
The US fund administration division of Mourant is to locate to new and larger premises in New York. Mourant has signed a lease for office space on the 15th floor of the Fisk Building at 250 West 57th Street. The fund administration team will move there from its current base at 1560 Broadway. Mourantis a third-party fund administrator providing accounting, reporting, tax compliance, cash management and corporate secretarial services to private equity and real estate investors.

The Jersey-based firm launched its US fund admin division in February 2005 and says it has won mandates to administer almost $4 billion in primary funds over the last ten months.

Senior shake-up at IPES
International Private Equity Services (IPES), the Guernsey-based private equity fund administrator, has announced one retirement and two new appointments at the senior level. In a statement, the firm said director Peter Gillson, who co-founded the business with managing director Connie Helyar in 1998, had retired. Meanwhile, Wayne Roberts has joined the firm as group finance director and company secretary, having previously been finance director for Conder Products Limited, part of UK environmental solutions provider Conder Environmental plc. In addition, Anoosha Livani has been appointed to the newly created role of marketing director, having previously spent over seven years as marketing manager at London-based mid-market private equity firm Kleinwort Capital.

Promotions at Osborne Clark
Osborne Clark, the Bristol, England-based European law firm, has promoted a private equity specialist in its corporate team to the position of associate. Robert Heaselgrave has acted on a number of deals for both management teams and institutional investors on management buyouts, secondary buyouts and exits. He has also advised on a range of public company acquisitions and disposals and is a member of the firm’s publishing group. Three other members of the corporate team – Neil Bromwich, James Chapman and Chris Worrell – have also been promoted to associate, in addition to 17 other lawyers across the firm’s various practices.

Blake steps up at SJ Berwin
Jonathan Blake, head of the corporate department and private equity group at London-based international law firm SJ Berwin, has been promoted to senior partner, effective from May 1, 2006. Blake has been a partner at the firm since 1982 and has developed a particular specialization in advising fund managers across Europe on the structuring of private equity and venture capital funds, management companies and incentive arrangements. Blake said the promotion would have no impact on his private equity work, ?which is extremely important to this firm and part of its branding.?

Crane builds Japan presence
Crane Capital, the alternative asset placement specialist, has recruited Japan expert Simon Chadwick as a partner in its London office. Chadwick takes responsibility for Crane’s Japanese fund placement business, providing full distribution coverage of major Japanese institutional investors and is responsible for leading due diligence on Japanese private equity and real estate managers. Crane currently has offices in London, New York, Toronto, Munich and Melbourne, and is planning to open a Tokyo office later this year. Chadwick was previously managing partner of Chikusei Partners, a private equity research and consulting business specializing in Japanese private equity. He had a previous spell as a principal at Schroder Finance Partners, a technology venture capital business founded by Schroders plc.

Triple hire for Probitas
Probitas Partners, the San Francisco-based placement agent, has added Jean-Marc Cuvilly as a vice president in its New York office and Nam Hoang and Russell Turnquist as associates in San Francisco. Cuvilly was formerly an associate with Merrill Lynch Private Equity Group; Hoang was previously with the financial sponsor group of Banc of America Securities; while Russell was a senior consulting associate at Cambridge Associates in Boston. Founded in 2001, Probitas offers services including placement of private equity funds, portfolio management and liquidity management.

Dummett leaves Merrill Lynch
Christian Dummett, the head of private placement at the London office of investment bank Merrill Lynch, has left the firm. A Merrill Lynch spokesman confirmed that Dummett had been replaced by Enrique Cuan, a member of the London team. The former head of private equity at UK bank Abbey National, Dummett was appointed head of Merrill’s London placement team in March 2003. Dummett was one of several new hires made by Merrill Lynch as it sought to plug holes left by the departure of seven placement professionals to join Lazard Freres in February 2003.

Silverfern adds placement agents
Silverfern Group, a middle-market private equity fundraising specialist, has hired two placement agents – Lobi Powell, who has joined the firm as a managing director, and Christopher Slinger, who has joined the firm as a director. Lobi was the founder and president of Elan AlternativeGroup, a personalized hedge fund marketing firm. At Silverfern, Powell will focus on providing marketing and distribution services to hedge fund clients. Slinger joins Silverfernin a distribution capacity from the IRG Research sales team. Silverfern chairman and CEO Clive Holmes said in a statement: ?Silverfernis now the firm of choice for both hedge funds and private equity funds in search of fullservice fundraising coupled with boutique senior banker attention.? The Silverfern Group is based in New York.

Search firm launches private equity unit
Whitehead Mann, the London-based executive search firm, has appointed Chris Kirkness from the financial sponsors group of Dutch bank ABN Amro to head up a new dedicated financial sponsors/private equity coverage team. As head of private equity, Kirkness’ task will be to deliver all Whitehead Mann’s existing executive search services to the private equity community. In a statement, the firm said: ?Private equity houses are significant stakeholders in the companies and institutions for which Whitehead Mann works and important clients in their own right.? Kirkness, 51, was most recently managing director and global head of the financial sponsor group at ABN Amro. While there, he was responsible for handling M&A, leveraged financing and exits for financial sponsors in the UK, Europe, US and Asia. His 18 years at director level in investment banking also included a spell at Robert Fleming & Co.

Akin Gump grows private equity practice by three
O’Melveny & Myers’ loss is Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s gain as the latter law firm adds three partners to its New York-based private equity fold. The new additions to the Akin Gump roster are Adam Weinstein, Stewart Kagan and Rosa Testani, all partners hailing from the New York office of law firm O’Melveny & Myers and its predecessor O’Sullivan LLP. The trio will be based at Akin Gump’s New York office and is expected to bolster the capacity for handling private equity transactions at the firm, which houses over fifty attorneys in its private equity practice group. Serving as co-chair of Akin Gump’s private equity mergers and acquisitions practice, Weinstein will leverage his experience in advising large cap and middle market funds and their portfolio companies. Kagan’s expertise includes debt financings and private equity investments, having worked on a number of leveraged buyouts in the past. Meanwhile, Testani specializes in representing private equity-backed portfolio companies with public and private issuances of equity and debt, as well as advising on restructurings and corporate governance issues. Akin Gump was founded by fund formation specialists Steve Vine and Patrick Fenn in 1994.