Frontline – December 2007

FRONTLINE 2007-12-01 Staff Writer <b>Mourant partners with SunGard</b><br />Mourant International Finance Administration, a global fund administration business provider, has partnered with SunGard, a software provider, to deploy SunGard's Investran solution to support its administration eff

Mourant partners with SunGard
Mourant International Finance Administration, a global fund administration business provider, has partnered with SunGard, a software provider, to deploy SunGard’s Investran solution to support its administration efforts on behalf of its private equity and other alternative asset clients. SunGard Investran offers an application suite that automates front-, middle- and back-office processes for alternative asset firms. Under the agreement, Mourant will employ Investran to manage its clients’ activities. Mourant will also use Investran to process high-volume accounting, reporting and investor relations on behalf of its clients. Ian Lambert, chief executive of Mourant said in a statement: ?We selected SunGard’s Investran solution primarily for its ability to handle our complex client fund base ? over 100 fund manager clients of all types, and in excess of 200 private equity funds alone. We also needed a solution that was scalable enough to support our growth plans.?

Michigan hires JP Morgan for portfolio admin
The State of Michigan Retirement System has signed on JPMorgan Private Equity Fund Services to provide the state with portfolio administration and performance reporting. JPMorgan PEFS will provide services including investment accounting, cash flow tracking and forecasting, reporting and analytics. The State’s Department of Treasury Bureau of Investments’ Alternative Investments Division serves as the investment manager for various state retirement systems with a total of $61 billion in assets under management. JPMorgan PEFS provides middle and back office outsourcing of fund administration services for more than 200 funds at private equity firms, representing over $45 billion in committed capital. The firm also serves institutional investors with over $100 billion in aggregate committed capital.

Paladyne hires Vogel as CFO and GC
Paladyne Systems, a New York-based provider of alternative investment solutions, has appointed Steve Vogel as chief financial officer and general counsel. Vogel will oversee finance and administration, legal matters, corporate and project finance, accounting, treasury and human resources for the technology provider. Before joining Paladyne, Vogel founded Sanguinity LLC, a consulting firm specializing in restructuring domestic public and private entities. A member of the New York Bar and both a CPA and a CMA holder, he has held CFO and general counsel positions at Chordiant Software, Tessera, iLogistix and Microbank Software. Sameer Shalaby, chief executive of Paladyne, said in a statement: ?Steve’s extensive business, financial and legal experience has contributed significantly to the success of a number of companies in the enterprise software arena. We expect that his broad knowledge base will greatly enhance Paladyne’s leadership position in this fast-growing hedge fund marketplace.? Paladyne offers a front- to back-office technology platform for streamlining alternative investments.

Bank of Scotland restructures leveraged finance team
HBOS owned Bank of Scotland Corporate has merged its structured and acquisition finance teams in the UK and integrated its European leverage finance business to create a single leveraged finance business in Europe. Iain Purves, formerly head of acquisition finance, becomes new leveraged finance head. He is responsible for the business across Europe and for all sponsor relationship. Stephen Quinn, formerly director of acquisition finance, has been appointed head of leveraged finance, continental Europe, with responsibility for the local coverage offices in Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Amsterdam and Stockholm. The UK business is led by four directors ? Mark Bickford, Toby Walter, Adrian Walker and Chris Gow ? who will each take responsibility for a London-based coverage team focusing on the sponsor community. Graeme Shankland, managing director, integrated, structured and acquisition finance, said in a statement: ?By bringing together our structured and acquisition finance team into one leveraged finance business, we will be able to extend our partnership approach to working with financial sponsors on a pan-European basis.?

BarCap adds two in leveraged finance
UK investment bank Barclays Capital has made two appointments in its leveraged finance group. Jeff Porphy joins as a managing director in US leverage finance. He will lead the idea generation and transaction development team within the US sponsor coverage group. Porphy joins from Credit Suisse, where he worked for 14 years, most recently as a managing director, head of financial sponsors M&A and co-head of middle market M&A. BarCap also appointed Ramon Walsh as a director of its leveraged finance sponsor origination team. Walsh will work with buyout clients providing financing for deals. He joins from Morgan Stanley, where he was also a director in the leveraged finance team for two years. Before that, he worked at UBS for five years in the mergers and acquisitions and leveraged finance teams. Walsh is a qualified chartered accountant having begun his career at Ernst and Young.

HRH acquires BoA corporate insurance business
Hilb Rogal & Hobbs, the eighth largest insurance intermediary in the United States, has acquired Banc of America Corporate Insurance Agency (BACIA). The acquisition includes BACIA’s private equity practice, which will now be known as HRH Private Equity Practice. Headquartered in Cranford, New Jersey, BACIA’s focus includes employee benefits, which comprises approximately two-thirds of its revenues, .?sector and private equity operations. BACIA was formed through the acquisition and integration of six independent insurance agencies. HRH chairman and CEO Mell Vaughan, III, said in a statement: ?HRH has been looking to expand its presence in the northeastern U.S. for a number of years, but as with all of our acquisitions, we wanted to grow in accordance with our strategic plan. BACIA’s growth-oriented business model and wealth of talent in both the employee benefits and property and casualty segments align closely with HRH’s focus on expanding its geographic reach and retaining top industry talent.?

Noble & Co launches Indian joint venture
UK investment bank Noble & Company has launched a joint venture with Mumbai merchant bank Almondz Global Securities (AGSL) to enable Indian corporations to access UK capital markets and UK institutional investors with Indian investment opportunities. As part of the memorandum of understanding signed by Noble and AGSL, foreign institutional investor desks will be set up in London and Mumbai. Through the desks, securities listed in the UK and India will be sold to institutional investors in both countries. The partnership will develop a strategy to allow Indian companies wishing to seek listings on foreign stock exchanges, particularly the AIM. The tie-up with AGSL will allow UK institutions to access India’s rapid economic growth by establishing private equity infrastructure funds, targeted at UK investors, which will invest in infrastructure?related projects, natural resources and energy services throughout India.

Sophis names new COO, head of business development
Sophis, a provider of cross-asset, front-toback portfolio and risk management solutions, has appointed Eric Bernstein as North American chief operating officer and Philippe Stephan as head of business development to increase its development in North America from the company’s NY office. Currently the company has offices in London, Dublin, Paris, Frankfurt, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. Bernstein will be responsible for North American operations including sales and professional services, while Stephan will be responsible for leveraging the company’s partnerships and relationships with third parties that includes prime brokers, technology companies and consultants. Bernstein joins the company from Linedata Services, where he spent six years in various roles including senior vice president, head of sales in the North America region. Stephan joins Sophis from Moody’s KMV in San Francisco where he was a managing director.

BNP Paribas expands DCM team
Global financial services institution BNP Paribas has made three key appointments in its debt capital markets team in London. Kai Harden becomes co-head of Germany/Austria and Switzerland alongside Menko Jaekel. Harden joins from Goldman Sachs, where as an executive director in the European financing group he originated senior debt, covered bonds and hybrid capital. He reports to Anthony Fane, head of DCM FIG Europe. Also new to the DCM team are Franck Viort and Ric Engelbert who join as senior marketers covering France and Benelux, respectively. Viort joins from RBS, where as a director he worked on transactions covering the full spectrum of capital and financing products. Engelbert transferred from BNP Paribas’ global risk solutions team where he originated structured capital markets products. Viort and Engelbert report to Christopher Drennen, head of DCM FIG France and Benelux. All three will be responsible for marketing new issue products, including hybrid capital and subordinated debt, as well as complex fixed income products associated with portfolio and risk management, and capital and ALM management.

Cowen names head of private equity group
New York-based investment bank The Cowen Group has appointed Julie Levenson managing director and head of the firm’s private equity group. She will be based in Cowen’s San Francisco office and will report to Jonathan Biele, head of Cowen’s capital markets group. Levenson has reportedly completed more than 75 transactions representing $3.5 billion in financing volume over the span of her twenty years in investment banking, with clients that include Silicon Graphics and Procom Technology. Levenson joins Cowen from Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, where she was a managing director leading the firm’s private equity and PIPEs placement effort. Prior to joining Houlihan Lokey, Levenson was a senior managing director in the strategic finance group at Bear Stearns and the head of the firm’s private placement group.

Helix Associates brings on Gray and Rivett
Helix Associates, the global placement agent of US investment bank Jefferies, has brought on new managing directors in the US. Stephen Gray and Robert Rivett will be responsible for further expanding Helix’s North American activities for fund sponsors and limited partners. Gray will join the team in New York and Rivett in San Francisco. Gray was most recently a managing director focusing on private equity at Henniker River Advisors, a broker-dealer providing M&A and corporate advisory services. Before that, he was a partner at Gateway Global Partners and a managing director and head of private equity at Salomon Smith Barney. Rivett joins from Credit Suisse, where he was co-head of the private fund group.

Bryan Garnier and America’s Growth Capital in JV
America’s Growth Capital, an emerging growth-focused, research, trading and investment banking partnership based in the US and Bryan Garnier & Co an independent pan-European investment bank focused on European growth companies, have entered into a joint venture to combine their resources in lead generation and transaction sourcing. ?Bryan Garnier is a firm that shares our commitment in the emerging growth markets,? said Ben Howe, chief executive officer of America’s Growth Capital, in a statement. ?This partnership makes a lot of sense for us, as they are trying to capture and bring us in on deals that we would never see and that they wouldn’t likely win without our credentials and transaction history,? Howe added. Bruce Tourme, head of Bryan Garnier’s corporate finance technology group said: ?America’s Growth Capital has an exceptional track record in technology markets; we strongly believe that the combination with Bryan Garnier’s capabilities will deliver a unique value for our European technology clients, looking for US acquisitions.?

Alvarez & Marsal launch UK Tax and practice
Global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal has launched Alvarez & Marsal Taxand UK LLP in London. Former Chiltern chief executive David Pert, who will become managing director and head of A&M Taxand UK, will be joined by former Chiltern colleagues and managing directors Shiv Mahalingham and Kevin Hindley. Robert Lowe Jr, chief executive of A&M Taxand, said in a statement: ?The Taxand global network has expanded to more than 40 countries and nearly 2,000 tax professionals around the world? It is indicative of the surging demand we continue to see in today’s environment for independent tax advisors who are free from audit-based conflicts of interest facing accounting firms. David, Shiv and Kevin are world class tax professionals who have deep relationships in the UK and beyond.? Separately, A&M announced the hiring of Michael Cole, formerly a partner and national leader of the private equity ? healthcare practice at Ernst & Young, has joined the firm as a managing director in the firm’s transaction advisory group and healthcare industry group. Cole will be based in A&M’s new Nashville office and will be joined by former E&Y professionals Richard Sober, as a senior director based in Atlanta, and Marshall Taylor, as a director based in Nashville, in the healthcare group.