Frontline – December 2006

FRONTLINE 2006-12-01 Staff Writer <b>Alvarez & Marsal boosts teams</b><br />Alvarez & Marsal, a global professional services firm, added five transaction advisors and two tax advisors in October. Michael Gacek, formerly of Deloitte & Touche, has joined the Chicago office of Alva

Alvarez & Marsal boosts teams
Alvarez & Marsal, a global professional services firm, added five transaction advisors and two tax advisors in October. Michael Gacek, formerly of Deloitte & Touche, has joined the Chicago office of Alvarez & Marshal Transaction Advisory Group as a director. He focuses on buy-side financial due diligence services in the automotive, telecommunications, consumer, manufacturing and business services sectors. Brandon Crawley, formerly of PricewaterhouseCoopers is joining the same team as an associate. New associates in the New York office include Francis and Ryan Rockwood, both formerly of KPMG. Kevin Karl comes to the New York office as a manager from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Lauren Byrne, formerly of Ernst & Young, and Martin Williams, formerly of PricewaterhouseCoopers have joined Alvarez & Marsal Tax Advisory Services’ New York office. Byrne and Williams both focus primarily on mergers and acquisitions.

CMF Associates hires new director
Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based financial and management advisory firm CMF Associates hired Yonca Agatan to be the director of its management team in October. Agatan has had more than 14 years of experience as a management consultant. She will lead key private equity, middlemarket and international projects. Agatan joins the firm group from Deloitte Consulting, where she was a senior manager in the financial management practice and focused on accounting policy and procedure development, information systems implementation and business process improvement for companies in the life science, health care, manufacturing, consumer products and services and financial services sectors.

Duff & Phelps acquires specialty investment bank
Financial advisory firm Duff & Phelps acquired specialty investment bank Chanin Capital Partners in November. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Chanin Capital provides clients with advice in the areas of financial restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and fairness and solvency options. Founded in 1984 and with headquarters in Los Angeles and New York, Chanin has two more offices in Detroit and London. As a subsidiary of Duff & Phelps, Chanin Capital’s financial restructuring business will continue to use the Chanin name. Its investment banking division will become Duff & Phelps Securities.

Watch Hill Partners adds veteran banker
New York-based investment banking boutique Watch Hill Partners added Peter Buckley, a veteran private placement banker, to its team. Buckley will serve as a partner and as the head of private placements, a new position at the company. During his two decades working on Wall Street, Buckley raised capital for young companies and financed recapitalizations for mature public and private businesses. Most recently, Buckley was a managing director and the head of equity private placements at JP Morgan Securities’ New York office. There he raised capital for hedge funds and venture capital in the consumer, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, technology and telecommunications sectors.

Ingenious Ventures appoints new director
Ingenious, a UK media investment and advisory group that focuses on investments, corporate finance, asset management, ventures and consulting, has appointed Peter Shawyer to be the director of Ingenious Ventures Limited, the company’s private equity branch. Shawyer will also be the non-executive director to Ingenious’s board. He has left positions as non-executive director of HSBC Bank and HSBC France and as chairman of British International Holdings. He spent 32 years at Deloitte & Touche.

American Capital commits $50m to middle-market financer
American Capital Strategies, a buyout and mezzanine fund based in Bethesda, Maryland, committed $50 million (€39 million) in senior subordinated debt to First Capital, a financer of middle market companies, in October.

?First Capital is the first investment by our Financial Services Group, which was formed in May of this year,? said John Erickson, American Capital’s CFO, in a statement.

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, First Capital primarily provides traditional factoring and asset-based lending services. Its clients are manufacturers, distributors, importers and service companies with sales ranging from $10 million to $100 million in sales.

Former Hewitt Associates consultant launches new firm
Jacco Koopmans, formerly a senior investment consultant at the Netherlands-based Hewitt Associates, established his own investment consultancy, Interim Investment Professional, in July. The firm will specialize in advising institutional investors about interim investments. Koopman is working with PGGM, a Dutch pension fund, on a strategic policy project. Koopmans told, a European pension website, that a lack of advisors for pension funds prompted him to open his own company. Hewitt has appointed Dolf Hoeks, formerly a Netherlands manager for Mellon Analytical Solutions, to be the head of Interim Investment’s international benefits consulting practice.

RBC Capital Markets acquires broker-dealer business
RBC Capital Markets, the corporate and investment banking branch of RBC, has plans to acquire the broker-dealer arm of New York-based Carlin Financial Group, a trade execution platform. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Hedge fund managers and traders are the users of CARLINAccel, Carlin’s full service direct access trading system. ?We believe that this acquisition allows us to create a leading North American electronic execution platform for investors and expand into multi-asset class electronic trading, said Greg Mills, RBC’s head of global equity sales and trading, in a statement.

Brown Gibbons Lang gets new director
Brown Gibbons Lang & Company has hired Charles ?Chip? Wahle as a firm director. Wahle will establish the investment bank’s East Coast presence by opening an office in Boston. In his more than 15 years of investment banking and corporate finance experience, Wahle has completed projects in leveraged buyouts, divestitures and public equity transactions for private equity firms as well as public and private company clients. His previous employers include Barrington Associates in Los Angeles and Harris Williams & Co. in Boston. Hoping to increase its Chicago banking staff by 40 percent next year, Brown Gibbons Lang has also moved its Chicago office into a larger space.

Collins Stewart and Hawkpoint merge
London-based corporate advisory firm Hawkpoint Holdings Limited has merged with Collins Stewart Tullett, a global financial services group listed on the London Stock Exchange. Under the agreement, which is conditional upon the Collins Stewart Group completing its demerging, from Collins Stewart Tullett, Hawkpoint will acquire cash and shares in Collins Stewart, Hawkpoint’s chairman David Reid Scott and managing partner Paul Baines wrote in a letter. ?Their business is wholly complementary with our own and Collins Stewart’s senior management respects the importance of Hawkpoint continuing to be run separately in order to preserve our ability to provide independent advice on an unconflicted basis,? Scott and Baines said in the statement.

Probitas Partners adds to London office
Probitas Partners, a placement agent, liquidity specialist and alternative investment advisory firm has added two people to its London staff. Jonathan Leinmuller will join as a director, and Francois Garcin will join as an associate. Leinmuller founded Matrix Private Funds Group, a joint venture with Matrix Securities that focuses solely on fund placement. He was also a member of the team that founded Eiger Capital SA, a private equity fund of funds based in Luxembourg. Garcin will manage relationships for alternative investment fund placement and liquidity management. As an associate at Carta Diem Private Equity, he advised general and limited partners on private equity secondaries and fund placement transactions.

Global partnership launches to serve international mid market
A group of corporate finance houses has come together to launch a global partnership, Agio International, that will service the mid-market mergers and acquisitions transactions of corporate and private equity firms. The groups involved include US-based Goldsmith-Agio-Helms, UK-based investment bank Noble Group, Milan-based Caretti & Associati, Zurich-based Swiss Capital and Madrid-based 360 Corporate. Unnamed groups from France and Germany are also planning to join.

?There is a large and growing demand on mid-market deals for high quality international corporate finance advice based on a ?one team? approach,? said Daniel Confino, Agio’s CEO, in a statement. ?This growth is being driven by the increased globalization of mid-market companies and private equity groups. Agio International has been formed to address this gap in the market and to provide a fully integrated international service to clients wherever they are located.?

Ben Thomson, the CEO of Noble, commented in the statement about the importance a group like Agio will have for the UK and the US. ?The UK is an increasingly important market for US private equity groups, acting not only as a link with Europe but also giving access to AIM, which is emerging as one of the world’s leading small cap markets.?

Bryan Garnier promotes senior advisor to partner
Bryan, Garnier & Co, an independent pan-European investment bank, promoted senior advisor Bruno Tourme to the position of partner in October. Tourme will work out of Bryan Garnier’s Paris and London of-fices and will lead the firm’s corporate finance technology group. Bryan Garnier focuses on the small and mid-cap technology market, which is undergoing an upsurge in activities across Europe, the firm said in a statement. Tourme joined Bryan Garnier in 2004 and helped develop the technology group.