Frontline – October 2008, part 1

FRONTLINE 2008-10-01 Staff Writer <b>Former Tsinghua VC director to lead Trenwith's Asia expansion</b><br />Gregory Hill, formerly a director of Tsinghua Venture Capital Management, has joined the investment banking arm of financial services firm the Trenwith Group, as a managing director.

Former Tsinghua VC director to lead Trenwith’s Asia expansion
Gregory Hill, formerly a director of Tsinghua Venture Capital Management, has joined the investment banking arm of financial services firm the Trenwith Group, as a managing director. There he will manage Trenwith’s business in China and India, and oversee the firm’s cross border acceleration into greater Asia. He will provide M&A advisory services and advise on offerings of private equity, mezzanine, private investment in public equity, venture capital and recapitalization financing for clients in Asia and US clients seeking to increase their presence in Asia. ?Over the past few years Trenwith has enjoyed significant growth in providing corporate finance and M&A services to the Asian middle market,? said Trenwith chief executive officer Ron Ainsworth in a statement. ?[Hill] will be instrumental in enhancing our existing presence in Asia and fulfilling Trenwith’s vision for further expansion in the region.? Before working at Tsinghua, Hill was a senior investment banker at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse.

First Republic hires MD for PE, VC clients
First Republic Bank, a San Francisco-based private banking and wealth management firm, has hired Rod Racine as a managing director for its business banking arm. Racine will work with private equity, venture capital and investment fund clients. ?Tod Racine? understands the unique needs of venture capital, private equity and venture firms, and he will help First Republic strengthen its leadership in key markets,? said First Republic’s chief operating officer Katherine August-deWile in a statement. Racine most recently worked at Venture Banking Group as a senior vice president, before which he was manager of independent business for Toronto Dominion Bank.

Alvarez & Marshal opens Boston office, hires two
Alvarez & Marshal Transaction Advisory Group, an affiliate of professional services firm Alvarez & Marshal, has opened a new office in Boston. Scott Soderstrom, Andrew Carroll and Daniel Madden will relocate to the new office, Soderstrom and Carroll as directors and Madden as manager. Soderstrom was a director with A&M in Chicago previously, before which he was with Ernst & Young’s transaction advisory services practice. Carroll and Madden are new hires, also from Ernst & Young’s transaction advisory services practice. ?Given the tightening of the credit markets and uncertainty on the horizon, it has become even more important for firms to have the best possible information to assess opportunities to derive value and arrive at a price that makes sense,? said A&M Transaction Advisory Group managing director Jack McCarthy in a statement.

Fulcrum brings on PFPC exec to grow US business
Fulcrum Limited, an administrator for hedge funds and alternative asset managers, has hired former PFPC Global Fund Services executive Fred Jacobs to leads its US business development efforts. As a managing director with Fulcrum, Jacobs will lead sales and marketing, as well as sourcing and closing new business and overseeing client service. At PFPC, Jacobs was senior vice president of global fund business development, responsible for managing international and alternative investment sales. Before, he marketed investment management services and trust products in Latin America for the international private client division of Bank of America.

Credit Suisse hires new head of financial institutions for Asia ex-Japan
Credit Suisse has appointed Robert Jesudason as managing director and head of its financial institutions group for Asia ex-Japan. Jesudason will be based in the firm’s Hong Kong office. He formerly worked at JPMorgan Chase in the Asian Special Situations Group, where he was a managing director focused on private equity investments in financial institutions. Before, he was global head of corporate development for Barclays, where his team closed $11.5 billion in deals, including the $4.5 billion acquisition of Absa in South Africa, the $1.4 billion acquisition of Banco Zaragozana in Spain, and the $1.1 billion sale of First Caribbean. He has also worked for McKinsey & Co and GE Capital M&A.

SGCIB opens Sydney office
Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking has opened a new office in Sydney, expanding its acquisition and leveraged finance business in Asia Pacific. The new office will enable the bank to provide debt arranging, underwriting and bookrunning services for private equity firms and corporate clients in Australia and New Zealand. The firm has hired three new staff members to the team: director Steve Zuckerman, associate director James Poulos and analyst Rodolphe de Tilly. Zuckerman was previously head of global loans for Australia and New Zealand for Barclays Capital; Poulos was previous on the diversified industrials team of ANZ; Tilly previously worked for M&A boutique Banca Leonardo. The three will complement the firm’s existing team of 12 in Hong Kong.

Management changes at Close Brothers
European corporate finance firm Close Brothers has made several new hires and changes to its senior management. Richard Grainger, formerly chief executive officer, will be executive vice chairman; Stephen Aulsebrook, formerly head of European special situations, will be chief executive and Matthew Prest, formerly a managing director in European special situations, will be head of that group. In addition, Mike Wheeler, formerly global managing partner of KPMG Financial Advisory Services, will be non-executive chairman. Close Brothers has also appointed Michael Dubois, an advisor for restaurants, pubs and bars, as a managing director for its leisure and retail sector group. Burkhard Weber will also join the firm’s German team as managing director, focusing on advising transactions in the mid-cap market. Weber was previously in the corporate finance M&A department of KPMG.

Proactive hires new director of financial services
Proactive Worldwide, a provider of business intelligence research and consulting services, has hired Kurt Neubauer as director of its financial services practice. Before, Neubauer led the financial services team for New York-based firm Guideline’s strategic intelligence division, and also led competitive intelligence training for his own teams as well as for clients. The firm said it hopes to leverage Neubauer’s competitive intelligence experience to grow its financial services business and offerings.

CP Eaton adds three
Connecticut-based placement agent CP Eaton Partners has added three new members to its team. Daniel Vene, formerly a partner at Allegiance Capital Partners, will join the real estate group; Jeffrey Eaton, formerly a director at Constellation Energy Commodities Group, will join the private equity group and Thomas Knechtel, formerly a vice president at Channel Capital Group, will join the hedge fund group. The firm hopes to expand across all of those asset classes, as well as emerging markets. ?The alternative investment landscape has evolved considerably over the past five years, and we look forward to the energy and diverse capabilities these individuals will bring to the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead,? said chief operating officer Charlie Bartz in a statement.

KPMG hires partners for new pensions advisory team
KPMG has hired a new partner, Graham Pearce, to head up a new pensions advisory team in Germany. The new team will operate within KPMG’s transactions services practice, where it will advise on pension issues arising during corporate transactions. The team will provide services including pre-deal option analysis, due diligence, post-deal integration and scheme redesign. ?Pensions are a critical area which private equity investors need to address in order to execute successful transactions. Before joining KPMG, Pearce worked at Mercer for 17 years, where he specialized in advising on multinational pension issues with a focus on corporate transactions. In 2003 he was appointed head of Mercer’s private equity and M&A team.

European High Yield Association hires general counsel
The European High Yield Association and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association have appointed Lorraine Charlton as general counsel of the EHYA and executive director of regulatory policy for the SIFMA. Charlton was previously deputy legal advisor to the Office of the President of Eritrea, representing Eritrea before the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission and the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission in The Hague. Before, she worked at the London offices of Latham & Watkins, where she focused on international capital markets, primarily representing underwriters in high yield debt transactions.

CNA launches liability products for PE, VC firms
Commercial insurance writer CNA Specialty has launched directors and officers and errors and omissions coverage offerings for private equity partners and venture capitalists who face exposure as investment advisors for high net worth or institutional investor clients. ?Given the risk-taking aspect of their profession, fund managers can find themselves the target of management liability suits,? said CNA assistant vice president Mark Reilly in a statement. The new offerings are designed for private equity and venture capital firms who manage up to $5 billion in committed capital. The products are the latest addition to CNA’s management and professional liability suite of products.

Sextant hires Glocker, promotes Little
Sextant Search Partners, an executive search firm based in New York, has two new partners in its private equity practice. Regina Glocker joins the firm as a partner in its global banking, hedge fund and private equity practices from Westwood Partners, where she was a partner focusing on investment banking, hedge funds and private equity. Before that, Glocker was a partner at Korn/Ferry in the investment banking/ capital markets group. Sextant recently promoted Holly Davidson Little to partner in the firm’s private equity, global banking and asset management practices. She focuses on national and global search assignments for senior-level investment and fund operating professionals for LBO, growth equity and fund of funds, endowments and other alternative asset management clients. Little, who leads Sextant’s work on behalf of technology venture capital, growth equity and buyout firms, was most recently an investment professional at a San Francisco-based technology buyout firm.