Frontline – November 2008

FRONTLINE 2008-11-01 Staff Writer <b>WSIB hires JPMorgan for custody, securities services</b><br />The Washington State Investment Board has hired JPMorgan to provide custody and securities services for the $82 billion in assets that it manages on behalf of 36 public pension funds. JPMorgan

WSIB hires JPMorgan for custody, securities services
The Washington State Investment Board has hired JPMorgan to provide custody and securities services for the $82 billion in assets that it manages on behalf of 36 public pension funds. JPMorgan will provide global custody, fund accounting, compliance measurement, securities lending, foreign exchange and performance measurement services for the fund, as well as a dedicated client service team based in Olympia, Washington. ?They have the right technology and the right people to provide the best service for our funds,? Theresa Whitmarsh, the board’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Alvarez & Marsal open first mainland China office
Global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal have opened their first mainland China office in Shanghai. The firm has two other offices in Asia, one in Singapore and one in Hong Kong. ?The addition of our Shanghai based team reflects our firm’s growing commitment to serve businesses in and stakeholders in this region,? said Fernando Gaspar, head of the firm’s restructuring and performance improvement services in Asia, in a statement. Stephen Scott and Jim Dubow will co-head the Shanghai office. Scott will focus on business intelligence and investigatory services, while Dubow will lead the firm’s operational management and performance improvement businesses.

FD acquires Ashton Partners
New York financial public relations firm FD has acquired Ashton Partners, a financial and corporate communications firm with offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Boston. Ashton advises clients in the financial services, industrials, life sciences and technology sectors. ?Ashton Partners strengthens our North American presence by bringing complementary knowledge and relevant experience in important regions,? FD, formerly Financial Dynamics, said in a statement. Ashton’s current and recent clients include Chiquita Brands International, Champps Entertainment, Equity Office Properties, Laureate Education and Sun MicroSystems.

Bennett to head Asian leveraged finance for HSBC
Global financial services firm HSBC has tapped Jeff Bennett as managing director for leveraged finance and acquisition finance in the Asia Pacific region. Bennett previously held the same position at HSBC in Europe. Before, he was a managing director in Morgan Stanley’s leveraged finance team. In HSBC’s Hong Kong office, Bennett will focus on event-driven investment grade and non-investment grade financing, including leveraged buyouts and corporate acquisition financing, refinancing, recapitalization, restructuring and bridge financing. ?The appointment demonstrates our commitment to building a leading leveraged and acquisition finance franchise in Asia Pacific,? said David Simons, the region’s head of leveraged and acquisition finance.

Credit Suisse adds to Asia sponsor coverage group
Global financial services firm Credit Suisse has appointed Ben Ngai as a director in its ex-Japan Asia sponsor coverage team to focus on China, where international banks are starting to offer more yuan-denominated loans. Hong Kong based Ngai is returning to Credit Suisse from Citi Asia where he was a director in the financial entrepreneurs group and before that a director in the corporate finance division of ABN AMRO. He joined ABN AMRO from Credit Suisse where he was an investment banking associate. Ngai will report to Matt Whineray, Credit Suisse’s head of sponsor coverage for Asia, ex-Japan, and Zhang Li, chairman and head of China investment banking.

Arthur D. Little adds three to PE team
Management consulting firm Arthur D. Little has added three members to its private equity practice. Stephen Abseck and Imon Mohsin will be managers, and Ik Kanu will be a consultant. Abseck has previously worked at ICF Consulting, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, and most recently Inductis, while Mohsin comes to Arthur D. Little from Ernst & Young. Kanu was most recently at PA Consulting. The new hires are part of the firm’s expansion of its New York team. ?With the addition of such great talent, Arthur D. Little will continue to garner new opportunities for growth by leveraging the unique skill sets of its employees and expanding its reach within the financial sector,? Arthur D. Little managing director Markus Lahrkamp said in a statement.

Troyen to expand Sage Group’s NY office
US investment bank The Sage Group has hired Aimee Troyen to head its New York office, as well as to expand Sage’s business in the middle market branded consumer and retail sectors. Troyen was most recently a managing director at investment bank Avalon Group. Before, she co-founded the investment banking practice of Valuemetrics. During her career, Troyen’s clients have included Jane Cosmetics, MD Skincare and Sigerson Morrison. ?Aimee has an outstanding track record in advising closely held middle market companies,? Sage chief executive Mark Viderhauz said in a statement. ?Her branded apparel and specialty retail expertise will fit perfectly with our firm’s core strengths.?

Grail Partners adds two partners
Merchant bank Grail Partners has hired Laura Garner and Steven Johnson as partners to focus on M&A and private equity transactions. Grail, which was founded in early 2005, specializes in financial services and related technology companies. Garner was a consultant at ClearBrook Advisors before joining Grail, and Johnson was previously a partner at DLB Capital. At Grail, Garner will reach out to alternative investment clients, as well as introduce Grail’s offerings to foundations, endowments, family offices and regional consultants. Johnson will be in charge of marketing client service and product development.

Duff & Phelps adds to Tokyo office
Financial advisory services firm Duff & Phelps has added a managing director and a team of five to its Tokyo office. Masafumi Takeno joins the firm from MISUZU Financial Advisors, formerly part of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was practice leader in corporate finance advisory. Five other professionals who worked with Takeno at MISUZU will also join Duff & Phelps: Masakuni Inoue, Masahiro Amazutsumi, Yutaka Harada, Katsumi Asai and Seiya Aisawa.

Calyon adds to Asia team
Calyon, the corporate and investment banking entity of Credit Agricolé, has appointed Julian Ostheim to head its acquisition and leveraged finance efforts for Asia ex-Japan. Ostheim will replace Christophe Cerisier, who left the bank in April. Before, Ostheim worked in Calyon’s Frankfurt office, where he was an executive director on the leverage finance team. Kenney Cheung will also join Calyon’s Asia division as a director. Cheung comes from DBS Hong Kong, where he was vice president of syndicated finance, focusing on leveraged finance origination.

Evercore appoints two MDs
US merchant bank Evercore Partners has hired Edward Banks and Ian Ferguson as senior managing directors in its advisory business. Banks comes from JPMorgan Cazenove, where he was a managing director on the bank’s UK M&A team. Ferguson joins from Merrill Lynch, where he was a managing director focusing on originating and executing transactions in the aerospace, engineering and defense sectors. Evercore is seeking to grow its European presence, which was established last year when Evercore acquired Braveheart Financial Services. In the past two years, Evercore has advised on several large European transactions, including The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Thomas H. Lee Partners’ €8.7 billion ($12.3 billion) buyout of VNU.

Lucas Group hires new MP
Executive search firm Lucas Group has hired Todd Caissie as a managing partner in its New York legal executive search office. Caissie was most recently a managing director at Major Lindsey & Africa. Before, Caissie headed up the Tokyo office of TMP Worldwide.

Global M&A hires new UK partner
Global M&A, a partnership of independent middle market investment banks, has added Noble & Company to its partner group. Global M&A focuses on domestic and cross-border middle market transactions valued at between €10 million and €250 million. Noble & Company is the firm’s first partner based in the UK. ?The growth in London’s capital markets for international businesses offers exciting opportunities to clients of all 36 members of Global M&A,? Noble chief executive John Llewellyn-Lloyd said in a statement. Noble is the corporate finance advisory and broking arm of Noble Group, an independent investment banking group based in London and Edinburgh.

BNP Paribas shakes up roster
French financial services firm BNP Paribas has made staff changes in its global debt syndicate group. Nicholas Street will join the London office from Integra Capital, where he was a portfolio manager and trader with a focus on European leveraged credit and ECM corporate high debt. Street will report to Fred Zorzi and Robert Whichello, co-heads of European debt syndicate. Tim McCann has been promoted to head of the BNP’s US syndicate desk in its New York office, following the retirement of Peter Masco. Frank McConville will join the syndicate desk from Sanders Morris Harris group, whose syndicate desk he helped to establish. David Barcus will join BNP’s high yield syndicate, moving over from the firm’s high yield capital markets team. ?The importance of providing the best execution has increased markedly of late especially with recent market volatility,? BNP’s global head of primary markets, Martin Egan, said in a statement.

Houlihan Lokey promotes two and makes buy in Europe
US investment bank Houlihan Lokey has promoted Sandy Purcell and Jean-Florent Rerolle to co-heads of the firm’s European financial advisory services practice. Purcell previously headed the firm’s financial advisory services practice in the Midwestern US, and Rerolle was most recently the head of the firm’s financial advisory services practice in France. ?We want to provide for the rapidly expanding and increasingly complex needs of our European clients and enhance local coverage for our global corporate, law firm and private equity clients,? said Jack Berka, global head of financial advisory services, in a statement. Houlihan Lokey has also expanded its European investment banking offerings to include debt advisory services, through the acquisition of Blenheim Advisors. Blenheim’s founders, William Allen and Jonathan Guise, will be joint heads of European Debt Advisory for Houlihan Lokey.

Mourant expands into Asia
Alternative investment fund administration provider Mourant has opened two new offices in Hong Kong and Singapore to expand its international finance administration division. The new offices will work with private equity, real estate and hedge fund clients. Tim Mann will head the Hong Kong office. Mann, who was previously at Ernst & Young and Fortis, has extensive experience in the Asian alternative investment industry. Cengiz Somay will head the Singapore office; Somay was previously head of group strategy at Mourant’s Jersey office. Ian Lambert, chief executive of Mourant International Finance Administration, said in a statement: ?It’s important to us that we are well placed to help our clients manage funds which require multiple jurisdictional structures. Having offices in Asia places us at a powerful advantage.?