Denning promotes new COO and director
San Francisco-based private equity advisory firm Denning & Co has announced the promotions of Jill Kitazaki to chief operating officer and Lisa Herrell to director of the firm. Herrell has been with the firm since its inception in 2001. Kitazaki joined the firm in 2002, but has worked with founder Paul Denning in private equity since 1997. Prior to joining Denning & Co, Kitazaki was a senior member of the partners group at Whitney & Company responsible for working with the firm’s institutional limited partners worldwide across multiple investment areas including private equity, private debt, hedge funds, and structured products.
Carlyle picks Equinix for Asian IT
The global private equity firm has selected data center and Internet exchange provider Equinix to deploy the firm’s Asia Pacific IT operations. Carlyle will use Equinix’Hong Kong-based Internet business exchange to securely move data within the firm’s Asia Pacific operations and across the global network. Commenting on the decision, Carlyle IT principal David Roth said: ?The confidential and sensitive nature of our business dictates the need for a high performance data center. We were especially impressed with the customized solution that Equinix provided to meet our specific needs.? Equinix operates 15 Internet business exchanges across five countries.
Mourant expands in Cayman
The legal arm of specialist professional services group Mourant has appointed a new partner to head up its Cayman-based funds team. Roisin Cater joins Mourant du Feu & Jeune (MdFJ) from Ogier & Boxalls, another Cayman-based law firm. Cater has been in Cayman since 1996 and spent two years as a senior listing executive at the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange. Cater specialises in mutual funds and corporate transactions. MdFJ was named ?Offshore Law Firm of the Year 2004?by UK legal trade publication The Lawyer.
BISYS appoints PE business developmentVP
BISYS Private Equity has appointed John Vancura to the new position of vice president of business development for the firm’s private equity division. Vancura will be based in the firm’s Boston headquarters and will lead the company’s business development efforts in New England. BISYS provides accounting, administration, back office and tax services to the private equity industry from offices in Boston, New York, San Francisco and London.
CIT establishes NY as global headquarters
Commercial finance solutions provider CITGroup has announced that New York will become the firm’s global headquarters. The firm, which advises global companies, Wall Street firms and private equity clients, is currently building its new headquarters at 505 Fifth Avenue. Senior management led by chairman and CEO Jeffrey Peek will move to the new building in the first quarter of 2006, while the firm’s Livingston, New Jersey campus will continue to house corporate services and the specialty finance management team. The Fortune 500 company has almost $60 billion (€49 billion) of assets under management.
Weiss opts for Wachovia
The US’fourth largest bank, Wachovia, has hired Jonathan Weiss from JP MorganChase to head up its private equity business. Managing director Weiss will lead Wachovia Securities Financial Sponsors Group and will report to Wachovia’s head of investment banking Kevin Roche. Weiss takes over from Jeff Armstrong who was named head of Wachovia’s corporate finance division in March. New York-based Weiss joins from JP Morgan Chase, where he was managing director and global head of the financial sponsors group. Weiss began his career at JP Morgan in 1980 in the bank’s Latin American division. Weiss spent a number of years in the loans syndication and acquisition financing group and also headed up JP Morgan’s investment banking practice in Asia.
Debevoise promotes London PE expert
New York-headquartered law firm Debevoise & Plimpton has announced the promotion of London-based private equity partner Geoff Kittredge. Kittredge will become a full, US-qualified partner as of July 1st. Based in London since 2002, Kittredge has provided legal advice on a number of recent fund formations, including the spin out of Exponent Private Equity and the launch of former Goldman Sachs partner Robin Doumar’s €1 billion mezzanine vehicle Park Square Capital Partners. Kittredge joined Debevoise in New York in 1996 and moved to the firm’s Paris office in 1999. Debevoise made up a further six partners across its New York and Shanghai offices.
Hong Kong scoop for Paul Hastings
Following the decision of Seattle-headquartered law firm Perkins Coie to withdraw from Hong Kong earlier this year, a partner and two associates have joined the Hong Kong office of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker. Partner Maurice Hoo and associates Michael Hosokawa and Lung-Chi Lee will cover Asia with a particular focus on greater China. Hoo has more than 15 years’experience of private equity, venture capital and M&A in the region as well as US corporate and securities transactions experience.
OMM makes Asian hire
New York-headquartered law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP has announced that Kurt Berney will join the firm as a partner in its Asia practice. Berney joins from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he was involved in M&A, private financings and venture capital transactions. Before Wilson Sonsini, Berney worked in the New York and Hong Kong offices of Cravath Swaine & Moore. O’Melveny & Myers has offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong in Asia and operates 14 offices around the world, employing more than 900 attorneys.
UK headhunter completes second MBO
London-based private equity recruitment firm Walker Hamill has completed its second management buyout. Joint managing directors David Craig and Guy Townsend have led the £10 million (€15 million;$18 million) buyout, backed by six senior managers. Lower mid-marketUK buyout firm BNGI Private Equity backed the original buyout of Walker Hamill in March 2002 from Marlborough International. The deal represents the first exit for NGBI, which raised a €100 million fund in 2000. In total, NGBI invested £2.3 million in Walker Hamill for a 55 percent equity stake and made 3.5x its investment on exit. Walker Hamill recruits executives for the private equity industry and clients include 3i, Cinven and CVC Capital Partners. Last year the firm had a gross fee income of £10.8 million.
Paris boutique law firm launched
Sarrau Thomas Couderc is the newest law firm to offer a dedicated private equity practice to the French market. Eponymous founders Jean-Bernard Thomas, Hervé Antoine Couderc and Xavier de Sarrau will lead the new firm. Thomas, one of the founding partners of Denton Wilde Sapte’s Paris office, has taken an 11-strong team of lawyers to the new practice. De Sarrau was the former European head and global executive board member of Arthur Andersen and most recently ran his own Geneva-based boutique. The third member of the partnership is Couderc who joins from the French M&A practice of PwC’s legal arm Landwell. The new firm will have a total of 35 lawyers and will be dedicated solely to private equity work.
Watson Wyatt boosts alternatives team
Sanjay Mansukhani has joined global investment consultancy Watson Wyatt to head up the firm’s US research team into alternative asset classes. Prior to taking up his new role, Mansukhani spent seven years with Evaluation Associates. Most recently he led Evaluation’s private equity and real estate investment consulting practice. He joins a team of six global private equity specialists atWatson Wyatt including Jane Welsh, who leads the European team. Watson Wyatt’s UK clients have awarded more than £1 billion in private equity mandates over the last four years according to the firm.
Helix becomes part of investment bank
Jefferies, the New York-based investment bank specializing in mid-market corporate finance, has agreed to acquire Helix Associates, one of Europe’s most successful independently owned private equity fund placementgroups, for an undisclosed sum. Helix, whose client base includes Bridgepoint Capital, Exponent Private Equity and Altor Equity Partners, has a total of 17 employees, including five executive directors and another seven investment professionals. Since 1998, funds the firm has worked with have raised approximately $17.5 billion (€14.3 billion). Key figures at the firm include Lord Charles Cecil, Ian Simpson, John Barber, Mark Cunningham and Mark Hallock, who joined the firm last year from CSFB Private Equity. Commenting on the implications of Helix giving up its status as an independently owned entity, Lord Cecil said in an interview:?The ability to continue to work in the Helix way is obviously important to us. We believe that what we have built is a platform for growth, and the reality is that with the right partner you can move just that much faster. Jefferies has a track record of acquiring boutiques and enabling them to grow.? Jeffries previously acquired Randall & Dewey in February 2004, Broadview International (December 2003) and Quarterdeck Investment Partners (December 2002). Jefferies’newly acquired fund placement operation will continue to trade under the Helix name. Cecil confirmed that a joint marketing agreement with US fund placement boutique Monument Group was still in place, saying there were currently ?three interesting mandates?on which the two partners were currently working.
Lloyd Cutler, co-founder of Wilmer Cutler, dies at 87
Lloyd Cutler, the co-founder of US law firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in 1962 has died in Washington after a long illness, aged 87. Aside from his private practice career, Cutler also served under six US presidents, including acting as White House Counsel to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Current president George Bush said: ?Lloyd Cutler served our nation with dedication and distinction throughout his extraordinary career. He was a devoted public servant who had a profound influence on the legal profession.? In terms of private practice, Cutler helped form a small Washington DC law firm thatmerged in 1962 to become Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. In 2004 the firm merged again to become Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr and continues to operate a strong, global private equity practice. Yale Law School graduate Cutler made nine representations to the US Supreme Court and was also a prominent civil rights campaigner. He founded and co-chaired the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and also founded the anti-apartheid organisation Southern Africa Legal Services & Legal Education Project.
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