Vestar bolsters resources team

The New York-based private equity firm has brought on Chris Durbin to help stengthen its financial services industry vertical.

Like many private equity firms that take pride in their stables of operating partners, Vestar Capital Partners touts this model as one of its strengths. The New York-based middle market buyout and growth capital firm is now banking on a recent operating partner hire, Chris Durbin, to strengthen its financial services industry vertical.

Durbin recently joined the firm as a principal of Vestar Resources, the firm's team of senior advisors and operating and strategic professionals who serve as on-call resources for management teams of Vestar's portfolio companies. He was most recently a managing director in the global wealth and investment management business at Bank of America, where he was responsible for business strategy and growth initiatives for the $7 billion unit.

?In our resources team we have people with strong backgrounds in consumer products, retail, media, manufacturing, supply chain, logistics and marketing. Functionally and industry wise, we have a lot of skills, but we did not have someone with Chris's depth in financial services and his strategic and operational experience in that area. We found that very attractive,? says Kevin Mundt, managing director and leader of Vestar Resources.

Durbin, who will become the fifth full-time team member of Vestar Resources and the first with in-house banking experience, expects to contribute his strategic and operational skills to help the firm explore opportunities and work with management teams after an investment is made. Vestar Resources firm has eight other senior advisors.

?I am reconnecting with some individuals and the company I had done work with in the past,? says Durbin, of his joining Vestar. ?This role is the natural extension of work I had done in the past 20 years of my career.? He will be based in Boston.

Before Bank of America, Durbin was a vice president at Mercer Management Consulting, where he advised several Fortune 500 and start up companies on operating, investing and business strategies; a manager at Corporate Decisions; and managed forensic accounting assignments at Peterson Consulting.

The firm, which was founded in 1988 by seven members of First Boston's buyout team, has made six investments in the financial services industry to date: Duff & Phelps, an investment banking and financial advisory firm, and six insurance companies.

Evercore names new CFO
New York-based investment banking boutique and investment firm Evercore Partners has announced the hire of Robert Walsh, currently a senior partner at Deloitte & Touche, as chief financial officer. At Deloitte, Walsh oversees the firm's services around the globe as the lead partner for his clients. He manages the firm's relationships with The Blackstone Group and Cantor Fitzgerald. He was also deputy managing partner for audit and enterprise risk services and northeast region industries, and serves on the executive committee of the global financial services industry group. Walsh will succeed David Wezdenko, who is leaving amicably, at Evercore.

Allied Capital settles with SEC
Allied Capital, a New York Stock Exchange-traded ?business development company? that makes mezzanine and equity investments in private companies, last month settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission over charges that the firm did not properly maintain accounting records. The settlement ends an informal SEC investigation without Washington DC-based Allied admitting or denying any allegations. Specifically, the SEC had alleged that Allied Capital ?did not maintain books, records and accounts which, in reasonable detail, supported or accurately and fairly reflected valuations of certain securities in its private finance portfolio and, as a result, did not meet certain recordkeeping and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws,? according to a company press release. In response, Allied ?implemented new valuation processes, more detailed recordkeeping, and a series of additional controls and procedures over its valuation processes.? The settlement comes at a time when other private equity firms are pondering going public, and structuring valuation policies accordingly.

BVCA passes the hat for PR war chest
The British Venture Capital Association is tapping the UK's largest private equity funds for extra contributions totaling £1 million to fund a PR effort to quell the rising tide of public criticism against the industry. Local unions charge that the firms are buying companies for a song, piling on debt and implementing massive layoffs. In response to the public outcry, numerous government bodies including the Financial Services Authority and Treasury Select Committee are investigating the industry with research studies and public hearings. The trade group is asking the largest funds, including KKR and Blackstone, for an additional, one time contribution of £50,000 to fund the extra work needed to answer the latest backlash. The additional funds will also pay for an ongoing review of the industry by Sir David Walker. The fundraising letters explain, ?Our members get a very good value for their money.?