August 1, 2018 – Dorsey & Whitney LLP (“Dorsey”) have announced that Matthew “Matt” DeArman has joined the Firm’s Finance & Restructuring Group in Dallas as a Partner. Mr. DeArman’s practice focuses on the representation of agents, lenders and public and private corporate borrowers in a variety of finance transactions and restructuring matters, including in connection with secured and unsecured revolving and term facilities, asset-based lending, oil and gas reserve-based lending, first lien/second lien transactions, bridge and mezzanine financing, acquisitions financing, cross-border transactions and debtor-in-possession financing. His practice has an emphasis on asset-based lending and oil and gas related financings He joins Dorsey from Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C., where he was a shareholder in the Dallas office. Prior to joining Munsch Hardt in 2017, he was in the corporate finance section of Norton Rose Fulbright where he was made a partner in the Dallas office in January 2017.
August 1, 2018 - B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: RILY) (“B. Riley”), has announced the signing of a definitive agreement pursuant to which specialty financial advisory services firm GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group LLC (“GlassRatner”) became a wholly-owned subsidiary of B. Riley as of July 31, 2018. Under terms of the agreement, Atlanta-based GlassRatner will constitute a new, dedicated business consulting services unit vertical under B. Riley Financial and will continue to be operate under the same name and under the direction of co-Founder Ian Ratner. Bryant Riley, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of B. Riley, commented on the acquisition, “As we look to grow B. Riley Financial, we are strategically looking for businesses that allow us to enhance the services we provide to our clients. GlassRatner’s specialized expertise and skillset is a complementary fit for our diverse mix of services and strengthens our ability to provide clients with a more holistic, strategy through execution approach to their most critical needs. GlassRatner has approximately 100 professionals in 14 offices across the U.S. in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Texas and Utah. Los Angeles-headquartered B. Riley, which provides financial services and solutions to fit the capital raising and financial advisory needs of public and private companies and high net worth individuals, has approximately 900 employees in offices serving major U.S. financial markets.
July 31, 2018 – Bankruptcy Management Solutions, Inc., which provides software and services to the consumer-bankruptcy and corporate-restructuring industries, has announced the appointment of Christopher Updike as its new General Counsel. Updike, who was a restructuring attorney at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and, more recently, Debevoise & Plimpton, will oversee BMS’s legal department and also serve as an advisor on corporate and strategic initiatives. Before joining BMS, Updike advised debtors, creditors, lenders and acquirers on complex corporate restructurings, including chapter 11 cases, out-of-court workouts and cross-border insolvency proceedings. In 2016, he was selected as one of twelve “Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyers” by Turnarounds & Workouts; he was further recognized as a “Next Generation Lawyer” for corporate restructuring in the Legal 500 United States guide in both 2017 and 2018.
July 23, 2018 - Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. ("Oppenheimer"), the investment bank subsidiary of Oppenheimer Holdings, has announced that Bruce Buchanan will be joining as its new Head of Restructuring & Special Situations. Buchanan is expected to be based in New York and will report to Robert Lowenthal, Head of U.S. Investment Banking. In his new role, Buchanan will be responsible for capital raising and providing strategic advisory services to Oppenheimer clients and will work with financial sponsors and other stakeholders on complex recapitalizations in both the public and private markets. Lowenthal commented, "Bruce has incredible experience with advising and assisting corporate clients on strategic alternatives, distressed capital structure solutions, and liability management services. His proven track record for creating value and providing exceptional service to his clients is a strong differentiator for our platform." Prior to joining Oppenheimer, Buchanan was the Head of Debt Capital Advisory for PwC Corporate Finance, where he developed and led the strategic corporate finance and debt capital advisory platform. He was previously Head of Strategic Finance and Restructuring at Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Head of Strategic Finance and Global Restructuring Group Team Leader at RBS Securities.
Bankruptcy Management Solutions, Inc. (BMS), a case- administration software and depository-services provider serving the corporate restructuring and bankruptcy industries, has announced that Anthony Facciano is joining the company as a director and will be responsible for managing BMS relationships with bankruptcy trustees and other fiduciaries. Facciano joins BMS from Epiq Systems Inc where he served as director of trustee and fiduciary services and was charged with market share growth.
O’Melveny has added three lawyers, Nancy A. Mitchell, Maria J. DiConza, and Matthew Hinker, to its Restructuring Practice Group, based in New York. The trio join from the New York office of Greenberg Traurig; Mitchell and DiConza will join as partners and Hinker will join as of counsel. Mitchell had served as co-chair of Greenberg Traurig's Global Restructuring & Bankruptcy practice and a co-managing shareholder for its New York office. Earlier, she served as Executive Director of CIBC World Markets Corp.'s restructuring/leveraged finance team. DiConza was a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. All three lawyers advised on restructuring the debt of Puerto Rico's electricity and water utilities and will be very familiar to O'Melveny which continues to advise the Government of Puerto Rico in all aspects of the restructuring of its more than US$120 billion in debt obligations. Commenting on the hires, which follow the recent departure of then Global Restructuring Practice (GRP) co-Chair George Davis for Latham & Watkins, John Rapisardi, current Chair of the ten-partner GRP team noted, "We have known Nancy, Maria, and Matt for many years, and we have been deeply impressed by their exceptional work." Mitchell, DiConza and Hinker are scheduled to join O’Melveny in the first half of July.
Epiq, a leader in the legal services industry, has announced its acquisition of the Garden City Group (GCG) from Crawford & Company (NYSE: CRD-A and CRD-B). GCG provides legal administration services for class action, bankruptcy, mass tort, regulatory matters, and legal notice programs. According to an 8-K filed by Crawford with the SEC, Epiq and a subsidiary (Epiq Canada) collectively paid about $42 million for the GCG business. The transaction closed on June 15. Commenting on the transaction, Harsha Agadi, president and CEO of Crawford noted, “This is an important transaction for Crawford that allows us to further concentrate our attention and resources on high-growth business segments where we have established leadership. Just as importantly, we have found a great home for our legal administrative services business.” In a statement to clients, Epiq, which will continue to provide ancillary support services to Crawford in support of Crawford’s claims operations, noted, “The process for integrating our two operations will take time, and we are going about this process in a careful way to ensure that our high levels or service remain our top priority. Another area we will approach carefully and with intent is our brand strategy. We will unify the two brands under Epiq in the fourth quarter of 2018.” The combined group will offer its clients two state of the art full-service mail, print and contact centers in Beaverton, Oregon, and Dublin, Ohio, two additional print and mail centers in New York, New York and Seattle, Washington, and two additional call centers in Phoenix, Arizona, and Tampa, Florida, for a combined total of 1,600 call center seats.
On May 31, 2018, Fitch Group, a unit of Hearst, agreed to acquire Fulcrum Financial Data (“Fulcrum”), a provider of leveraged finance and distressed debt analysis, news and data, from Leeds Equity Partners. Upon completion of the acquisition, Fulcrum, whose financial news brands include Covenant Review, LevFin Insights, CapitalStructure and PacerMonitor, will become part of the group’s Fitch Solutions division and will be led by current Fulcrum CEO Steve Miller. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and closing is subject to regulatory approval.
On May 30, 2018, Philadelphia-based Fox Rothschild announced a merger, effective June 11, with Shaw Fishman Glantz & Towbin a 23-attorney, Chicago-based firm with practices in bankruptcy, restructuring, commercial litigation and real estate. The merger will see Fox’s Chicago presence grow to over 40 attorneys and continues the firm’s efforts to grow its national footprint. Other recent steps include moves into the Minneapolis market via a 2016 merger with 80-attorney Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly and the Seattle market in 2017 via a merger with 39-attorney Riddell Williams. Commenting on the merger, Mark L. Silow, Chair of Fox Rothschild, commented, “this merger will boost our litigation and real estate capabilities and add a deep bench of bankruptcy lawyers to bolster our national practice in that arena. Shaw Fishman also has two attorneys in Wilmington who will add strength to our Delaware litigation and bankruptcy practices.”
Wells Fargo has announced that Amanda "Mandy" Norton will join the company this summer as its new chief risk officer. Norton, a 29-year financial services veteran, has served in a number of senior risk executive roles, most recently as chief risk officer of consumer and community banking at JPMorgan Chase. She will be based in the Company's San Francisco offices. As Wells Fargo's chief risk officer, Norton will oversee all aspects of the company's independent corporate risk function and risk oversight activities, including credit risk, market risk, operational risk, compliance, information security risk and conduct risk. She will report directly to Timothy J. Sloan, Wells Fargo's president and chief executive officer and to the risk committee of the company's board of directors. She will also serve as a member of the company's operating committee and as an executive officer. Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Sloan added "[Ms. Norton] has significant credit and operational experience, has spent time overseeing both wholesale and institutional risk, and has extensive consumer experience. Her track record leading complex risk management environments at large financial institutions will serve all our stakeholders well."
Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) announced the formal establishment of its A&M Global Transaction Analytics (GTA) service offering. Led globally by Steven Lee, an A&M Managing Director with the Global Transaction Advisory Group, GTA will focus on the development, application and implementation of data analytics to enhance clients' buy-side and sell-side transactions and capital markets activity. In response to growing market demand for more business insights embedded in the due diligence process, A&M's Global Transaction Advisory Group is investing heavily in advanced technology and resources world-wide. A&M's GTA investments will include bolstering the firm’s data analytics "Center of Excellence" team in Mumbai and adding resources throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, India and Asia. Lee has over 15 years of experience advising clients to uncover insights by analyzing and leveraging financial and operational business data. He counsels private equity firms and other strategic buyers and sellers on applying data analytics and metric transparency to inform investment decision making and performance improvements. Additionally, having lived and worked in London for six years, Lee has significant international experience working across a wide variety of industries throughout the world. Prior to his current role with A&M's Global Transaction Advisory Group, Lee worked in the firm’s Global Disputes and Investigations practice where he led the Applied Data Analytics service offering advising clients with investigative analytics, regulatory compliance and data risk management. Previously, he established capabilities at several mid to large size corporations and at a Big Four accounting firm where he performed investigative data analytics in the context of fraud, risk management and regulatory compliance.
Gordon Brothers announced that Ken Bloore has joined the company as Managing Director and Head of Operations within the firm’s valuations practice. Bloore has over 20 years of operating experience in the appraisal industry with Great American Group and Expert Valuations. Bloore will join Practice Group Leaders, Cameron Cook, Managing Director, Business Valuations; Wendy Eng, Managing Director, Consumer Product Valuations; Becky Goldfarb, Managing Director, Retail Valuations; Alex Sutton, Managing Director, Industrial Valuations and Richard Wilichowski, Managing Director, Machinery & Equipment Valuations, alongside Frank Grimaldi, Senior Managing Director, North American Sales, to lead operations within the group.
Alvarez & Marsal Taxand, LLC (A&M Taxand) announced three senior appointments. Marvin Rust has joined the firm as Managing Director and Head of Taxand Europe and Louise Jenkins and Andrew Ponting as Senior Directors. The appointments demonstrate A&M Taxand's commitment to growing its UK presence and expanding its range of services to clients amidst an industry landscape that is shifting in response to regulatory changes. Rust will be based in the UK and will work alongside A&M's senior leaders in tax advisory. He brings more than 20 years' experience in the hospitality transaction sector and is recognized for his work with owners, operators and lenders. Rust has in-depth expertise advising clients on tax authority audits, comprehensive transfer pricing studies supporting complex transactions and Advance Pricing Agreements. Jenkins will lead A&M's compensation and benefits offer, including advising clients on the design and implementation of equity and cash-based incentive plans for senior employees. She has extensive experience in the UK and internationally. Ponting specializes in global mergers and acquisitions, as well as private equity tax matters. Prior to joining A&M, Rust was Head of European Tax Services group at FTI Consulting and a Partner at Deloitte. For over ten years he has been named as one of the world's leading transfer pricing advisers in a survey conducted by the Legal Media Group. Jenkins has nearly 20 years' experience advising clients on compensation matters at firms including FTI Consulting, KPMG and EY. Ponting has 20 years' experience in corporate tax advisory spanning over 90 separate transactions at FTI Consulting, Deloitte and PwC.
Sidley Austin LLP announced that Michael Schiavone, Daniel O'Shea and David Ni have joined the firm's New York office as Partners in the Capital Markets practice. The group joins from O'Melveny & Myers LLP where Schiavone chaired the Capital Markets practice. Schiavone and Ni's appointments are of most interest to restructuring professionals. Schiavone is a notable practitioner with extensive experience on Wall Street and a deep understanding of convertible securities. He focuses on bank-side capital markets representations, primarily representing underwriters in top-tier transactions. He represents underwriters and issuers in a wide variety of equity, debt and convertible securities offerings and has advised clients in acquisition finance, debt restructuring and liability management transactions. Ni represents clients in a variety of offerings, including primary and secondary equity, convertible notes, investment-grade and high-yield debt, and hybrid securities. He has a thorough understanding in acquisition and leveraged finance, debt restructuring, liability management transactions and remarketings.
HYPERAMS, LLC announced that Robert Pabst has joined the firm as C.F.O.; and HYPERAMS also welcomes financial analyst, Dustin Miller, and equipment appraiser, Cherie Henry. Pabst joins the team with many years of finance and accounting experience, including as Assistant Controller for TPG portfolio company Enlivant Senior Living and as a Manager at KPMG. In his new role at HYPERAMS, Pabst will focus on supporting each of the business lines as the company continues to build a respected brand, as well as ensuring that HYPERAMS has the resources to capitalize on strategic growth opportunities. Pabst is the ideal addition to the company for the newly-formed C.F.O. position. In his role as Assistant Controller at Enlivant, he played an integral role in the reorganization of the accounting department, design and implementation of internal controls and eventually increased the department headcount by more than two-fold as the company grew via acquisition. In addition, Pabst gained extensive experience managing the financial statement audits of large private equity real estate investment funds and real estate investment trusts at KPMG, where he worked with many of KPMG's largest real estate clients. In addition, HYPERAMS recently hired Miller and Henry to support the company's appraisal division. Both bring years of analytical experience as well as strong teamwork and communication skills to the division.