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Movers & shakers

Ali Rahmatollahi

Rebekah Prince

Jana Philip

Christian Hess

Abby Johnson

Georg Kyd-Rebenburg

Caroline Corner

Ellia Thompson

Movers & shakers: Oct. 21, 2014

by Baz Hiralal

Palamon Capital Partners LP named Ali Rahmatollahi as associate partner and Christian A. Beck as a board of advisers member.

Rahmatollahi spent nearly eight years in Morgan Stanley's investment banking division, most recently as an executive director responsible for financial sponsor coverage. Prior to that, he was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Co. in its general strategy consulting and private equity practices. In 2004, Rahmatollahi co-founded OP Capital Partners, a Middle Eastern opportunity fund.

Beck has been CEO of Banqsoft ASA, Sakhalin Petroleum and Small Shops Gruppen, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company. Over the past 10 years, Beck has worked on Palamon's Scandinavian portfolio development, serving as founder chairman of Nordax Finans, a 2004 start-up in the consumer loans industry and as chairman of Espresso House, built from 22 branded coffee outlets to 120. He is chairman of Norwegian-based Eneas Energy A/S.

Houlihan Lokey Inc. said Jason Abt joined the firm's consumer, food and retail group as a managing director, based in San Francisco. Abt will focus on the restaurant and wine industries. He arrives from Robert W. Baird & Co., where he was a managing director in the consumer group, advising restaurants, retailers and financial sponsors on corporate finance assignments. Prior to Baird, Abt was managing director of corporate development for Vincraft Group, a private equity fund focused on the wine industry.

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe added Jonathan Richards as an equity research analyst, financial institutions. He will cover listed asset and wealth managers. Richards joins CFE from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he covered U.K. and European diversified financials. He began his career at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and covered the diversified financials space at UBS in London.

Aqua Terra Water Management LP named Mark Harris as CEO. He will continue to serve on the board. Prior to Aqua Terra, Harris was president of Archer Wireline LLC, a subsidiary of Archer Ltd., and was CEO of Gray Wireline.

Shire plc's interim chief financial officer James Bowling plans to step down at the end of the first quarter to become CFO of Severn Trent plc. Last year, a consortium including Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc., Kuwait Investment Office and Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd. abandoned a twice-improved $8.2 billion bid for the water and waste water utility.

Shire is looking for a new CFO. In February, former CFO Graham Hetherington said he was leaving to spend more time with his family.

AbbVie Inc. recently backed away from a $55 billion inversion deal to acquire Shire after changes to U.S. tax rules.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP announced that Christopher Roman and Nick Thornton joined the firm as partners in the tax practice in New York and London, respectively. Roman was a tax partner in at King & Spalding LLP. Thornton was most recently head of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's London tax practice. From 2005 to 2010, he was a senior associate in Fried Frank's London tax group and worked with clients such as Aleris International Inc., Goldman, Sachs & Co., Highbridge Principal Strategies, Rio Tinto plc and Virgin Media.

Pepper Hamilton LLP announced that Rachael M. Bushey returned to the firm as a partner in the life sciences practice. She will also be a member of the corporate and securities practice, resident in Philadelphia. Bushey first joined the firm in 2006 and was most recently vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary at West Pharmaceutical Services Inc.

Seth Belzley rejoined the Denver office of Hogan Lovells as counsel in the infrastructure, energy, resources and project finance group. He will also be a member of the energy and natural resources industry group. Belzley was an associate from 2005 to 2008 before serving as senior vice president and assistant general counsel for TransMontaigne Inc.

Gina Culbert joined Baker & Hostetler LLP's Seattle office as of counsel member of its intellectual property practice. She comes in from Merchant & Gould PC.

Separately, the firm added Jeffry W. Duffy as counsel in Philadelphia. He joins from the U.S. Department of State, where he served as a foreign service officer with experience in Japan and Singapore from September 2005 to July 2013. Earlier, he was an attorney at Thompson, Loss & Judge LLP and Ross, Dixon & Bell LLP in Washington and spent five years at Stevens & Lee in Reading, Penn.

Northern Trust Corp. named Byun Jai Yung as chief representative of its new office in Seoul. He has been a consultant for the firm, focused on the Korean market since mid-2013. Working at the Bank of Korea for 30 years, Yung covered compliance, international finance and foreign exchange policy planning in South Korea.

Perkins Coie LLP added Kip Guthrie as chief marketing officer. Guthrie joins the firm from DLA Piper, where he was director of marketing, Americas.

Clippings from the next column:

-- JPMorgan Chase & Co. makes three investment banking appointments in EMEA.
-- Blackstone Group LP creates Onyx Renewable Partners, led by Matthew Rosenblum.
-- Reed Smith LLP forms a cross-practice Ebola task force.


Palamon Capital Partners LP named Ali Rahmatollahi as associate partner and Christian A. Beck as a board of advisers member.