by Baz Hiralal
New York's Centerview Partners LLC hired Roland Phillips as a partner in London, focusing on companies in the consumer and retail sectors. He most recently headed UBS's Europe, Middle East and Africa consumer products and retail team. Before that, he was a managing director in UBS's New York office.
At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, head of Asia-Pacific corporate banking Charles Alexander has been named interim country executive for China, replacing Erh-Fei Liu, who has left the firm. Alexander joined BofA in June 2010 from Standard Chartered Bank plc, where he was regional head of origination and client coverage for North East Asia. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in London and Hong Kong, most recently as head of corporate finance for Asia ex-Japan. Earlier in his career, he spent more than 10 years with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in London, Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong, including a stint as head of mergers and acquisitions, emerging Asia.
Liu joined Merrill Lynch & Co. in 1999 from Credit Agricole Indosuez, where he was head of investment banking. China Daily, citing a source, reported that Liu will run a fund started by BlackRock Inc. and China Investment Corp.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. hired Michael Fitzgerald as a managing director and senior member of its North American prime brokerage team. He was head of U.S. prime brokerage sales at Morgan Stanley, which he left in January.
Wells Fargo Securities , the capital markets and investment banking business of Wells Fargo & Co., will acquire Merlin Securities LLC, a San Francisco- and New York-based prime brokerage services and technology provider. Terms were not disclosed. It is expected that all Merlin team members, including Bob Garrett, John Hiestand, Jud Howson, Eric Morgan, John Quartararo and Ron Suber, will join Wells Fargo Securities. Managing partners Stephan Vermut and Aaron Vermut will continue to lead the prime services offering.
Middle-market investment and merchant bank GulfStar Group, based in Houston, said John O'Brien rejoined the firm as a senior vice president. He was previously a senior vice president at Morgan Keegan & Co. in the energy service and equipment group.
GTIS Partners LP, a New York-based real estate investment firm, enlisted Drucilla Richards as a managing director, reporting to Bill Cisneros, senior managing director, partner and head of equity capital markets. Richards previously founded TCAP Associates, a retained executive search firm focused on the real estate industry. Prior to that, she was a real estate finance and investment banking professional at Morgan Stanley, Legg Mason Inc. and Trammell Crow Co.
Competition lawyer Simon Pritchard joined Linklaters LLP as a partner in London. He was a partner at Allen & Overy LLP since 2009. Before that he was senior director, responsible for mergers, at the U.K.'s Office of Fair Trading.
N. Adele Hogan joined the New York office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as a member of the corporate practice from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. She specializes in securities transactions, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and bankruptcies, corporate governance and general corporate matters.
New York bankruptcy law firm Neiger LLP launched a corporate practice. Partner Ari Edelman, who joined the law firm in March from Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, will develop the practice. He was also part of Kramer's Asia practice.
Duane Morris LLP added Michael Swit to the firm's trial practice as special counsel in its San Diego office, boosting its life sciences practice, particularly in U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory matters. He spent seven years as vice president of Weinberg Group Inc., a scientific and regulatory consulting firm.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP announced that partner Jonathan Wolfert was named chairman of the New York litigation practice.
Sterling & Sterling Inc. said Betsy Good joined the private insurance brokerage as senior vice president, director of strategy. Good spent more than eight years as underwriting manager and director of new program development at Victor O. Schinnerer & Co.
On July 1 in New York, Michael Diz, Andrew Levine and Dietmar Prager will become partners of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Diz focuses on public and private company mergers and acquisitions on behalf of corporate and private equity clients, as well as corporate and securities matters. Levine, a litigator, covers white-collar criminal defense and internal investigations. Litigation lawyer Prager handles international arbitration.
And in the next column:
-- Barclays plc hires managing director Martina Bigliardi Moehr as head of the Zurich branch of Barclays Bank (Suisse) SA.
-- Kabel Deutschland's Tony Ball becomes a senior adviser of Providence Equity Partners LLC.
-- The Manhattan district attorney probes Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP and former chairman Steven Davis, who was removed from the management team.
At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, head of Asia-Pacific corporate banking Charles Alexander has been named interim country executive for China, replacing Erh-Fei Liu, who has left the firm.