by Baz Hiralal
Olivier Barret, Pierre-Arnaud de Lacharrière and François Vigne launched Sycomore Corporate Finance. It advises entrepreneurs, family-owned companies, corporate groups and private equity funds on mergers and acquisitions, management, financing strategy, capital raising, debt restructuring and financial communication.
Barret had been co-head of Credit Suisse Group investment banking in France, Belgium and Luxembourg since 2009. He previously spent 15 years in Morgan Stanley's investment banking division as managing director and director general of Morgan Stanley France.
De Lacharrière was involved in the 1999 management buyout that created Hawkpoint Partners Ltd. and helped create its French office in 2001. Earlier, he spent 10 years at Crédit Lyonnais investment bank Clinvest.
Vigne was managing director of construction and building materials at Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking. He started his career in 1995 at CCF Charterhouse and then joined Crédit Agricole Global Investment Banking as a managing director in the mergers and acquisitions department.
The firm is majority controlled by the three founding partners and supported by the founders of Sycomore Asset Management.
CVC Capital Partners appointed former Zurich Financial Services AG chairman and chief executive James Schiro as a senior adviser. He will be a member of the U.S. and global financial institutions advisory boards. Schiro began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in 1967, eventually becoming its CEO. He was chairman of the group management board and chief executive of Zurich Financial from 2002 to 2009.
Schiro is lead director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., presiding director of PepsiCo Inc. and vice chairman of the supervisory board of Royal Philips Electronics NV. He also serves on the board of Reva Medical Inc.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch named Hakim Karoui and Wadih Boueiz as co-heads of corporate and investment banking, Middle East and North Africa. Karoui will continue to lead debt capital markets and corporate banking activities for MENA, while Boueiz will continue to cover sovereign wealth funds in the region.
AXA Private Equity named Benoît Verbrugghe, who has expertise in the secondaries market, as a member of its executive board. He remains as head of the New York office. Verbrugghe has been with the firm since 1999.
Real estate investment manager Clarion Partners hired Gwynne Murphy as a director, based in New York. She was a director at Aetos Capital LLC and was previously a vice president with Lazard Real Estate Partners and Security Capital Group. Murphy began her career with Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank in Tokyo.
United Realty Partners added Leonard Toboroff to its board. He is a director of Enjex Corp., a closed-end mutual fund. Since April 2006, he has been a director of Novt Corp., a former developer of advanced medical treatments for coronary and vascular disease. He has also been director of Asset Alliance Corp., an alternative investment company, since April 2011. Toboroff has served as vice chairman of the board of Allis-Chalmers Energy Inc., a provider of products and services to the oil and gas industry, since May 1988 and was executive vice president from May 1989 to February 2002.
Prior to this, Toboroff founded and was director of Steel Partners Acquisition Corp. from June 2007 to June 2009 and an executive director of private equity firm Corinthian Capital Group LLC from October 2005 to June 2008.
Institutional asset manager Nephila Capital promoted David Oliveira to partner. Oliveira joined Nephila in 2006 and is a senior portfolio manager, focusing on portfolio implementation, trading and strategic planning. Prior to Nephila Oliveira was head of business development at HSBC Investments (Bermuda).
In New York, Maples Fund Services hired Megan Corcoran as director of business development, Americas. She was most recently a director at GlobeOp Financial Services.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP opened a Seoul office. To head the office, partner Yong Guk Lee and counsel Jay Hoon Choi relocated to Seoul from the Hong Kong office, which opened in 1980.
Scott Miller joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as a partner in the firm's intellectual property practice, based in Los Angeles. Miller comes in from Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz LLP, where he was partner-in-charge of the Los Angeles office and a member of the firm's management committee.
Partner Kevin Coon was named managing partner of Baker & McKenzie LLP's Toronto office. Coon is a member of the labor and employment practice and he has been with the firm since 1989.
Charles River Associates tapped Ben Sheppard as a vice president in the intellectual property practice, based in Los Angeles. He was a director in the entertainment practice at AlixPartners LLP. Prior to that, he was the accounting director for Warner Home Video and held auditing roles at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Deloitte & Touche.
Clippings from the next column:
-- Michael Corbat takes over from Vikram Pandit as CEO of Citigroup Inc. President and COO John P. Havens also resigns from the bank.
-- Bank of America Merrill Lynch appoints Margaret Ren as chairwoman, China.
-- Adebayo Ogunlesi becomes an independent director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
-- Aquila Capital taps Stuart MacDonald as a managing director in its institutional business.
-- Gleacher & Co. Securities Inc. adds Martin Baxter, Thomas Carey and David Ludlow as managing directors and Joseph Vendemia, Jeffrey Hingst and Stephen Lei as directors in the MBS and rates division.
-- Yahoo! Inc. recruits Google Inc. 's Henrique de Castro as chief operating officer.
-- Nathaniel Rothschild, co-founder of coal mining company Bumi, leaves the board.
AXA Private Equity named Benoît Verbrugghe, who has expertise in the secondaries market, as a member of its executive board.