Deutsche Bank appoints Australia leveraged finance head(2)

Deutsche Bank is enhancing its leveraged finance capability in Asia’s busiest private equity market by transferring Marla Heller from Chicago to be the new head of leveraged finance for Australia and New Zealand in Sydney.

Deutsche Bank has appointed Marlla Heller as the first head of leveraged finance for Australia and New Zealand to boost the bank’s presence in the prolific Australian market.

Heller will transfer from Deutsche Bank’s Chicago office to Sydney where she is currently responsible for client relationships and loan portfolio management from the beginning of April, according to a statement. She will work closely with David Backler, head of financial sponsors group in Australia and Chris Gammons, head of debt products, Asia.

Deutsche Bank is the joint lead arranger and bookrunner for Airline Partners Australia, the private equity consortium’s offer to acquire Qantas.

Scott Perkins, head of global banking, Australia and New Zealand said: “Deutsche Bank  led nine of the top ten leveraged buyouts announced globally last year, including Qantas here in Australia.”

Australian leveraged buyout lending reached A$30 billion ($23 billion; €18 billion) in 2006, up sharply from just A$1 billion in 2005, according to Deutsche Bank’s equity research. Five leading Australian banks had only a 15 percent combined market share of last year’s leveraged buyout lending, which suggests funding has been largely undertaken by foreign banks and other fixed income investors, Deutsche Bank said.

The bank has an existing team of ten professionals servicing financial sponsors in Australia.