Houlihan Lokey illiquids heads leave firm – exclusive

Jeff Hammer and Paul Sanabria, veterans of the private equity industry, have departed after a decade at the investment bank.

The co-heads of Houlihan Lokey‘s illiquid financial assets unit have left the firm, sister title Secondaries Investor has learned.

Jeff Hammer
Jeff Hammer

Jeff Hammer and Paul Sanabria, managing directors and long-time leaders and co-founders of the investment bank’s group that focuses on liquidity transactions including secondaries, have resigned, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The pair are understood to be considering their next move in either an advisory, merchant banking or principal investing capacity.

Hammer and Sanabria did not return requests for comment.

A spokesman for Houlihan Lokey confirmed the departures, adding that their last official day as employees was Tuesday.

Richard Saltzman and David Andrias, both senior vice-presidents, will take on overseeing clients of the GP and fund advisory group at the bank, the spokesman said.

Paul Sanabria
Paul Sanabria

Hammer and Sanabria built the Los Angeles-headquartered bank’s illiquid financial assets group in 2009, growing its headcount to 15 professionals. The group is known for working on complex transactions such as non-performing loans, hedge fund LP interests and side-pocketed assets, life settlements and intellectual property, in addition to private equity LP interests and GP-led secondaries deals, according to the firm’s website.

The pair are private equity veterans. Prior to joining Houlihan Lokey, Hammer and Sanabria were co-heads and founders of Private Equity Advisors, a unit within Bear Stearns Asset Management that focused on private equity secondaries market investment products.

Houlihan’s recent secondaries deals include a GP-led restructuring of two pre-crisis credit funds managed by Bain Capital, in a transaction backed by Neuberger Berman.