Lovell hires new president from UBS

Philadelphia-based private equity firm Lovell Minnick has hired Steven Pierson from UBS as president to further the firm’s investments in financial services and fintech.

Private equity firm Lovell Minnick has hired Steven Pierson from UBS as president and a partner in the firm to help expand its investments in financial services and financial technology. Pierson was the head of financial institutions group (FIG) investment banking Americas and global head of financial technology and services at UBS

Pierson, a 21-year investment banking veteran who has focused his career on financial institutions and the financial technology sector will join Lovell Minnick in June and sit on the firm's board of managers and be a member of its investment committee. He was also a member of the investment committee for the UBS fintech strategic investment group.

He has played a key role in numerous large-cap and mid-market financial services transactions in recent years, including the acquisition of Worldpay from Royal Bank of Scotland on behalf of Advent International and Bain Capital Private Equity, and the initial public offerings of Markit and Virtu Financial, among others.

The co-chairmen of Lovell Minnick who founded the firm, Jeffrey Lovell, chief executive officer and James Minnick, the current president, worked together with Pierson at Putnam Lovell Securities for a number of years after he joined in 1995, eventually becoming the head of its investment banking division. 

Lovell Minnick spun out of Putnam Lovell as its private equity division in 1999, before Putnam was acquired by the National Bank of Canada in 2002 and later Jefferies in 2007.

Lovell Minnick had previous working relationships with Pierson while he was at Credit Suisse as vice chairman and co-head of FIG investment banking Americas, the placement agent for Lovell Minnick's third fund from 2008-2010. UBS was an investment advisor to the firm in evaluating investment opportunities. Pierson said in a statement from the firm, he expects to work with UBS in an advisory capacity in the future and welcomes the bank's support of Lovell Minnick's financial services investment efforts. 

The firm is currently investing out of its fourth fund, Lovell Minnick Equity Partners IV a 2014-vintage vehicle, which held a final close last October at $750 million hard-cap, oversubscribed from its $550 million target. Fund IV has made three investments since last year in LSQ , a technology-enabled provider of working capital solutions, J.S. Held , an insurance consulting business for complex property claims and Worldwide Facilities , an insurance broker.

The firm is interested in small and mid-size financial services companies that deal in asset management, wealth management, specialty finance, and also outsourcing and different administration services companies, Lovell told PEI. “Those are areas where we're all active today and the financial technology element flows through all of these companies.”

The Philadelphia-based firm with another office in Los Angeles and 18 members, is looking to expand their coverage of investments in financial technology companies which have historically been enablers to developers. Alps Holdings , also known as Alps Fund Services is an example of a technology enabler the firm has invested in. The company was acquired by the firm in a 2005 buyout and sold in 2011 to New York Stock Exchange listed, DTS Systems for $250 million. 

Small financial technology companies are able to quickly adapt to new technology, and as a result have become more attractive to large institutions for managing their back office functions, Lovell said, of the types of companies the firm has invested in. 

Pierson brings to Lovell Minnick a number of relationships with large financial institutions, as well as relationships with other mid-market providers of financial services or technology, which represent opportunities for the firm, Lovell added. 

“In the sense that, one, they may be buyers of our portfolio companies, and secondly, they may also be, in the case of financial institutions, divestors of certain assets where we may want to be an acquirer. And Steve's knowledge of a number of those firms and his relationships there are certainly additive to us and part of the attraction of having him join us.”