Merrill reshuffles financial sponsors group

Following a strong half year for the banking giant’s private equity advisory arm, Merrill Lynch has made a series of internal promotions, including Jeff Kaplan’s elevation to global head.

Merrill Lynch has reshuffled its senior bankers advising private equity firms.  Jeff Kaplan, who formerly headed the group’s Americas financial sponsors operations, has been promoted to global head, while in Europe, Middle East and Africa, David Melvin has been named chairman and Fotis Hasiotis and Philip Noblet have been appointed co-heads.

In an internal memo, Merrill’s global head of origination, Andrea Orcel, said: “The financial sponsor community continues to be an important and multi-faceted client priority for us across the firm.  We have made significant progress over the years in working with this client base and in strengthening our platform.”

The changes follow a strong performance from Merrill’s financial sponsors team in the first six months of 2008. In Europe the group was involved in nine of the region’s thirteen announced billion dollar-plus deals, including CVC’s €2.4 billion ($3.7 billion) investment in German chemicals giant, Evonik, and the £1.6 billion (€2 billion; $3.2 billion) acquisition of UK waste company, Biffa, by Montagu and Global Infrastructure Partners.