William Blair expands into fund placement with Credit Suisse, Houlihan execs

The hires in the bank's private capital advisory group come a year after the boutique bank launched into secondaries advisory.

Boutique investment bank William Blair has added primary fund placement capabilities to its offering with the hire of a trio of senior professionals.

The Chicago-headquartered bank, which launched a secondaries advisory business last year, has hired Jeff Hypes and Andrew Viehe from Credit Suisse and Nick Ohler from Houlihan Lokey, according to a statement. They have joined the bank’s private capital advisory group.

The set of hires “enhances the capital formation solutions we can provide financial sponsors, and further augments our firm’s holistic approach to advising our clients”, Mike Custar, head the PCA group, said in the statement.

Hypes, who joins as a managing director in Chicago, previously spent two and a half years in Credit Suisse’s private fund group, where he was a director focusing on limited partner coverage in the US and Canada. Earlier, he had worked at Atlantic-Pacific Capital and Lazard, according to the statement.

Viehe, who was most recently a senior project manager at Credit Suisse focused on fund formation, advisory and project management services for private market clients, joins as a director in New York.

Ohler, who also moves to be a director in New York, spent almost three years in Houlihan’s private fund group, where he was a senior vice-president. He was previously at Atlantic-Pacific Capital and Stanwich Advisors.

William Blair launched into secondaries advisory with the hire of Custar from placement agent and advisory firm M2O. Custar had formerly led Credit Suisse’s private fund group as global head of secondaries advisory. The bank has been building up its secondaries advisory capabilities since then, with the hire of at least four other senior professionals.

Credit Suisse agreed to be acquired by UBS last month after the former’s collapse. According to reports that month, UBS was holding talks to unwind the spin-off of Credit Suisse’s private fund group to its CS First Boston unit.