People Moves

Kleinwort Benson Bolsters Private Merchant Banking Team

Amisha Mehta Deputy Editor London 16 September 2016

Kleinwort Benson Bolsters Private Merchant Banking Team

The UK private bank has created four new senior positions at its London head office to focus on the mid-market M&A landscape.

Kleinwort Benson has recruited two directors and two senior advisors within its private merchant banking team.

The bank said the appointments, which follow its acquisition by Societe Generale earlier this year, come in response to a surge in demand for services from clients of the enlarged group. Kleinwort Benson’s private merchant banking team focuses on merger and acquisition transactions, capital raising and principal investment in the mid-market in the UK and Europe.  

Kleinwort Benson said the UK’s mid-market is comparable to Germany’s Mittelstand, its medium-sized companies, commonly viewed as an economic unit. According to Gowling WLG, UK mid-sized businesses will contribute £335 billion ($443 billion) to the economy in the next four years, an 18 per cent rise on its current contribution to gross domestic product.

Robert Auerbach joins as a director and head of origination. He most recently served as head of M&A at WH Ireland, having previously led Bryanston Capital, a corporate finance advice firm. Before that, he worked at NM Rothschild. 

Gheeve Changizi, who previously worked at Lazard and Hannam & Partners, also joins as a director.

Piers Talalla has been appointed as the bank’s senior advisor for hotel and leisure. He was previously co-founder and chief executive of Avington Financial, an advisory firm in the hotel and leisure sector. He has also worked as an M&A banker at Citi and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. 

Simon Reid, previously at GE Capital and ING Barings, joins as a senior advisor, specialising in real estate transactions. 

“We are working with our colleagues from SGPB Hambros and Societe Generale in this segment of the market which is often under-represented by private banks,” said Nigel Spray, head of Kleinwort Benson’s private merchant banking team.

“Despite the current global economic uncertainty, we have seen increased demand for mid-market M&A activity, particularly within the hotel, leisure, real estate, technology, media and telecommunications sectors.”

The team, based in London, serves private clients of Kleinwort Benson and SGPB Hambros, the private banking arm of Societe Generale in the UK, as well as private equity funds, family offices and corporates. They will also be responsible for creating investment opportunities for high net worth and family office clients of the group.

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