NEW YORK, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Berenson & Company, a leading independent merchant-banking firm, announced today that Keith Cowan, a senior telecom industry executive, will join Berenson as a Senior Advisor. Mr. Cowan was most recently President of Strategic Planning and Corporate Initiatives at Sprint Nextel Corporation.
Prior to his departure from Sprint in early January 2013, Mr. Cowan negotiated the sale of control of Sprint to Softbank for $20.1B (reflecting both an $8.1B equity infusion and the $12B purchase of 55% of the outstanding shares), and the $10B acquisition of control of Clearwire Corporation (both transactions are awaiting shareholder and regulatory approvals). Previously he had led the acquisitions of Virgin Mobile and iPCS, and the restructuring of Clearwire into a joint venture that included Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks as lead investors. Prior to joining Sprint in 2007, Mr. Cowan was with BellSouth Corporation for eleven years in various senior executive capacities, including Chief Development Officer, following fourteen years as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer with Alston & Bird in Atlanta.
"We are thrilled to have such a talented person as Keith joining our firm," said Jeffrey Sechrest, President of Berenson & Company. "It is particularly exciting to me personally as Keith and I have known each other for over 30 years, and have worked together frequently in the past. His knowledge of the rapidly changing telecommunications industry, and its impact on other industries and business models, is unparalleled. It will substantially deepen our commitment and enhance our capabilities in the Media, Entertainment, Telecom and Technology sectors."
"This is definitely the most exciting time in telecommunications that I have seen in my long career in the industry," said Mr. Cowan. "The disruption that is taking place due to the convergent advances in wireless network and device technologies, data storage and analytics, and access to current customer information, not to mention changes in the regulatory environment, is creating opportunities for new partnerships and revolutionary business models. I came to Berenson because it is well-positioned to help its clients take advantage of these new opportunities, and I look forward to leveraging my experience and knowledge to that end."
While Mr. Cowan will devote significant time to Berenson, he is also active as the Chairman of the Board of Venadar, LLC, a company focused on driving external innovation on behalf of numerous Fortune 500 consumer products companies. He is also a board member of Demoulas Super Markets (in Boston), and a board member and owner of Cobra Legal Solutions (in Austin, Texas and Chennai, India). He also acts as a consultant to several large public companies.
Mr. Cowan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia School of Law. He is active in many community and civic organizations, and is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund at the University of North Carolina, a member of the Board of Visitors at the University of North Carolina, Vice Chairman of the Board of the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Metro Atlanta YMCA. He lives with his wife in Atlanta, and they have three adult children who reside in New York, D.C. and Atlanta, respectively.
About Berenson & Company (www.berensonco.com)
Founded in 1990, Berenson & Company is an independent investment banking firm that provides high quality financial advice to a broad range of public and private corporations, financial institutions, equity sponsors and entrepreneurs. The Firm's investment banking capabilities include a comprehensive suite of mergers & acquisitions advisory services, public and private financings of debt and equity, and financial restructuring and recapitalizations. Its business philosophy is characterized by an objective, client-focused approach, and it is recognized for its unique insights and creative problem-solving in industries that are undergoing significant disruption. The firm also has a long- standing principal investment business, an affiliate in Dubai and a stake in a leading investment bank in India.
SOURCE Berenson & Company