Berenson & Company Launches Debt Capital Markets Platform

Debt Market Specialists Christopher Johnson and Jack Lucid Add Fixed Income Investment Banking Expertise to Established M&A Practice

Mar 10, 2011, 07:00 ET from Berenson & Company, LLC

NEW YORK, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Berenson & Company, LLC, a leading private investment bank, announced today the launch of a Debt Capital Markets (DCM) platform that draws on the firm's M&A advisory practice and expertise in the credit markets. Debt market specialists Christopher Johnson, Vice Chairman, and Jack Lucid, Managing Director, recent additions to Berenson's investment banking team, will run the firm's DCM platform.

"Berenson & Company has a 20-year track record of successfully providing financing advisory and private placements of debt and equity to meet client needs.  Moving into the public debt markets is a natural extension of our existing capabilities," said Jeffrey L. Berenson, president and CEO.  "Chris and Jack have played important roles in hundreds of public financings and, combined with our long history in the credit markets, that expertise creates a best-in-class DCM platform.  Our clients can now leverage off of our foundation in M&A and restructurings for their DCM strategies as well."

"The breadth and depth of the advisory and execution capabilities of Berenson & Company are a tremendous draw, meshing with my previous success at bulge bracket banks in creating origination platforms and managing recapitalizations," said Mr. Johnson.  "This is an exceptional opportunity to build a DCM practice that offers a unique perspective across the various private and public debt options and strategies.  I'm looking forward to working with Jeffrey, Jack and my Berenson & Company colleagues to provide this new service for our clients."  

"Jeffrey has built an exceptional firm that I'm proud to join – an organization in which access to a team of senior level financial experts with deep client relationships will provide an important differentiator in our DCM business," said Mr. Lucid.  "Having originated, structured and priced billions of dollars in public credit transactions over the course of my 20-year career, my role at Berenson is very complementary to the firm's existing private debt activities."

As part of its DCM capabilities, the firm was recently granted FINRA approval to execute public underwritings of debt and equity.

The addition of Johnson and Lucid follows Berenson & Company's appointment of Lisbeth Barron as Managing Director and Head of the firm's Media, Entertainment and Leisure Advisory Practice.  Barron, a Wall Street veteran and leading advisor to numerous top corporations and CEOs, advises clients on the acquisition of strategic businesses, the sale of non-core assets, and raising debt and equity capital.

With more than 26 years of investment banking experience, Johnson was Head of the Restructuring Advisory Group for the Americas at Deutsche Bank Securities prior to joining Berenson & Company.  He also served as the Co-Head of Global Media, Head of Media Americas Coverage, Co-Head of Telecom Americas Coverage and COO for Deutsche Bank's Global TMT Operating Committee.  Before joining Deutsche Bank in 2001, he was with Merrill Lynch for 15 years, most recently as Chairman and co-head of Global Leveraged Finance.  Johnson has played key roles in more than 200 financings, recapitalizations and acquisitions, with an emphasis in the Media and Telecom sectors.  Some of the notable transactions Johnson has led include advising on and financing Local TV's $1 billion purchase of TV broadcasting stations from The New York Times Company and News Corporation, advising on and financing the consortium that purchased Univision Communications for $13.7 billion, and executing 8 billion pounds Sterling in financings for Virgin Media.  He has an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia, and a B.S. from Washington and Lee University. He was a nuclear submarine officer on the USS Finback (SSN-670) before attending Darden.

Prior to joining Berenson, Lucid was the CEO and Founding Partner of Akarui Capital Partners LLC, which was established to invest in the U.S. non-investment grade fixed income market.  Before launching Akarui, Lucid served as Managing Director and Head of Loan Capital Markets at Jefferies Finance LLC, and was also a member of that firm's Leveraged Finance committee.  Earlier, he was a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. in New York and London as both a leveraged finance and relationship banker.  His 20 years of experience in the investment banking field includes positions focused on Media & Telecommunications and Global Leveraged Finance at Lehman Brothers and The Chase Manhattan Bank.  Lucid has a B.A. in History and Japanese language from Colgate University.

About Berenson & Company (

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 traditional mergers & acquisitions advisory, public and private financings of debt and equity, leveraged and management buyouts, Board advisory services including fairness opinions and valuations, counsel regarding proxy contests and takeover defense, divestitures and exclusive sales, financial restructuring and recapitalizations, and capital structure advisory.  Its business philosophy is characterized by an objective, client-focused approach toward developing long-term relationships and creative problem-solving.

SOURCE Berenson & Company, LLC