Gerard Arpey is joining Emerald Creek Group as a partner. Arpey joins from AMR Corp., where he served as chairman and CEO until the company filed a Chapter 11 reorganization petition. Emerald Creek Group is a Houston-based buyout firm focused on real estate.

James Baxter was named publications chairman of the Financial Services Committee for the Association of Corporate Counsel. Baxter is the chairman of New York Global Group Inc., a mid-market focused private equity and corporate advisory firm.

Michael Cho has joined the investment bank Allegiance Capital Corp. as a vice president in its Dallas office. Most recently, Cho was a corporate attorney at the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Harry Debes, who retired as CEO of Lawson Software earlier this year, has joined the “operating partner program” of Advent International, the New York-based buyout firm. Debes’s role will involve advising and working closely with Advent’s investment teams to identify attractive opportunities. Advent’s operating partner program includes more than 80 senior executives, who advise and assist the firm on a wide range of issues.

Chris Douvos has joined Venture Investment Associates as a managing director. Douvos joins from The Investment Fund for Foundations, where he spent seven years co-managing more than $1.75 billion in private equity investments. Prior to TIFF, he worked on the private equity team at Princeton University’s endowment.

Alexandre Duguay has been promoted to partner at the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Duguay, of the Paris office,focuses on private equity and M&A. His promotion was among 11 new partners and six new counsel who take their new positions effective Jan. 1.

Jeff Epstein has joined New York-based Oak Hill Partners as a senior adviser. Epstein was most recently executive vice president and CFO of Oracle and previously was CFO of several public and private companies, including DoubleClick.

Peter Gotsch has joined Svoboda Capital Partners as a managing director, the firm said. Gotesch formerly was with Ellipse Capital. David Schumacher, also of Ellipse Capital, has joined Svoboda as a vice president. A Svoboda spokeswoman said principals of Ellipse will continue to actively manage Ellipse’s existing investments, but all new ones will be pursued by Svoboda.

Gretchen Guandolo has joined the investment bank Clearsight Advisors as a partner and managing director. She will focus on IT services, software, public sector technology and SaaS businesses. Most recently, she was a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Public Sector Financial Services Group, where she led the firm’s Federal Transactions group.

Janet Gurwitch

has joined Castanea Partners as operating partner. Gurwitch has more than 15 years executive experience in the personal care, luxury and branded consumer products sectors. Prior to joining Castanea, she was the founder and CEO of Laura Mercier Cosmetics, a global beauty brand.

Richard Jakob has joined Commerce Street Investment Advisor as a managing director. He will work with Kurt Plumer, who joined CSIA earlier this year. Jakob and Plumer had both worked at Highland Capital Management.

Leon Kraig has joined IGNIA Fund as general partner and managing director. Kraig formerly worked for 25 years at Mars, a $30 billion private company, where he started as R&D manager and later became regional president for pet care for Latin America. The Ignia Fund focuses on investing in high growth businesses in Mexico and Latin America.

George Kurtz has joined Warburg Pincus as an executive-in-residence, Reuters reported. Kurtz resigned as worldwide chief technology officer at McAfee Inc. in October. He had been with the Internet security firm since 2004, when Foundstone Inc., an IT security provider that he led, was acquired by McAfee, Reuters wrote.

Mick Lopez has joined Aricent Group as its new chief financial officer. Previously, he worked at Cisco Systems as vice president of corporate finance and operations. The Aricent Group is based in New Jersey, and backed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Sequoia Capital, The Family Office, Delta Partners, and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board.

Heiko Schupp has joined global private equity fund investor Pantheon as principal and head of European infrastructure investments. Schupp will be based in London and joins from Eiser Infrastructure Ltd (formerly ABN AMRO Infrastructure Capital) where he was investment director responsible for acquiring and managing infrastructure assets across Northern Europe.

Michael Stephenson has joined Augusta Columbia Capital as a managing director based in New York. He will focus on software and services. Most recently, Stephenson was with Citigroup Japan, where he oversaw the divestiture of Citi’s Nikko Cordial related businesses.

Roberto Velarde has joined Santiago, Chile-based Inder, the investment group that is run by the members of the Del Rio family. The group focuses on deals ranging in size from $30 million to $150 million. Velarde is a veteran of JP Morgan Partners.