Ashutosh Agrawal has joined TA Associates as a principal in its Menlo Park, Calif., offices, focusing on investments in technology-based companies. Agrawal joined TA from Francisco Partners, where he was a principal covering industrial technology, energy technology and vertically-oriented technology sectors. He joined Francisco Partners in 2001. TA Associates manages more than $16 billion in capital, and has offices in Boston, Menlo Park, London and Mumbai.

BackBay Communications, a strategic marketing and public relations firm focused on the financial and professional services sectors, has opened an office in London. Toby Mitchenall will join BackBay as director of the London office. Mitchenall was previously editor at Private Equity International. BackBay also has offices in Boston and New York.

David Belmont has been named chief risk officer at Commonfund Group, an institutional investment manager for endowments, foundations and pension funds. Belmont will also serve as a member of the Commonfund Investment Policy and Asset Allocation Committee, and will have risk management oversight of all investment programs. Belmont was previously global head of hedge fund credit for UBS Investment Bank.

Mark Blaufuss has been named CFO of Metaldyne. Plymouth, Mich.-based Metaldyne, which designs and supplies metal-formed components and assemblies for autos and light truck market, is backed by The Carlyle Group.

Gregory Browne

has joined Fifth Street Finance Corp. as a managing director in the firm’s Chicago office. Previously, Browne worked for CapitalSource Inc., and earlier in his career at GE Capital’s Healthcare Financial Services group. In his new role, Browne will be responsible for developing and maintaining private equity sponsor relationships and sourcing debt financing primarily in the health care sector, the firm said in a statement. Fifth Street is based in White Plains, N.Y.

Jeffrey Day has joined Madison Capital as a senior vice president in its capital markets team. Day worked previously as an executive director at JP Morgan Chase, where he focused on debt and equity capital raising for Chase Commercial Bank clients. Earlier in his career, Day was a director at CapitalSource Finance.

Dwight Grant

has been named managing director in the transaction services practice of the accounting firm PwC US. Grant will be based in San Francisco, and will advise corporate clients on financial instruments, as well as oversee professional standards and technical training for the practice, the firm said in a press release. Grant most recently served as the global practice leader of financial engineering at Duff and Phelps.

Eric Karp as a senior adviser at Sankaty Advisors, a private manager of fixed income and credit instruments. Karp will help the firm identify and pursue new credit investment opportunities, especially in the sponsored LBO space, the firm said in a statement. Karp was most recently global head of financial sponsors at Bank of America. Sankaty has offices in Boston, New York, Chicago and London.

Shane Ho Kim, a managing member of growth equity firm Camden Partners, has joined the board of publicly traded Planet Payment. The company provides international multi-currency payment and data processing services. At Camden Partners, Kim focuses on payments and transaction processing investments within the business services and healthcare sectors. Planet Payment is headquartered in New York.

Christopher Kirkman has joined law firm Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in the debt finance practice. He will work in Kirkland & Ellis’ San Francisco office. Kirkham formerly was at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and was also a partner in the corporate finance practice at O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

Lex Leeming

has joined Moelis Capital Partners as head of business development based in New York. Leeming will source and qualify public and proprietary investments. Leeming previously was a principal with Park Avenue Equity Partners.

Will McLean

, vice president and CIO of Northwestern University, and Andreas Ritter, past private equity investment manager for DUMAC (Duke University’s endowment), have joined Square 1 Ventures, the private equity platform of Square 1 Bank, as independent members of the firm’s investment committee.

Kefei Li

has joined law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as a partner. He joins the firm from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom, and will be based in China. Li specializes in capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions and corporate counseling. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati provides legal services for technology, life sciences and growth companies.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

partner Mark Easton has been named deputy general counsel at Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. He will help staff identify long-term growth strategies and business plans for the company.

The Riverside Company has promoted 25 employees, including Kai Koeppen to managing partner. Chris Jones, of the Cleveland office, was made a partner for the Riverside Capital Appreciation Fund while Anne Hayes, of New York, was also named a partner for capital markets.

Lloyd Sprung has joined investment banking advisory firm Evercore Partners as a senior managing director. Sprung was most recently a managing director at Miller Buckfire & Co., where he was responsible for leading restructuring, financing and strategic advisory assignments. In his new role, based in New York, he will focus on advising clients on debt capital markets and corporate restructuring transactions.