Pete Bassi has joined the Dallas-based turnaround consultancy Verto Partners as a managing director and partner. Bassi, a former president and chairman of YUM Restaurants International, opened new locations of the company’s brands in multiple new countries. He also currently serves on the board of directors for BJ’s Restaurants Inc. and Potbelly’s.
Keith Bawolek has joined Chicago-based private equity real estate investment firm Green Courte Partners as a managing director, responsible for leading Green Courte’s parking acquisition activities. Bawolek has worked with Equity Group Investments, and ECI Investment Advisors, a company he co-founded in 2000.
Julie Bell has joined San Francisco Equity Partners as a partner. Previously she was a senior investment professional at middle-market consumer private equity firm JH Partners. In her new role, Bell will focus on the consumer products, consumer services and retail sectors, the firm said.
Eight new lawyers have joined the San Antonio law office of Burleson, to address a growing number of clients with interests in the Eagle Ford shale of south Texas. The lawyers include: Dustin M. Ammons, who is experienced in onshore exploration and production matters; Justin T. Dolan, who focuses his practice on oil and gas title law; Christian B. Goff, who has represented clients in zoning, land, and environmental issues; Jon A. Hutnyak, whose experience includes real estate and oil and gas title law; Philip W. Moore, who has experience in oil and gas title law, leasing, surface use and right-of-way issues; Kristal A. Snelson, who has analyzed and interpreted deeds, contracts, agreements, and various other complex oil and gas title issues; Preston W. Ward, who is experienced in title examination; and David G. Williford, who handles commercial real estate transactions.
Josh Cleveland has joined Clairvue Capital Partners as a partner. Cleveland is a former director of business development at Liquid Realty Partners. He will be based in the firm’s New York office. Clairvue has offices in San Francisco and New York.
Four partners have joined the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges to launch a funds formation practice in London. Ed Gander, Nick Benson, Nigel Clark and Jonathan Kandel previously worked together at the law firm Clifford Chance.
Antonio DiGesualdo has joined Cotton Creek Capital, a Dallas-based mid-market buyout firm, as a managing director. He joins the firm’s two existing managing directors, Smith Brownlie III and James Braden. Previously, DiGesualdo was a partner at buyout shop TGF Management Corp.
Andy Friedman has appointed vice president of Internet initiatives at Merlin Media, a new company formed by Chicago buyout shop GTCR after it agreed to buy majority stakes in three radio stations from Emmis Communications. Merlin was formed to buy and operate those radio stations. Most recently, Friedman was VP of interactive content at Tribune Co.
Drew Gantt has joined the Washington, D.C., office of law firm Cooley LLP to work as head of the firm’s health care regulatory practice. Gantt comes from Latham & Watkins LLP, where he worked as a health care and life sciences partner. He has experience advising VCs and buyout funds on regulatory issues pertaining to health care deals.
Daniel Gaspar has joined High Road Capital Partners as a vice president. Previously Gaspar worked in private equity at Gotham Private Equity Partners and Trimaran Capital Partners. He has served on the boards of Cyalume Technologies, Intergis and Two-Twenty Records Management. Formed in 2007, High Road Capital focuses on smaller mid-market deals. The firm manages $150 million of committed capital.
George Kerns has been named chief executive officer of Logicworks, a provider of enterprise hosting and cloud computing services backed by New York City-based private equity firm Seaport Capital. Previously, Kerns served as president and chief executive of Fusepoint Managed Services, an enterprise hosting provider. Earlier in his career, Kerns served as president and chief executive of Digex, an enterprise hosting company.
John Koszewnik has joined Achates Power as its chief technical officer. The San Diego-based company, which is developing a combustible engine technology, was founded in 2004 and has raised roughly $30 million in recent years, including from Sequoia Capital, Rockport Capital and InterWest Partners. Koszewnik joins Achates from FEV, in Auburn Hills, Mich., where he was director of production development. Prior to FEV, he worked for Case New Holland as a senior vice president.
Robert Love, an executive vice president who heads Amalgamated Business Credit, has been appointed the head of Amalgamated Capital, the bank’s leveraged finance operation. Amalgamated, based in New York, is union owned.
Steven Parr has been named president and chief executive officer of Fenway Partners portfolio company American Achievement Corp. Parr was most recently president and chief executive of publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media, which owns magazines including Elle, Elle Décor, Woman’s Day, Car and Driver, Road & Track and Cycle World. In his new role, he succeeds Alyce Alston. Fenway Partners is a mid-market buyout firm based in New York. Based in Austin, Texas, AAC sells class rings, yearbooks, graduation products, varsity letter jackets, athletic championship rings and other school spirit and recognition products.
Harrison Price was named a senior managing director and president of Barrier Advisors, a middle market investment bank. Price was previously a managing director on the special situations team at BDO Capital Advisors.
Jerome Schwartzman and Andrew Deren have joined the transaction advisory services practice of the global investment bank Houlihan Lokey. Schwartzman joins from Duff & Phelps, a financial advisory firm whose M&A tax services group he led. Schwartzman will be based in New York as Houlihan’s head of M&A tax due diligence services. Deren joins the bank from Mesirow Financial Consulting, where he was a senior vice president, specializing in distressed M&A. Deren will be based in Chicago, where as a senior vice president, he will focus on expanding Houlihan’s advisory services practice.
Craig Shealy has joined the wealth management firm Cary Street Partners as a managing director and group head of the energy and commodities team, the firm said, also announcing the formation of a dedicated energy and commodities investment banking team. Shealy was previously chairman and managing partner of BlackCreek Group, an energy-focused investment, development and advisory firm. Cary Street Partners has offices across the southeastern United States.
Jeremy Toeman has been named chief product officer of Dijit Media, of San Francisco, which is backed by investors including Northgate Capital. Adam Burg was named vice president of business development. Both Burg and Toeman come to Dijit from Stage Two, a strategic product consultancy and marketing firm they co-founded in 2006.
Kim VanCleef has joined mid-market buyout firm Altus Capital Partners as a vice president in its Chicago-area offices. VanCleef worked previously at Alvarez & Marsal and at Dymas Capital Management, an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management. Altus is based in Westport, Conn.